The idea of a portable garden has actually been around as elongated as the idea of a basic garden. Portable garden is less complex than permanent ones. These gardens are fairly inexpensive, easy to set up, and provide protection from cooler night temperatures and early morning killing frosts. Many gardeners like to set the portable garden up in late summer and fill them with their container gardening endeavors.

An even smaller version of a portable garden could be called a mini garden. These minis are as diverse in style and design as their larger garden counterparts. Mini gardens are designed to hold just a few plants and can be put almost anywhere. A cold frame mini garden is a small box made of the same material that a normal garden is composed of. They can be a great choice for beginners looking to try their hand at organic gardening without a large initial investment.

Building a portable garden planter will allow you to grow your fruits and vegetables on your porch or deck in your apartment or condo. Because they are portable, you can move them to a more sunny location or pull them into the shade on a hot day.

The importance of the kitchen garden has been high in history. Nowadays, creating a kitchen garden may have some similar aims. It may be a means to stretch the budget by growing food at home that wont need to be purchased at a grocery store.

Growing conditions of kitchen garden include the following, which are: full sun to partial shade, well-drained, mildly acidic/alkaline, neutral and moist soil, soil having a proper ph level, proper seeds with specified germinating period, well-rotten manure or compost added to the soil, transplanting the plant outdoors in rich, well-drained soil, adding peat moss or mulch to ensure draining, and fertilizing every two to three months in the growing season to ensure heaviest bloom.

A kitchen garden may be highly ornamental, featuring lots of other plants that can make any garden pretty, or then can be very simple; with just a few plots to grow food a family would enjoy eating.

Author is expert in writing article on Apartment gardening.He has written many artices on grow food,indoor garden and related topics.

Groundnuts under conservation agriculture in Malawi
Groundnuts under conservation agriculture (CA) in the field of small-scale maize and mixed-crop farmer Belita Maleko, of the Mwansambo extension planning area, Nkhotakota zone, central Malawi. Signs by the roadside help visitors understand exactly what crops and activities she has deployed on each plot, and compare CA with conventional practices.

“I lost my husband in 1994, but I don’t complain because conservation agriculture is doing the work my husband would have done,” says Maleko, who kept on farming after she was widowed with help from her family. At the invitation of government extension officers and the non-governmental organization Total LandCare (TLC), she began adopting CA practices and sowing plots to demonstrate them to neighboring farmers in 2006. "I’d been hearing about CA from the radio and other people, so I was very interested in trying it. They asked me to host a demo, and I said ‘yes’ and started applying the practices," she says. "This is my sixth year. Some other farmers visit me for advice; some come to field days to see what I’m doing. Some just pass by and observe."

CA practices include eliminating traditional ridge-and-furrow tillage systems, keeping crop residues on the soil, and rotating or intercropping maize with other crops. In addition to labor and cost savings, the improved soil structure resists erosion and increases water infiltration and retention, a huge benefit when drought threatens in places like Malawi, where maize subsists on rain alone.

In Malawi draft animals are scarce and traditional cultivation for maize involves as many as 160,000 hoe strokes per hectare. It appeared strange and somehow unjust to neighbors when Maleko stopped hoe plowing and began to leave residues and stems from previous crops on her fields. "Some asked ‘How can you do this?’" she says. "Others speculated that I was degrading the soil…some people thought I was mad, but I said ‘No, I’m not mad, I know what I’m doing.’"

She notes that those local farmers who are using CA have suffered less from this year’s erratic rains. She has sown cowpea as an intercrop in one of the CA maize plots; she eats the pods and leaves and it boosts soil fertility. The plants are quite small as she had not been able to sow the cowpea at the same time as the maize—the best practice so they grow up together. “During peak period I was in the hospital nursing my daughter, but with conservation agriculture I was able to manage," she says, referring to the reduced labor requirements of CA.

Ongoing support and training from extension workers is crucial as farmers learn new ways of doing things, and how to apply CA most effectively. "I was trained to collect rainfall data; when I see it reaches above 30 millimeters, I sow," says Maleko. "When I have problems, I just go to my extension officer and ask for help. Some people say my husband is the extension worker, but I don’t mind. Some women have stopped talking about me and started to practice conservation agriculture."

Maleko sees conservation agriculture as a blessing that has helped pay for school fees and homestead improvements. "I cannot stop practicing conservation agriculture, because I’m getting lots of benefits," she says. "I have enough time to grow other crops. I’m very happy because I’ve built another house with the proceeds. I don’t even complain about being a widow—otherwise, I wouldn’t have sent my children to school. Married women come to me and ask for food. I’m a happy woman."

Photo credit: T. Samson/CIMMYT.

For more, see CIMMYT’s 2012 e-news story "Conservation agriculture in Malawi: ‘We always have problems with rain here,’" available online at:….
By CIMMYT on 2006-05-11 19:12:10
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