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Superfood Garden Summit Sponsor: GARDEN TOWER

Indoor gardening for BIG harvests

There’s a tool we want to share that is especially useful if you…

♥ Don’t have a lot of space to plant
♥ You want to have a garden that can grow food year round

You see gardening in a tiny space teaches you a lot… but it can also be challenging!

♥ You never feel like you can grow EVERYTHING you want!
♥ You wonder if your plants are getting enough sunlight, nutrients, or water to get the harvest you saw on the seed packet.
♥ It’s easy to feel a little envious when one of your friends posts a picture of their full, lush garden planted in 4 raised beds in their backyard.

We know all those feelings…
But what we want to show you today solves a LOT of these issues.
It lets you take small-plot growing to a whole new level (and we love it!):

♥ You can grow over 50 different, individual plants and vegetables in just 4 sq. feet! That’s less space than most coat closets.
♥ You can grow indoors or outdoors however you like. Perfect for growing year round in any climate!
♥ This tool lets you vermicompost right inside your garden! No need to move compost around or waste food scraps. Plus all those wonderful vermicompost nutrients end up right in your food!
♥ You’ll be able to use this tool for years to come… it lasts for up to 12 years even in harsh climates.
♥ It’s 100% safe for the environment and your family (no BPA or PVC toxins leaching into your foods)!

So what is this tool we are so excited to show you?

It’s the Garden Tower 2 from our friends over at the Garden Tower Project.

 

Save the Bee Logo

It is actually one of the Grow Your Own Vegetables Team’s favorite gardening products!

Yes, it does look a little strange… but the harvests from your garden tower will definitely make your mouth water! 😋

AND here’s the cherry tomato on top. We talked to the Garden Tower folks and asked if they could get YOU a special deal since you’re a Grow Your Own Vegetables reader… They said YES!

As a sponsor of our Superfood Garden Summit, they’re willing to give you a special discount on your next Garden Tower. Go Here to see their offer.

The Garden Tower Project makes all their garden towers right in the USA. So they are able to keep up with all the people new to gardening! 

Part of the reason we like it so much is that it is simple to use. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener. It’s easy to set up and only takes 6 cu. feet of soil to fill completely. Then you just add water, compost scraps, and worms as needed.

Go check Out Our Favorite Product, The Garden Tower 2

Who knows… maybe you’ll be sharing YOUR huge harvest from your Garden Tower in our Facebook group soon! 🍅🌱🍆🍠

Superfood Garden Summit is happy to have the Garden Tower Project as a Summit Sponsor.

This article contains links to a product that we are a referral partner for. If you click and take action, Grow Your Own Vegetables LLC may be compensated. We only recommend products that we love and that we know can be helpful to you as a gardener.

Have you been enjoying the Superfood Garden Summit? Share your take-a-ways with us!

Grow Your Own Immune Boosting Garlic For Improved Health & Vitality

Summary:

Store bought garlic is bred for shelf life, not flavor or nutrient density. Luckily, growing nutrient dense garlic varieties takes very little time and effort. You can grow enough garlic for a whole year in just a 4’x 6’ (1.2 x 1.8 m) garden bed. Discover how to grow your own garlic, bursting with flavor and nutrients for your health and vitality. Plus, get the pro tips on how to maximize your garlic nutrition.

Garlic is an ancient remedy

Garlic is one of the world’s oldest cultivated agricultural crops and has been used for centuries to treat a vast number of diseases and ailments. From malaria and meningitis to tuberculosis and typhoid fever, garlic has been recognized as a powerful healer throughout time in cultures across the globe.

There was a time when people hoped to cure misunderstood ‘evils’ with garlic and other alliums. Today, scientific studies are confirming many of these ancient medicinal remedies. More on the allium family and some of their benefits here.

Of all the alliums, garlic single handedly wards off more ‘evils’ than any other vegetable or herb. It’s no wonder it was revered to have magical properties.

