How to Grow Super Healthy Tomatoes in Containers: Using Organic Techniques

I have always used banana peels with my roses but never thought of using them for tomatoes! What she says about the egg shells, I have always done this. There have been times when it looks like it snowed around my tomato plants because of all the egg shells I’ve crushed up and worked into the soil.

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PVC Pipe Soaker “Hose” Systems

So, I was sent the first link via email and I just think it’s brilliant! This will save us tons of water while watering deep enough to keep the plants in the raised beds we’re going to build happy throughout our hot summers. The first one is for row crops:

http://thewrinkleddollar.com/garden/drip-irrigation.html

And this video lays out how to do this for raised beds!

This guy did this setup but for his containers:

Have a Small Space? Grow Vertical!

A friend mentioned that she has a tiny little area to grow any food, so I suggested she grow vertically. I don’t really do this now but may have to since I will be using raised beds this year. I’ve seen so many neat ideas over the past few months that I’m trying to find all the links to share with you (and her). Well, I was going to find a single picture to post here but when I did my Google search (“vertical gardening”) and clicked images I was in awe! There are so many creative ideas out there that I just can’t list them all (so check out the photos yourself here).

This is pretty much what I did when I was growing in containers (I posted pictures of my truck garden in 2011).

And here’s a video with several ideas (that’ pretty much the way the rest of these links are going to be … several ideas in one article):

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/8639243-green-expert-nick-federoffs-tips-on-vertical-gardening/

This one demonstrates how to build a growing “wall” (I love links with pictures or video) AND it’s Popular Mechanics!

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to-start-a-vertical-garden#slide-1

Here are two ways to reuse soda bottles:

DIY: Hanging Plastic Bottle Planter

DIY Vertical Gardening

Here are two ways to use shoe hangers:

VERTICAL VEGETABLES: “Grow up” in a small garden and confound the cats!

Turn a Shoe Organizer Into a Vertical Planter

And two ways to reuse pallets:

diy project: recycled pallet vertical garden

Pot hangers (third example down)

This one has a lot of different ideas (and if you look at the bottom of the second link, she has a few more articles about vertical gardening:

Small Garden Design Idea: Maximize Vertical Spaces

How to Design Creative Vertical Gardens

There are several projects on the DIY Network’s website but this one I particularly like, since you can change it around easier:

How to Grow a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Here are their top 10 vertical gardening projects:

http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/vertical-gardening/index.html

And now, for some eye candy! This looks like Pinterest specifically for Home and Garden:

http://happyhouseandgarden.com/categories/12265/vertical-gardening-ideas

Water Storage

I can’t believe I never made a post about water storage (unless I did and just can’t find it).  I will include several links from various sources describing the various methods of water storage and how to ensure the safety of the water.   Of everything we think we “need” to survive in the event of some sort of event, too many do not include water as their number 1 priority.  It’s always food, shelter, clothing, etc. but with all of that, if we do not have access to water (either already clean or have the ability to clean it) we will not survive long enough to enjoy that food and the other supplies we have stored.

The first link I will share is to a water filter that looks like it is by far the best one out there.  It’s to a forum (disclosure here) that I am a moderator/administrator for (you can view this post without being a member) and my dear friend has researched the heck out of this filter. It’s for the water filters made by www.justwater.me.

Survivalistssite Forum: Water filter comparison

There are other links/discussions on the survivalistssite forum discussing water treatment options. Please check them out.

And here’s how to make a *Home Made Berkey Water Filter* which is helpful for those people like me (if there are any others out there because California is so whacky) who are unable to purchase the Big Berkeys due to state regulations. I don’t see why, if you account for flow rate, this setup can’t be used for other brands of large water filters.

Here’s an article from the CDC:

Personal Preparation and Storage of Safe Water

Here’s a simple article from the University of Colorado Extension:

Water Storage

And here’s an even more basic article from the LDS church:

Drinking Water Guidelines

Now, for cisterns, which I think is ultimately be best way to go, if you have the space for them:

This first article is from the University of Florida extension (there’s a link to a .pdf of this article on the upper left side of their web page):

Cisterns To Collect Non-Potable Water For Domestic Use

And this one, by far, is my favorite, since I truly love Mother Earth News:

The Homestead Cistern

So, if you haven’t already begun you water storage project, you have some reading to do. It’s never too late to get started, even if the positive results may not be seen this year (since I do not expect California to get anywhere near the rain that is needed this year).

How Anyone Can Be More Self Sufficient

I have always felt this way. As much as I dream about it, you don’t have to live completely off-grid and make all of your own items, to be self sufficient (or live a sustainable life). Just do whatever you can to not HAVE to rely so much on the outside world.

http://www.littlehouseliving.com/how-anyone-can-be-more-self-sufficient.html

Growing the eternal tomato

Now, how sweet would it be to never run out of tomatoes? I know my favorite snack has always been tomatoes warmed from the sun, right off the vine. Check out this article to learn how to extend your tomato season!

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/trebor57.html