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What is the Secret to sustainable gardening?  I understand that I can grow my own food, sell some of my excess to friends and relatives while eating healthier.
That is true to a point, you will have some challenges to prevail over, as well as a learning curve.  But let’s look at the question that you are asking, and how to answer it most precisely.


  • The “Secret” to sustainable gardening and what is it?
  • The answer is first this:  “What does sustainable gardening mean to you?”  Do you envision a set it and forget it gardening system that doesn’t take much time on your part?
  • How much money are you willing to spend creating your “sustainable garden”?
  • What zone do you live in, or what is the climate that you are growing in?
  • Do you want to save water and grow hydroponically?
  • Do you want to grow only in containers?
  • If you want to grow in soil, how much land do you have?
  • Do you want to have all sorts of flower and make your garden a place to rest , relax and share with others?


What is The Secret to Sustainable Gardening?

As you can see, the secret to sustainable gardening is hidden in many questions.  Considering that you are living in an apartment, and you wish to grow food for yourself and your family, these are the answers for your needs.

  • You can use the original square foot garden which called for a 4 foot by 4 foot section. This can supply one person with vegetables and salads.  But since we are assuming that you have 4 people in your household
  • To Supply enough food for 4 people, we will need to multiply that by a factor of 4.  That is a bit of a problem for most decks.  You will then use 2 rows of containers that will equal 2 feet by 8 feet long, laid out on your deck or in your backyard to produce
  • Square foot beds should face the sun, so there’s a front and a back to your garden containers then. At the back there’s a trellis for climbers ,have them in line or scatter them about wherever you can fit them in.
  • Depending on the soil you purchase and  the water content, the average garden will weight 40 lbs per sq ft .  Take that into consideration when building your garden.  You can also use your roof top for a garden if it is usable for containers.
  • You can break up a unit any way you like to fit the space available, right down to single one-foot squares, in boxes or baskets or whatever containers you can find.
  • Where to get soil?  Use compost. Check the municipality and the agricultural extension office for sources of compost suitable for gardening, and , and the local landscaping center.  Better yet, make your own compost.  It will take a while to make your own, but it is worth it.
  • Use Hydroponic systems that you can hang on a wall, from trellis to trellis, or lay flat on the deck for some of your crop.  They use less water, very little weeding, and are easier to keep clean and disease free if you are willing to check on them daily.

So the actual answer for Sustainable Gardening is this:

  1. Know what you like to eat, and what you and your family will eat
  2. What foods do you need to provide great nutrition
  3. Proper Planning for what you want
  4. Laying out your Sustainable Garden so that it is not only functional, but also prolific
  5. Plan your crops and follow your plan
  6. Be flexible in all that you do, and ensure you know that stuff happens
  7. Ask for help from other gardeners and farmers in your area
  8. Remember, Sustainable does not mean there is no work involved.  You will need to work both smart and efficient to not only enjoy the produce, but to also enjoy the journey


My wife Heather and I enjoy the entire process, the more you can eat right from your own garden, plan for it, and think long term, the easier it is to keep your efforts sustainable.


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Turning dreams into the Life of Your Dreams

Chris Downs   ————–    The Caretaker