Saturday, September 3, 2011

No room to grow?

Living in a condo in Miami does have some advantages, albeit few, to living in a house with a yard. We were really lucky to find a place that not only allows 'real' sized dogs (bigger than 25lbs) but also is in great condition and has a screened in balcony. The screened-in balcony is great for keeping out mosquitoes, which is really quite fortunate because we live right next door to a huge mangrove preserve which is home to trillions of mosquitoes, among other more amazing creatures. Believe it or not, having a balcony is perfect for growing some edible plants, herbs, and vegetables. And if your's is also screened you don't have to worry about pests eating your plants. We not only want to utilize the space to produce some food, but also to provide an area to break down our food scraps using vermiculture. With a goal to eliminate landfill input, it really helps to have a place to get rid of your table scraps and turn it into a rich source of nutrients for your garden.

I came across an idea to utilize vertical space by creating a garden out of a pallet. I decided that I wanted to change the shape of one of my pallets to accommodate taller plants, like scallions, broccoli, and large leafy greens. so I took out the boards and arranged them to create four squares.

I made the beds by cutting out rectangles of weed cloth, and stapling them to the inside of the boards. I didn't pay attention to the  measurements of the cloth because I wanted different sized beds to hold deeper rooting veggies/plants. The top two beds were much more shallow for smaller herbs and seedlings. I'm going to use this pallet to grow mostly leafy greens, salads, and pepper plants. The weed cloth material was only $12 for a 150 sq feet, which gives you a lot of left overs. In total I would say this cost me $3 to build because the pallet was free. This is another good example of scavenging.

Look, I've already got plants growing on it too...

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