Growing in the most unusual places

Dreaming of a garden, but you live in town? Today is no longer a problem because with a few tricks, terraces, balconies and even roofs are transformed into cultural centers. Author of Grow vegetables above ground, Yohan Hubert reveals his secrets to practice soilless culture in every corner of the city.

Tell us about your journey

From an early age, I evolved in a social environment strongly marked by the desire to contribute to transmit sustainable environmental practices. By studying agriculture and biology, I developed practical knowledge on the various growing techniques above ground. Over the last fifteen years, I have focused my attention on plant cultivation processes that can meet the challenges each day more pressing food security and greening of cities we face. Today I put this experience to the general public through the soilless cultivation Association (www.culture-hors-sol.org) which includes many initiatives in the direction of enhancement of food production practices responsible and seeking solutions for professional practice, especially through the project in Paris strawberries.

poatger on a city rooftop
© Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Photo: Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

What is soilless culture?

The term soilless cultivation brings together all the resources used for the development of a plant out of the ground; it includes in particular the culture of potted plants. Fairly diverse techniques are actually associated with that name. If some of them are downright questionable, like the "Spanish greenhouses" or the Dutch horticultural industry, others are inspired by contrast plant natural cycle. They are able to provide solutions tailored to adverse environments such as sterile soils, lack of water or natural resources. In addition, they help ensure quality production with good yields. Today we distinguish the soilless culture biological culture traditional above ground.

poatger soilless cultivation roof
© Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Photo: Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Soilless culture and ecology-compatible?

When considered with the use of organic fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide free, it carries real future solutions for local food production. By extension, it adheres to an ethic that emphasizes the reduction of the environmental impact of a culture at all stages of its development. Unlike its big sister employed in agribusiness, it can be practiced at the individual level, requires less maintenance and provides for greater resistance to external aggression plants.

tomato plant vegetable soilless
© Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Photo: Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Can anyone create on your balcony, terrace or roof, an above ground garden?

The various techniques used to grow many varieties providing a valuable space saving in small spaces. So, it is always possible to find a way to grow in the most unusual places. The soilless culture ensures the gardener pleased to have fresh, quality products at hand, most of the year. The book was conceived as a practical guide for everyone, regardless of their initial level of knowledge, to compose a selection of herbs, edible flowers and vegetables, without laboriously carry sandbags for filling heavy pots and bulky.

garden roof soilless
© Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Photo: Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

What advice can you provide to beginners?

The success of your above ground garden based on the precise definition of the project and respect the constraints of your culture environment. Then it will select in the book the most appropriate to your project and to strictly implement the proposed technical recipe!

vegetable soilless
© Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer

Photo: Yohan Hubert - Editions Ulmer