Why Grow Garlic When You Can Buy?

Flavors You Can’t Find at the Store: Grocery store garlic is bred for one thing: shelf life. While this is helpful for food being transported hundreds and thousands of miles, the cost of breeding for shelf life is a loss in flavor. In addition, there’s not a lot of variety at the grocery store. They carry one of three typical varieties. However, when you grow your own garlic, you can choose from over one hundred different varieties and flavors.

Health and Disease Prevention You Can’t Buy: Studies show a direct correlation between flavor and the presence of nutrients for many foods. That great garlic flavor is an indicator of more nutrients and therefore more health for you. Allicin is just one of the many active compounds in garlic that supports your health. You can read the amazing benefits of allicin here.

You don’t need to settle for less. Enjoy superior flavor and health when you grow your own garlic. Plus, it’s easier than you might think!

How To Grow Flavorful and Nutrient Dense Garlic

When inviting plants into your life, it’s important to remember that plants want to thrive. They do whatever it takes to grow strong and turn to seed for the next generation of plants. Your role as a caretaker is to provide the best conditions for your plants to flourish. Here are the eight considerations when growing garlic.

1. Growing Garlic: A Great Choice for Busy Growers

Unlike other annual garden veggies and herbs, most garlic grows from fall, through winter and all the way to summer. Growing garlic takes very little maintenance so it’s great for busy people. Once garlic is in the ground, the only thing you may need to do is mulch before temperatures freeze. Then curl up with a cup of hot tea and take the entire winter off. That’s right, nothing left to do but wait until harvest in late spring, early summer!

2. Choosing the Right Garlic for Your Climate 

Hardneck and softneck varieties can be grown in colder climates, but if you live in a warmer climate, you’ll want to choose a softeneck variety.

For more on choosing the right variety, grab your complimentary printable Garlic Growing Guide here.

Sow garlic at the beginning of your cool season. Hardnecks need the first four to six weeks of growing to be between 32-55°F (0-12°C). Softneck and warmer tolerant garlic varieties can be planted in warmer temps, but need to be below 80°F (23°C) for the duration of their growth. 

Garlic sprouts should be at least 6-8” (15-20cm) tall before temperatures drop below freezing. When sprouts are at least 6” tall, mulch the garlic bed with a light material, like organic straw to protect it through the winter. You can also use mulch to keep the soil cooler in warmer climates.

3. Your Garlic Plants Want 6-8 Hours of Sunlight  

Without proper sunlight, your garlic plants cannot photosynthesize properly. Because sunlight hours change through seasons, you’ll want to make sure that wherever you plant your garlic it is getting 6-8 hours of full sun from fall through summer and up until harvest time. 

4. Quality Soil Means Nutrient-Rich Food 

Health starts underground. If growing in a container, choose a high quality, organic potting mix. If growing in soil, ensure it is well draining with plenty of fertility. Keep your fertility levels up by adding a 2” layer minimum of organic compost on the top of your potting mix or soil each growing season.

5. How Many Garlic Plants in How Much Space? 

You don’t need a lot of growing space for garlic. You can grow enough garlic to savor year round in one 4’ x 6’ (1.2 x 1.8 m) garden bed. And that one garden bed can give you much more of that cherished garlic flavor beyond the bulbs. 

Before your garlic head fully matures, grab an early harvest with hardneck varieties. Hardnecks produce edible shoots on the top of the plant called ‘scapes.’ Simply cut the scapes when they are between 6-10” (15-20cm) long and enjoy them raw or cooked. They make a delectable addition to sautees!

PRO TIP: in the early spring, plant lettuce between the rows of garlic. Your garlic and lettuce will be ready to harvest at the same time, so you get two crops out of the same space. Plus your planting bed will be clear to plant summer crops.

6. Watering for Perfect Garlic Harvests

When you first plant your garlic, water 1” (3cm) per week until leaves emerge. Then, reduce watering. No need to water once temperatures go below freezing.

