Unconventional gardening

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lau, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Lau Guest

    I hasten to add, the above title is not a euphenism. :p

    I'm going to start a local magazine (well, more of a 'zine) about people who grow vegetables in the middle of cities, people with allotments, or basically anyone who wants to grow something for themselves, but doesn't fit in with the usual gardening community of dahlias and chrysanthemums. It's starting off as a small run I'm going to screen print at college, but I'd love it if it took off further.

    Now, as us mac users are an unconventional lot, I reckon some of you will have been up to some interesting gardening in your time .

    I'd love to hear your stories, thoughts, and suggestions for use in the magazine, and I would obviously reward you with a copy of the first run (I'm happy to send worldwide) if I use your story.

    Please post below, PM me or visit www.laurabarnard.co.uk/fork.htm for more information.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca
    Nice thread, i worked at a plant nursery here in southern cali for 2 year, my mom has worked there for over 14 years i believe and my brother also worked there for about 7 years so we have a pretty good green thumb, we live in an apartment so we have wines growing up the wall and on the ceiling, using rubber bands of course, we have some bogambilias, excuse the spelling if its wrong, and several other plants that literally fill our balcony, sometimes people stop by on the street and stare up at the balcony, i'll try posting up some pictures.
  3. Lau thread starter Guest

    Wow, SFVCyclone, that sounds great! Some pictures would be excellent, if you wouldn't mind me using them in the magazine. Would it be ok if I was to PM you with some questions so I could publish a sort of mini interview? I'll probably do this tomorrow if that's ok. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks for responding!
  4. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca
  5. mcadam macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2004
    I know of a number of people growing very green weed in their apartments, but perhaps that's a bit outside your focus :rolleyes:

    On the other some of it could be considered semi-intensive commercial farming - interesting phenomenon in the middle of a city...;)

  6. Lau thread starter Guest

    SFVCyclone, I thought I may as well get my act together and send you some questions tonight. I've sent you a PM. Thanks!
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    story time yay.....

    well back in Chicago at my parents house we have this neighbor who is not your usual city dweller at all, in fact he definitly belongs out in the country on a farm. i say this because to start he owns a landscaping company. by our house we also have some warehouses/factories, in fact we have one right across the street as well as one right on the corner across from us. Now the one factory has this huge lot for parking and trucks, but it also has had a lot of wasted land that was never put to use. My landscaping neightbor decided to rent out this land from these guys. he has a LOT of equipment over there including about three tractors, and a few sheds to hold some of his other equipment. He also takes the one plot of land and grows corn, tomatos, carrots, and sometimes potatoes there every year. talk about your non-traditional type of growing crops!!
  8. Lau thread starter Guest

    Funnilly enough, mcadam, a friend suggested that to me this afternoon! I'm worried if I get into that sort of territory it'll be more about what you're growing, than the act of growing, if you catch my drift :D

    It's annoying though, because that sort of growing fits the idea perfectly, it's usually very resourceful, it's ingenious, and it's a bit rebellious. Oh well....
  9. Lau thread starter Guest

    PlaceofDis, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for! That's brilliant, thanks. It's a shame it's not near to you now. I may well get in touch with you though, if I can find a way to work it in without photos or names and stuff. That's brilliant. That guy must be a dude!

    Keep em coming!
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    ill be heading home this weekend breifly, but i dont think there will be much to take pictures of right now as he probably isnt growing things yet, i will be back there all summer though, feel free to get in contact with me if you want more details or anything, ill try
  11. Lau thread starter Guest

    PlaceofDis, that's great, thank you. I'm kind of hoping this might carry on after the first issue, as I've had a good response from people and it seems to be something people are quite into at the moment. If it does, I would love to get some more information about this guy in the future.

  12. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    My family history has been very into the gardening/agricultural scene. My great grandpa came from Armenia in the 1800s, and moved into New York. He then ventured to Oregon, and had a few crops.

    The family ended up in Southern California, growing grapes on very large scales (400 acre crops).

    My dad got out of the grape scene (as of last year, he was growing them for 35 years). Now, in our backyard garden, we have tomatos, one grape vine (flame variety), peppers, and eggplant. Yum.
  13. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    Well, I have recently been trying to educate myself on plants and planting. It would be nice to have a rosetta stone of some sort for terms, like blooms in the fall vs spring ( i forget the term ).

    This month I killed the grass in my front yard. Added 10+ cubic yards of cold compost. Made one "hedge" bed 80 feet long with 24 hershy red azaleas, 12 nandinas and 2 little gem magnolias. Then another 28ft bed with 10 curly leaf legustrums. Then placed 12 gumpo pink azaleas in the front yard around some nandinas and a plant I don't know the name of that is a cross between azalea and rhodadendrums. Put in a dozen blue rug junipers between my neighbors yard and mine. Put in 3 15gal cherry trees and 3 5 gal dogwoods. Also put in a 15 gal thundercloud plum as the center piece in the front yard. I then placed 2 tons of tenn. field stone as walls around the front beds and made a brow/tiera looking area in the front that the plum is in. Then covered the front yard with 3 in of cold compost. then dumped a ton of pennington "plantation" grass seed on the front yard.

    All the beds are covered with dupont weed cloth (i hate to weed) and before I did any of this I rented a ditchwitch and dug 200' of drain lines to route my gutter water into a nearby gully area.

    Put out 20 bales of pine needles, and 10 bales of straw. and have been watering everyday for hours.

