Container gardening: a simple and cheap method in the combat of desertification and hunger

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Presentation of some good examples of container gardening to produce trees, vegetables, herbs, succulents, cactus seedlings etc. at home. Large-scale application can be helpful to combat desertification and to improve survival rates in reforestation.

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Container gardening: a simple and cheap method in the combat of desertification and hunger

  1. 1. Container gardening: a simple and cheap method in the combat of desertification and hunger<br />Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem<br />University of Ghent (Belgium)<br />http://desertification.wordpress.com<br />ABSTRACT<br />Presentation of some good examples of container gardening to produce trees, vegetables, herbs, succulents, cactus seedlings etc. at home. Large-scale application can be helpful to combat desertification and to improve survival rates in reforestation.<br />-------------------------------------------------<br />Container gardening is a gardening type that can be applied at any spot on this world, in all climatic zones, in humid and arid regions, in rural and in urban areas, outside and inside the house.<br />It can be used for embellishment of the home with ornamental plants or for food production (vegetable and fruit trees), e.g. in the drylands where soil and irrigation cause huge problems.<br />My friend Geert VAN DAELE has taken some photos of container gardening examples in my house, showing that anybody can grow very diverse plant species in different kinds of containers: bottles, pots, trays, bags etc.<br />I strongly believe that massive application of container gardening would offer an impressive number of possibilities to grow food in the most adverse conditions in arid or semi-arid regions, thus helping to combat desertification, hunger and child malnutrition.  I strongly recommend this method to all reforestation projects in developing countries.  It is cheaper and more efficient (higher survival rates) than the classical ones.<br />2010-03-27 : Avocado seedlings grown in a yogurt pot and in PET-bottles. These seedlings can easily be transplanted in the soil by cutting off the bottom of the pot or bottle and put the rootball with its container directly in the plant pit. Survival rate is significantly higher. (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Avocado seedling with 3 shoots growing in a PET-bottle (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Avocado seedlings in PET-bottles and a yogurt pot (foreground). (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Avocado seedlings in small soda-bottles, a yogurt pot and taller PET-bottles. (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Seeds of dragonfruit cactus (pitaya) germinating in a blue mushroom tray, kept in a pastry box (mini-greenhouse to keep humidity high). (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Dragonfruit seedlings in a blue mushroom tray, kept in a pastry box (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27: Dragonfruit seedlings in a black plastic tray, surrounded by an ordinary plastic bag (mini-greenhouse). (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Seedlings of the tomato tree (Cyphomandra betacea) grown in plastic icecream boxes (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Seedlings of tomato tree (Cyphomandra betacea) in an icecream box. A very simple method to produce hundreds of young trees with a minimum of water (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Seedlings can be transplanted in similar cheap boxes to let them grow and harden off before planting in the soil (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Cuttings of Navajo willow (Salix matsudana ‘Navajo’) rooting in icetea and coca-cola plastic bottles. Background: avocado seedlings in a yogurt pot, an icetea bottle and larger PET-bottles (Photo Geert VAN DAELE)<br />2010-03-27 : Navajo willow cuttings rooting in small plastic bottles, otherwise littered. After full development of the rootball, when roots start curling at the bottom, the lower part of the bottle is cut off, setting the lower part of the rootball free. Then, the tree seedling is planted in a plant pit in the soil, leaving the rest of the plastic bottle around the rootball as a protective layer limiting evaporation. Roots will develop swiftly in the soil and the plastic bottle will slowly disintegrate. Survival rate is significantly higher (Photo Geeert VAN DAELE).<br />

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