When the ground thaws, water 1” per week in temperatures of 60-70°F (15-21°C) and 2” per week in temperatures of 70-80°F (21-26°C). 

PRO TIP: Watering less often and more thoroughly is best. 

7. Harvesting and The Secret to Getting Superior Garlic Harvests

Harvesting garlic is easy! Your garlic is ready for harvest when lower leaves turn brown and papery. Using a digging fork, gently insert the digging fork into the soil and lift the garlic heads from soil. 

But you don’t have to wait until the garlic is mature to start harvesting. Aside from the scapes of hardneck varieties, you can enjoy delicious fresh spring garlic by harvesting before maturity and cooking immediately.

Important Tip When Growing Garlic: The secret to getting superior garlic harvests is to save the largest, healthiest bulbs for planting next year.

8. Curing and Storing Your Garlic 

Once you’ve harvested your garlic, gently brush off the excess dirt. Never wash harvested garlic or get the bulbs wet as this can cause your garlic to mold. Hang your garlic or lay on a wire rack out of sunlight for 2-4 weeks in temperatures of at least 80ºF (26ºC). In colder climates, curing can be done indoors. 

Once cured, cut the stems off and peel the very outer layer of skin off the bulbs. Store in a ventilated, dark, dry area at 60ºF (15ºC). When garlic is cured properly, it will store for anywhere between 4-12 months, depending on whether you’re growing the hardneck or softneck variety. 

Limited on space? Container growing can help you see opportunities instead of limitations. You can customize your container garden to fit your space, budget, physical abilities, and lifestyle.
Check out our NEW Container Gardening Micro Course

3 Empowering Benefits of Container Gardening

For countless reasons, from limited space or mobility to the local soil composition and length of growing season, container gardening can be an incredibly powerful tool if you wish to have a bodacious and diverse garden. We are going to walk through three of the core benefits of container gardening and how they can be used to create the exact growing conditions to accommodate your garden dreams.

These benefits become especially applicable where the green space is little-to-none, such as in apartments and large cities! Container gardening can be used for something as large as outdoor pots for planting fruit trees that may otherwise not thrive or even survive in your local soil or as small as a series of windowsill-dwelling potted herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil. With the right soil, container, and container gardening can offer most or even all of the benefits of a raised bed without the required construction or the relative permanence.

First, container gardening gives you the power to cater directly to a plant’s soil and nutrient needs without having to balance all the factors of remediating your native soil or building raised beds. The next core benefit is a vast one! Gardening in containers can help you get more out of your growing space, regardless of if that growing space is in a garden, on a concrete landing, in an empty lot, or in some found space inside an apartment. Finishing our list is the accessibility that container gardening provides to those with limited mobility.

1. Picky Plants!

Containers allow you to have various soil structures and to apply a specific combination of nutrients; therefore, you can accommodate for a more diverse selection of plants compared to what you can do with native soil. Exercising control over the soil structure and nutrients is one of your best tools for investing in your plant’s healthy growth and production. For example, if your native soil is alkaline, but you are looking to plant blueberry bushes that need acidic soil, then you can fill a suitable container with acidic soil while feeding an acidic nutrient blend to the plant. Through multiple seasons of carrot cultivation in the high clay content soil that we have in so much of the Pacific Northwest, our Director of Operations, Denise Beins learned that root vegetables like carrots and parsnips do best when given a looser soil structure.

