Thursday, 14 November 2013

How To Grow Food Without Soil

I Had a Dream

Back in 2010 I watched a movie called 2012 which was about the earth’s destruction. The only way to survive was to get on prebuilt boats as water had covered most of the land. 

After the movie finished I sat there thinking of ways people could still eat healthy if this ever was to occur. I drifted off to sleep thinking about this and during the night my partner (Steve) heard me yell out in my sleep “No soil gardens will feed us” which he found quite amusing.

When I woke up I put together a seed pack, got a bag of hay & soil and put together a survival kit!

I’m prepared :-)   

Now you don’t have to go to these extremes (that’s just me) but it’s always handy to know you have the knowledge and experience to feed yourself if need be (even without soil). 

A no soil garden is easy to establish and requires little maintenance. You can create a no soil garden in raised beds, containers and of course on the ground.

First Up 
You need to build at least a small raised bed, you can use many things to build a small raised bed such as

  • Pieces of wood (pallets are great for this)
  • Untreated Sleepers
  • Chicken wire with mesh (taking care to fold off sharp edges)
  • Rocks
  • Bricks

Our first vegetable patch had an edging of old wood scraps and bricks that raised the dirt just enough for good drainage. I also used chicken wire to keep our dog Buster out of the patch.

You can also conveniently use pots for the same purpose!

Once you have worked out what you can use, move onto the filling. 

The Filling

  1. Build your spot and place a base of cardboard, you can use newspaper but the issue of seeping ink can be a hassle.  The cardboard must be untreated
  2. Put a layer of any dirt you have or straw around 10-15 cm thick
  3. Put a layer or compost or manure the same thickness (you can put manure and then compost and then straw)
  4. Keep on layering in this manner until you reach a height of a common plant container. (this will reduce after rain so build up well)
  5. At the very top put a light layer of quality soil around 1-2cm to place your seeds.
  6. If planting pre grown plants you can put straight into the patch.
  7. Mulch like you would any other garden bed.

Okay that brings us to the end of this post and now you have the knowledge to feed yourself if ever happens to be an event like 2012!

Thank You for Reading

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