This is my first post on this site, but the topic warranted some responses.
I like the potato tire idea, but will probably use the straw/hay idea for my situation. For growing in a nearby field, tubers, underground stocks. I
would do potato's and onions and garlic, with a few peas and beans. Just don't plant them all together, or it will get you noticed.
I am a renter, and have built a couple rather large, cedar wood containers for my back patio area. I will be planting a large variety of veg in them,
but I also have purchased an EarthBox. If you don't know what one is, they are a container with a water reservoir under the soil, a pipe going
through the soil to reach the water, and fertilizer on top. It is covered, to avoid water evaporation as well as weeds.
Here is a link for them : www.earthbox.com...
They have a decent forum for helpful tips, and loads of research too. This is great for tomatoes, and many other plants too. Organic versions are
I am more interested in saving money and DIY projects. So with that in mind, I spent a few weeks looking at viable options for my patio. And for
more EarthBox style planters, I am building 2 or 3 of these
with the same concepts as the EarthBox. A great advantage to these containers, is they are small enough that they are possible to move indoors for
any late frost spells, as long as they are on wheels. And you can set up an easy self watering method for them too, some hose and a timer on your
water spout works great! (personally, I wish I could harvest rain water without my land-lady complaining. And a compost pile. For that matter, I
wish I had my own piece of real estate!)
You must make your own soil for these. These planters, like the EarthBox, need soil to wick water up. Mostly peat moss and pine bark fines, with
added minerals and so on. A good recipe is here
this is for container gardens, not for gardens in the ground.
I found a couple in Chicago growing on a roof there, using home made containers like these, so here is a link for them too
This is mostly urban ideas, but they can work in most areas, adjusted for climates and elevation that is. (Containers can retain more heat, as the
soil is already above ground. High elevations and raised beds, or containers, can work well together.)
A few things I have learned; start seeds early, if at all possible. Look into companion gardening. If you have the room, permaculture is a great
solution. A garden shouldn't need such intense work, if you plan it well, it can take care of itself.
Finally, I have a mosquito problem, as well as grasshopers here. I have learned that all sorts of pests don't like marigold. Hoppers don't like
the herb horehound, and there are other uses for it as well. I am starting 30 marigolds in the kitchen, and will be distributing them all over.
One last tip I have heard about; For snails, line your containers with copper strips, nailed down along the edges. For some reason they get a small
electric jolt crossing over it, which they don't like.
Again, wonderful topic here. I look forward to more tips, and thanks for the ones that have already been posted.