Sunlight is another factor that you can have more control over with container gardening. As long as you have a way to transport them, plants grown in containers can be moved to follow the exact sun conditions needed as the seasons progress. Learning the right blend of soil, light, and nutrients for each plant you want to grow could prove overwhelming, so take care as to not to overburden yourself by trying to know each plant’s needs all at once! I recommend focussing on learning the needs of a couple or few plants per season. Pick your favorites, and after a few seasons you’ll have a proficient and well-rounded understanding for growing your ideal palette of plants. 🙂

2. Making the most of your garden space

Container Gardening Outdoors

Container gardening can help you get the most out of outdoor space! Added to the benefits of customizing your soil structure and nutrient mix, container gardening can make seemingly unusable land into a bountiful part of your garden! Areas that have been paved, laid with gravel or stones, or have low-growing ground cover or brush that could suffocate young seedlings can all become healthy growing space with an intentionally selected container, soil, and nutrient mix. Containers can also turn an apartment patio into a garden. You can even cultivate otherwise invasive plants, such as many varieties of bamboo and mint, without having that worry! Another fun idea includes companion planting mutually beneficial plants, or simply planting fun arrangements/combinations, such as a “Salsa Planter” with cilantro, perilla, hot peppers, and garlic chives.

Container Gardening Indoors

Indoor container gardening truly makes a night and day difference! For those without access to growing space otherwise, container gardening can be the difference of not being able to grow anything to being able to grow nearly any plant you’d like! Whether it’s sheer excitement to start cultivating your own garden or seeking access to whole fruits and vegetables, your local community is probably filled with testimonies of people experiencing the empowerment of having an indoor garden you can look to for inspiration. With GYOV, your online community will certainly have some sources of inspiration to share! Or maybe you have some container gardening experiences to share in the comments below? Please feel free to share that below and be a patron to some else’s garden motivation!

The most common examples of these include hanging gardens, windowsill gardens, and a seed starting station. Hanging gardens utilize a space to its fullest by efficiently utilizing the vertical space. Windowsill gardens bring the vivacious energy of the garden into your home, and their foliage can also help illuminate your home by reflecting sunlight into the space. A seed starting station can range from simple or elaborate; from a warming mat and a grow light on a side table to a wire rack arranged with warming mats, a grow light, air circulation, and a drip tray below to protect floors when watering.

3. Accessibility for gardeners with limited mobility

It is a common challenge for a gardener to come to a time in their life where they may have physical limitations from the methods they have used to garden. Whether it’s temporary from an injury or their body physically losing mobility with age, For those with limited mobility, there are many solutions for enjoying fresh veggies using container gardening!

One method is utilizing large, tall containers, measuring 2-4 feet off the ground, although these may require assistance to get started. These may be wood framed, large plastic or materials such as terra cotta (a couple options are showing below). One thing to consider is you may want these large containers to have wheels so they are mobile incase you can move according to the sun or for other reasons.

Another option is to incorporate some of the indoor gardening ideas mentioned above. You can grow lettuce, herbs and more in a windowsill and add fresh produce to your meals.

Using containers in your garden can expand possibilities for you so that you can achieve your garden dreams! There are lots of gardeners just like you (and us here at GYOV) who have found creative ways to enhance their harvest and enjoy the beauty that cultivating plants brings into your life!

Please share in the comments below ways that you’ve added ease into your gardening process with container gardening.

 

Container or Raised Bed Garden: What’s the difference?

Gardening is a language just like Spanish or Russian, and the tricky thing about learning a new language? There are rules, which are easy to remember… And then there are exceptions.

Two words that can be very tricky in gardening are “containers” and “raised beds”. And it’s important to know the difference, because they WAY you garden in each can be completely different.

Looking for awesome containers? Bootstrap Farmer makes sustainable bags made of food safe recycled plastic and felt. Check out the 200 gal bags.
 Need something smaller? They’ve got grow bags in 4, 5, 7, 10, 25 gallon sizes too.

Limited on space? Container growing can help you see opportunities instead of limitations. You can customize your container garden to fit your space, budget, physical abilities, and lifestyle.
Check out our NEW Container Gardening Micro Course!

Introductory Special! ONLY $37 [Limited time]

Grow $20 of Herbs Each Week – Small Container Garden

If you just have a couple feet of sun and a short season, growing herbs can be a really great value. They are easy to take care of and keep producing each week. Here’s how to harvest them and how you might include them in some fun meals.