London’s Latest Urban Garden

Fortnum & Mason has been synonymous with good food in London since the early 1700’s, and now they’re venturing into farm-to-fork with Piccadilly produce. (Pun intended… so apropos 😉 ) They’ve been selling honey harvested from roof top beehives at the Piccadilly store for several years, hives that would make non-resident queen bees green with envy too – they’re stunning pieces of upscale architecture. Now there’s a garden up there too. Installed this spring by Connected Roots, F & M’s urban garden is planted with vegetables, herbs, and some flowers specially chosen just for the bees. Not that they’re...

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Beat The Heat Container Growing

We’ve hit the dog days of summer when temperatures soar just about everywhere, which makes keeping anything planted in pots or tubs above the ground a real challenge. To make matters even more difficult, some locations are on water restrictions as we head into August. There are a few things you can do to help your container grown vegetables survive this part of the season. The Container Choose it wisely. It could mean the difference between a harvest and a total loss. 1)   Don’t use dark colored containers. They may be really classy, or better yet cheap or...

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Starting Tomatoes from Cuttings

A few weeks ago I started a test to see just what was the best way to start tomatoes from cuttings, which in case you didn’t know is the same thing as cloning. After hunting around online for some info on what was the best way to clone tomatoes I came away with FIVE different methods. That’s pretty crazy, but every gardener has ways they prefer to do things, which can make it pretty confusing to the unknowing newcomer. All 5 ways work, but they aren’t all efficient. The oldest method for starting cuttings has been around for centuries. You...

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Growing Below Sea Level

Twenty feet below sea level there are greenhouses successfully producing beans, strawberries, basil, and more – at the bottom of Ligurian Sea. Actually, they are more like bubbles that provide an air pocket for indoor farming off the coast of Nilo, Italy. They have no floors! Fish are swimming past the crops on the outside of the plastic enclosure… And it’s a success. Sounds pretty crazy, but as you can see it’s true. This isn’t a design concept. The gardens aren’t a test. They’ve passed that point. Now they’ve got 5 gardens inside these biospheres, and are hoping to introduce...

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Butts & Pots Don’t Mix

Maybe a more appropriate title would be No Butts On The Balcony, but it’s not contained to apartment gardeners. House fires, including those at multiple unit buildings, caused by cigarette butts discarded in planters and flower pots is on the rise. This isn’t surprising given the sheer volume of people growing plants for vegetables, herbs, and flowers in containers these days no matter where they live. Potting mix is highly flammable when dry, and it dries out quickly. Most potting mixes have peat moss and wood bark in them. Peat burns. The Irish use it in their fireplaces for...

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