Buddy Garden Container Gardening photos, tips, highlights, recipes, tools review.


Herb garden in a cereal box

I love gardening projects, especially the ones that calls for recycled materials! I picked up this herb garden kit from the annual  2010 NYC Grows.  The kit includes everything you need to build a beginner herb garden.  However you don't necessary need the kit to build your herb garden.  The only thing you really need to buy are the seeds, you probably have the rest of the materials in your kitchen.  Next time when you finish a box of cereal, save the box and the plastic bag and you can build your own herb garden!


1 empty cereal box (don't throw away the cereal plastic bag)
1 Parsley seeds
1 Basil seeds
4-5 cups of container soil
Tape (or glue gun)
Scissors (or razor blade)


1. Remove the plastic cereal bag from the cereal box and set aside.

2. Use a hot glue gun (or tape) to seal both ends of the box.  If you are using glue, make sure the glue is cooled before proceeding.

3. Laying the box flat, use scissors (or razor blade) to cut the front panel of the box.  Leave a 1/2 inch edge around the box.  I didn't leave 1/2 inch edge all around so I had to tie a string around it to keep the box in its shape.

4. Cut out the center of one side of the plastic cereal bag and place it in the box as liner.

5. Pour soil into the plastic lined cereal box.

6. Plant basil and parsley seeds according to the seed packet instructions.

7. Water according to the seed instructions.  Put a tray underneath the box to catch any water that drains out.  Overtime the box will warp from watering.

8. After the seeds have developed two sets of leaves, it's time to transplant it to a larger container.

Enjoy your container herb garden made from a cereal box!


Vacation checklist

I just came back from a week long vacation to my home town in Toronto, Canada.  Like many of you I worry about my garden when I go away for more than 3 days.  Are my vegetables going to survive in the hot and humid days of summer? What about the Calibrachoa and Lobelia that needs constant watering, are they going to make it? Will the Earthboxes do what they were advertised?  I had my fingers crossed and here's my checklist.

Drip-it Pro Watering System - I don't have much luck with these but it's better than nothing.  Last time I used them the water level was the same after several days and I couldn't figure out how to make it work.

Fill up the water tank and secure the solar panel for my DIY solar drip water system - this system is setup to water my most water hungry plants - Mandevilla, Fairy rose, and herbs box.

Load up the two Earthboxes with water.

Watering crystals - first year I've used these and they seem to do a decent job.  I mix them with the soil and use them mostly for the plants under shade.  So far the plants only need occasional watering on hot days.  I don't use them for edible plants because I'm not sure if they are scientifically proved to be safe.

And hope for the best! Stay tune for my next post to see what my garden looks like after I come back from vacation.


DIY Drip Irrigation System (at work!)

Few weeks ago I tested the drip irrigation system indoors and it worked pretty well.  I've modified it a bit, I used the solar panel and pump that i purchased last year and an aquarium  2-way valve to control the water flow.  The solar panel powers the pump and the valve control the speed of the water drip.  Don't worry if you don't have the solar panel and pump, the idea is still the same and it'll still work.  You just need to make sure the water source is placed higher than the plant.

I used the solar panel because I wanted the watering system to work only when the sun is out.  This way I can prevent the risk of over-watering the plants.  Since i planted mostly drought-tolerant plants this year, I only put the drip on two plants that needs consistent moist soil-Mandevilla and the Fairy Rose.  This system can be expanded to water more plants but I'll keep it to two for now.

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