Dub gardeners of the world unite

Jochen harvest 2013

A big shout to Jochen of Splintercell Sound out of Germany for getting in touch and for letting us use some great pics of his veg cultivation. He’s been growing veg for a good few years in a limited space using minimalist techniques but still gets some great results (as these images show!) with the aid of his greenhouse and some tricks learnt along the way!

pollination in progress

Alongside growing other plants, he got fascinated with cultivating Bonsai. He read a lot about horticulture, studying books, blogs and online forums and did his first ‘experiments’ in the small yard of his parents house.

After school he completed an apprenticeship with a breeder of agricultural seeds, studied horticulture for one year, worked at the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food and now is studying Urban Planning. Sounds like a good grounding for this veg growing lark!

Jochen 2013 greenhouseMost of the plants are grown in pots as he only has limited space and has a small greenhouse on top of his carport (above). As he says “it’s urban gardening!” Brilliant!

He grows a lot of different vegetables and plants and always tries to use special strains and varieties. He told us one year nearly every plant was blue; blue potatoes, blue kohlrabies, blue carrots etc. Brilliant, well up my street as blue is one of my favourite colours but I am not sure what I think if it was served up on my dinner plate!

inside the greenhouse_jochen

He also tries to grow something interesting like melons or special tomato or chili strains because of his limited space and he tells me that this years cucumber-harvest was amazing! I’ve only tried growing them outdoors twice and haven’t had much success but these below in his greenhouse look brilliant!

cucumber_jochen

Even more up our street, he’s part of Splintercell Sound and also promote a regular party called “Feel like Jumping” in Münster where they play (rocksteady, early reggae and dancehall and conscious Rap.)  Here’s a mix on their great soundcloud site (with lots of modern “roots” tunes!) which is well up our street :

And a couple of great tunes picked by Jochen as well, out of his many favourites at the moment, Tell them fi farm by Tydal

And Queen Ifrica with Make you rock produced by Silly Walks Discotheque

Big up Jochen, his veg gardening and the splintercell sound!

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6 thoughts on “Dub gardeners of the world unite

  1. Hi there. Nice work. I have a garden too in my balcony and haven’t grown much yet but managed capsicum tomato etc. I wanted to ask you how you keep your soil fertilised. Do you change the soil periodically or use fertilisers. The fruits I get are pretty small which I guess is because of small pots and not enough strength in the soil. Let me know your little secret. Thank you.
    Regards,
    Abhijit

    • Hi Abhijit!
      There’s no special secret or just only one right way to get big fruits from plants which are grown in pots. But there are some basic rules I follow and it works good for me. As you have already mentioned the soil is the foundation for a good result.
      When using pots you have to ensure that the plants have enough nutrients in all periods of their growth, exactly like vegetables which are grown in a patch. To get a clue of how much space (soil/potsize) each plant needs you can get the information from books and transfer them to your setup. The more handy you get with the management of the soil fertility the more you can try experiments with smaller pots.
      You always have to make sure that there is enough space for the roots in your pot because you have to avoid waterlogging and mould – don’t forget to have a drainage!
      When I prepare my pots for the greenhouse I’m thinking about what every plant/strain needs and then I fill each container with different layers of soil. I use to have various mixes of soil with different ‘grades of fertility’ so I can manage to have that different layers (Depot with fertile layer on the ground). With this technique it’s possible to combine using recycled soil and if needed put in some new fertile stuff like compost. I also put in some charcoal to the soil and I use stuff like perlite or lavasubstrate which aerates the mix.
      Of course you can buy premixed substrates from the stores but I’m sure if you have a good working circular flow of ‘your own soil’ you can even get better results because you are more flexible by choosing the right mix for each plant.

      Feeding the plants with fertilisers is the next chapter. I only use non-organic fertilisers if I see serious deficiencies but if I did my job with mixing the soil well there should be no need in using fertilisers. A good way of giving the plant a supply of nutrients for their last period of growth can be (liquid) organic fertilisers but be aware of giving an overdose (especially when using non-organic/mineral fertilisers). When you only have a small container with a small system of roots from a relativly small plant it’s impossible for the plant to consume much nutrients. The plant only takes what it needs. Undercharging the feeding is as bad for the plants as giving them too much nutrients. You have to ensure that there is a proper microclimate for the roots by finding the right balance of the soil conditions.

      Don’t water the plants to often and make sure that the soil isn’t wet all the time! Dry soil promotes the growth of roots but of course your plant needs water regularly too because the roots take the nutrients only within a humid soil.
      A frequently change between wet and dry conditions of the soil should be perfect for most of the plants.

      In addition to nutrient supply through the roots you can experiment with brews of stinging nettle and other herbs and spray it over the plants. This step will give your plants a little help by defeating deseases and parasites and also give it some extra nutrition.

      Of course many aspects beside the soil fertility are important because only if you have a healthy plant (& plant environment) it can bring some healthy fruits.

      If you are successful and have big fruits make sure you flush the soil extensively with clear water for more than a week before harvesting.

      Best regards and good luck!
      Jochen

  2. Pingback: Up on the roof | Weeds up to me knees

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