How to Grow Your Own Food if You’re a Renter

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Warm weather has returned and the sales of veggie seeds are booming — mostly because the desire for folks to grow their own food is positively contagious. But what happens if you’re a humble tenant? How much time and money do you really want to invest in a space that is not even your own? And what happens when you pick up and move?

You’ve probably heard of container gardening. Well here are a few tips for creating unique container veggie beds you can take with you when you move out:

Gutter Gardening

Gutters are intended for catching rain water, but with a little ingenuity, you can use them to create a vertical garden. Buy the guttering from a local home supply store, or try to find them at a local salvage yard or Habitat for Humanity RE-Store. Then hang them in horizontal strips against walls, sheds or fencing. Or in a pinch, attach them to a sturdy sheet of plywood and lean them against a wall. These small plots will make use of wall space, and they’re perfect for herbs and salad crops. Best of all, they’re relatively easy to pack away and take with you.

Grow Bags

Good old grow bags have been a firm favorite for growing tomatoes for a long time, and with good reason. This awesome mobile solutions is the perfect match for green-fingered tenants. Rather than the standard three plants inserted horizontally, try cutting the bags in half and planting one plant on each end. This gives the plants more room for their roots to expand and makes the containers more sturdy and thus easier to move.

Bring out the Wheels

Old wheelbarrows are the perfect solution for creating a mobile veggie bed; Plus they’re cost effective, time efficient and can be easily reclaimed from a thrift store or yard sale. Use a drill to pierce holes in the bottom of the wheelbarrow for good drainage. Then line with horticultural plastic to minimize rust contamination and add a layer of gravel to further aid drainage. A sheet of glass or plastic can also be placed on top to create a mini greenhouse, perfect for seedlings and herbs.

Potato Bags

In recent years, potato bags have emerged as a popular way to grow plants without all the digging required for a plant that grown underground or the need for a large plot. The bags come empty, so you’ll need to fill them with compost. Start with a 4-inch layer, then add the potatoes and cover with more compost. As the potatoes begin to sprout, continue to cover them with compost until four inches from the top.

Hanging Baskets

While you normally expect to find flowers and ferns in hanging baskets, they can also be a great place to plant tumbling tomatoes or peas. Rather than having to stake and support the plants, the height and freedom of the basket will allow them to grow downwards. Practical and pretty.

This guest post is sponsored by Homebase.

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4 comments… add one

  • Petra June 13, 2011, 6:25 am

    Thanks for the tips. Actually i’m a renter, so your post helped me a lot ;)

    cheers!
    Petra recently posted { What you have to know before buying soma carisoprodol }

  • Cate August 2, 2011, 5:00 am

    Hi there,
    you might like our website, we’ve a not for profit providing sustainability advice specifically for people living in rental accommodation. We deliver workshops, projects and lots of tutorials on our website :)

  • Ron August 9, 2011, 3:33 am

    I really wanted to plant and grow plant-bearing fruits so that I can have cook my favorite dishes and have nutritious food. Growing plants in a small area is very rare but if you have those techniques then you can be able to do it.
    Ron recently posted { Man Boobs and Alcohol }

  • Kristina Brooke March 15, 2012, 1:42 am

    This is timely as we just planted some herbs and cucumber. I live in an apartment with limited light so we are going to utilize hanging things from the railing and windows… Wish us luck! LOL.

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