“Growing food year round”

 

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In Montreal, more and more people not only grow plants, but also grow their own fruits or vegetable such as lettuce, carrots or strawberries. Many residences creatively use their own backyard, balcony, and terrace for food producing gardens. On September 28th 2016, in Concordia Greenhouse Lounge, a conference about “Growing food year round” provided the practical information to guide people on how to optimize the use of spaces, how to maintain the green gardening through the cold winter in Canada, and also introduced some community gardening.

If there is not enough room for a big backyard garden, making use of different sizes of pots and containers is a good idea. They are affordable and have many advantages. For example, hanging baskets help make the most of vertical space and provide nice shades and view, which are ideal for fruit and vegetable plants such as strawberries, some peppers, cherry tomatoes or peas. Also, window boxes, cache pots and white polystyrene foam boxes are the options can be chosen according to the types of plants.  In addition, fresh garden soil should be used every year to maintain moist growing environment for plants and avoid redundant fertilizer because garden soil might contain diseases and drain fast.

In the winter, a wooden mini greenhouse can be used to protect the plants from strong winds and cold climates. Choose three proper size of the wooden boards according to the length and width of the containers, attach them along three sides of the containers, make sure back side has the highest wooden board, and leave the front side facing the sun. Then place a transparent plastic sheet over the frame. Last step is to make a small hinge or opening on the top so that the plants can be reached for watering. Plastic bottles, PVC pipes, and recycling boxes are also can be used to build a small greenhouse to provide heating, moisture for the fruits, vegetables, and microgreens.

It is enjoyable and achievable to grow food and harvest all year round. Growing a wide variety of different vegetables and herbs, make advance planning of sowing and use proper techniques and soil will provide the best way to build your own green food garden.

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