    I could not have gotten to day 2 without ibuprofen! :p

    I also did some shovel grading after tilling areas to soften them up. My yard slopes kinda steeply to the back.

    anyway it has been a journey, luckily I had a friend who is into it, and another friend who gets nurseryman prices, and even luckier I didn't end up in tracktion.
  14. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    Stubeef, I envy you. Last fall I planted a Redbud and Dogwood and I was pretty proud of myself; although most of the work was removing the overgrown crap first. We'll see if the new trees bloom this spring though.

    What zone are you in? I've grown to love gardening, but that's a lot of watering! I can't imagine that until retirement. I'm curious how you killed your grass? The grass is just started growing here in zone 5.

    My newest venture is a rather extensive seed-starting system in my basement. Lots of veggies and herbs - not "herbs" but herbs - and a smattering of flowers as a test.

    Have you ever ordered plants online? I ordered seeds from Burpee and Harris - both have been great. I just orders some ferns today from Burpee, but I'm a little nervous about the live plants.

    Anyway, enough rambling and thread hijacking. Sorry.
  15. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I think I am zone 7, western piedmont of NC. I killed the grass with roundup, worked pretty good, took a few days to get good and dead. We are ordering some bulbs as a fund raiser my oldest daughter is doing, nothing else, although I am on a hunt for a good Weeping White Spruce , my wife and I call them "whoville" trees cause they look like they are from Dr Suess.

    I used to hate plants and the yard, but while I water and love on these "investments" I am actually starting to like it and getting attached. I know absolutely nothing about what I am doing so it is an adventure.
  16. Guitarius macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2004
    Here's something for ya.

    My grandma had a bunch meat eating plants. I kid you not my friends. I don't remember any of the plant names, cause it was when I was little, but I remember helping her feed her plants. We would feed them ground beef and stuff. It was crazy. Kids in her neighborhood were scared of her, cause there were stories floating around that she killed kids and fed them to her plants. It was like Southern Shop of Horrors (bad musical joke).

    I was reading up on different carnivorous plants. I read you are supposed to feed one mice. Could you imagine going to a petstore getting some feeder mice?

    "Whatcha feeding? Snake?"
    "I have plants that eat mice alive."
    "Okay...uh...stay away from me"

  17. Lau thread starter Guest

    Guitarius, that's really funny! I knew there were those plants that ate flies, but mice? That's crazy!

    MacAztec, can you make wine out of your vine in your garden?
  18. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    Landscaping has one of the highest ROI's on a home's resale value.
  19. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca
    growing plants is actually quite fun, especially like corn and fruiting plants, which is the type of plants Lau is after, i remember the former manager at the plant nursery i worked in had an apple tree with over 70 different types of apple growing out of it, grafted of course, but still, at the nursery they sell citrus plants with about 5 different kinds of citrus growing from it but they are pretty pricy, about $120 for a 15 gallon if i remember correctly.
  20. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    I can't say that this is unconventional, but we are the most "different" on our street, as almost everyone has a green lawn.... so as you drive down the street, you see our front lawn (wasn't as sunny the day i shot that, it's more colorful now).
    but we've basically packed as much as we possibly could into our yards.

    a few shots... (i shot them to give my coworker a view of what her yard could be, and some ideas, and what plants I could clone for her)
    Back Yard 1
    Back Yard 2
    Back Yard 3
    Back Yard 4
    Back Yard 5
    Back Yard 6
    Back Yard 7

    Front View 1
    Front View 2

    and i have 5 hybrid Phal. orchids growing on my living room TV, and 2 more Phals on the mantle (store bought gifts), 2 Vandas outside, and 2 Onicdiums on the mantle next to the Phals. :)
  21. Lau thread starter Guest

    Wow, Krimson, great photos. I get the feeling fruit's a bit harder to get started with, but once it has got going it just keeps producing, which vegetables don't do as much. It's nice to see oranges and the like - over here it's far more tricky to grow that sort of thing because it's so cold! Although I think people do grow that sort of stuff under glass, and I'm sure I read about some people growing quite tropical stuff on the south coast of Britain as it's that little bit warmer.
  22. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    Hmmm.. i didn't notice you were in the UK.. I do have some tropical trees (the papaya and wax apple are the most susceptible to cold, i think), there are some varieties that are more cold resistant, im sure you could find something if you googled it. :)

    Otherwise, try the dwarf varieties, and grow them in pots, and move them indoors during the colder times.. I'm assuming, of course, that you have enough room to move a pot indoors. You can also tarp small trees, or make a temporary 'greenhouse' from clear plastic... my friend in Massachusetts does that with his fruit trees every winter. I've also helped some friends grow Green zebra tomatos on their apartment window sills... those should stay nice and compact, in a 7" terra cotta pot.
  23. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Nope, you can't make wine from the grapes that my dad grows. Well, you MIGHT be able to, but the grapes used for wine are crap. They are low quality.
  24. Lau thread starter Guest

    Krimson, that's ok, I was just saying it's very different to a British garden and interesting to see!

    MacAztec, that's interesting, that hadn't occurred to me. So I take it the grapes are for eating, and you'd grow a different variety for wine. And not waste the good ones!
  25. latergator116 macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2003
    Providence, RI
    Over the summer I volunteered at a local community garden. I helped pick tomatoes, lettuce, raspeberries, etc. It was a relatively small farm (3/4 acre), but it was a little oasis in the middle of the city. Here is the website of the farm: http://www.southsideclt.org/city/

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