Growing Your Own Food with SIP Gardens

Growing your own food is an amazing way to connect with nature, eat healthier, and live better.

So why don’t we all do it?

The fact is most of us have tried – any many of us have failed. So, what are the biggest challenges to growing your own food? And how can the self-watering functionality of SIP gardens help even the newest gardeners successfully grow their groceries?

What are the biggest challenges of maintaining a successful veggie garden?

Guess Work – When you’re first starting out, there’s a lot to learn, and many of the essential skills that eventually become intuitive are almost impossible to learn without experience. It’s a lot all at once, and it can be overwhelming.

Watering & Maintenance – Growing your own food requires some Lifestyle changes. In fact that’s the reason why many people start growing their own food – for a better Lifestyle. But it can be tough making those adjustments and new commitments, especially if you work full-time, or have kids, or like to go away on the weekends.

Garden Success – When people say “I can’t grow anything” what they really mean is “I forget to water.” Successful watering is the #1 determinant of a successful garden. It’s just that simple. When the weather heats up, your veggie garden will require water once, or sometimes twice, a day. This is a challenge for everyone.

Self-Watering Solutions

SIP gardens emulate Nature, and the natural water tables found in all the most abundant growing environments. They’re self-watering because they create a separation in the garden, with the soil on top and a hidden water reservoir underneath. This allows water to wick up into the soil consistently and evenly as needed over time – solving the biggest challenges most gardeners face. Thanks, Nature!

Guess Work – With SIP Gardens it’s very easy to manage your watering schedule - just keep an eye on the float gauge! As long as there is water in the reservoir, it will wick up to create the ideal growing environment. All that guess work of when to water? and how much to water? and did I water too much? all gone. Just fill the reservoir.

Watering & Maintenance – Most gardening maintenance really is watering. The reservoir in your SIP garden holds 7 litres of water per square foot of gardening space, which gives you a pretty huge buffer as you transition into the urban gardener Lifestyle. Even in the middle of summer, filling your SIP garden once a week is often all it takes.

Garden Success – If you ever read the back of a seed pack it will say something like, “Keep the soil evenly and consistently moist.” NOT, “Let your soil get bone dry then flood it after it’s too late”. SIPs to the rescue! Instead of having to water once or twice a day to achieve this moisture level, SIP gardens allow you the freedom to go adventure on those summertime long weekends, and still come home to fresh veggies waiting to be harvested.

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Sonia's Family Self-Watering Gardens

  • Project Type: Residential Gardens | SIP Gardens
  • Client / Location: Sonia's Family | North Vancouver, BC Canada
  • Designer: LifeSpace Gardens
  • Installer: LifeSpace Gardens

About this Project

Like so many families today, Sonia wanted her family to start growing their own food.

The challenge was that the only place she had to grow, was the boulevard in front of her house. Not only was it difficult to pipe traditional irrigation to this area, but the grass that was originally there had been treated with unknown lawn chemicals for years. She was very uncertain about the organic nature of growing in the existing soil.

When she contacted LifeSpace about transforming this space, they suggested building SIP gardens as a solution. Which turned out to be a perfect application for the self-watering system.

SIP gardens sit on top of the soil and are completely self-contained. This means that Sonia and her family got to create their own organic growing environment, so as they maintain their soil, they know exactly what’s going into their food. Filling the reservoirs was also very easy for her husband and two sons to manage and served as a great gateway for getting them involved. The science behind sub-irrigation and capillary action really sparked the curiosity of the two boys which in turn got them excited about the science of a garden in general. That got her husband fully onboard, and then the lifestyle transition was complete!

Now Sonia’s and her family is happily growing their own food, cultivating new relationships with neighbours, and sharing fresh veggies with all their friends. SIP gardens helped overcome the challenges and concerns standing in their way, and helped her entire family develop the confidence to grow their food, and live out the garden lifestyle they’d always wanted.
If you'd like to learn how you can start building self-watering raised beds and veggie gardens in your community - click the link below and Book an Info Session

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