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How to Grow Food When you Have no Yard

 
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Location: Central, TX
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2020 has been a wild ride! I'm a little bit behind in making videos for you, but...I thought it was about time for a life update! I found myself in Puerto Rico through the earthquakes and COVID-19 Pandemic! While I'm a legal Puerto Rican citizen, I don't yet have a permanent home on the island. So, I've been renting Airbnb's, which has been awesome... So, when I rented a "garden house" in Rincón I was expecting it to have, well some kind of garden or growing area. Well, let's just say there isn't much of a garden to speak of!!! I had to get creative and find ways to grow food when you have no yard! I made a few videos for y'all to share you how I started some veggie seeds...and maybe even a little guerilla gardening! Oh, and did I mention the iguanas? Stay tuned to see how I did despite these fun garden pests and lack of growing space!
 
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Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Large ceramic pots, if you don't mind the price, or half barrels or muck buckets with holes drilled in the bottom, will let you grow quite a few vegetables.  However many you can place next to each other in a sunny location will let you grow greens most of the year, tomatoes and squashes in the summer, without much trouble.  If critters get up into the containers, just surround them with some chicken wire held in place by sticks.
 
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Lettuce is a perfect plant for growing in containers:




Window boxes provide an excellent place to grow vegetables:




Tomatoes work great in containers;




Even vine plants can be done:


 
master pollinator
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I agree, an incredible amount of food can be grown in half barrels and other large containers. A large volume of soil is really important to maintain consistent moisture to the plants, and to reduce hands-on time.

 
gardener
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I love what you've done already.  If you have access to power, I highly recommend aquaponics towers.  One fish tank, one pump that circulates through towers filled with substrate such as gravel.  You can plant lettuce, brassicas, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, etc. Aquaponics helps the fish and the plants be healthy.  Its about as far removed from the natural world as you can get but in an artificial environment it works wonders.  
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Rob, that's pretty cool. I have vaguely heard of it.

Can you recommend a good  link to learn more? I keep my goldfish indoors for 6 months, in a warm space with south facing windows, and maybe with a few LED grow lights ...
 
Rob Lineberger
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Rob, that's pretty cool. I have vaguely heard of it.

Can you recommend a good  link to learn more? I keep my goldfish indoors for 6 months, in a warm space with south facing windows, and maybe with a few LED grow lights ...



There are two I really like.  

Backyard Aquaponics has so many small-to-medium scale tips you can read for days.  It's based in Australia, though, so if you are North America based like I am watch out when they say "winter" or "summer" or "prawns."  

Another is Practical Aquaponics.  A little more basic but still great info.  

Someone who emerged from forums to start her own blog is TCLynx.  She has a wealth of experience and insight.  

I hate to show you this because it is not running at the moment and looks like crap but here's a 40 gallon fishtank I had feeding an approximately 2 foot by 4 foot bed:



The important things to note are the pump line (the black arc in front of the cat) and the drain tube (white PVC under the growbed.)  This runs 24/7.  I had basil, parsley, peppers, cilantro, green onions, and I forget what else in there.  It won't feed your family but it is great for filtering the fish waste and also giving you some fresh herbs through the winter.

BTW I just remembered the tower thing I was thinking of is called zip towers.  Although I'm partial to growbeds in a zig zag pattern (like donkey kong) that drain into each other, right to left, left to right.  




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