Do you live in the city, but would love to grow vegetables? Find out how to start an urban garden even if you are a complete beginner.
Many people, myself included, have yearned to escape to the countryside lately. A large area of outdoor space with a vegetable garden is quite a common dream now. The simple life definitely seems to beckon. But is this an impossible dream just because you live in the city? No, it doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to all your desires for some self-sufficiency.
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How to Make Your Own Urban Garden
When you live in a city setting, you might be resigned to the idea that urban gardening isn’t an option for you. But that’s really not the case, and many gardening strategies cater to those living in the city and in small spaces. Urban gardens are extremely common in Europe, and this is something we need to embrace more.
You just have to plan differently than someone who has an acre of wide open space in the country. Or a large suburban backyard to grow food in. Your space is more contained, and may even have limited light if towering buildings don’t allow for much light to get through.
In some major cities, the city or building owners will allow limited space to be used for the community to grow food together. These community gardens are a great idea, but you might want to own an urban garden that’s reserved for you and your family.
Where to Grow in an Urban Garden
Urban agriculture can be very flexible. You can grow food on your balcony, in your apartment, or on the roof of your building. This will depend on what’s allowed and what isn’t in your own building. You can use gardening strategies that don’t rely on ample plots of soil. Things like hydroponic gardens, container gardening, rooftop gardening, raised beds, vertical gardens and more. Read more about planning your garden layout.
Use Space Wisely
Don’t worry about how much space you have. Or don’t have. You can use vertical gardening to make the most of your growing space. You don’t lose floor space from your vertical planting. Hydroponic gardening is when you’re growing food in nutrient-rich water.
When you’re growing an urban garden in this type of area, consider making the most of your space. Ensure you plant the most nutritional crops for the space. You can grow plants that will grow quite quickly, like microgreens. Plant growth is extremely fast and your growing plants will taste great.
There are some very easy crops to grow in containers within an urban environment. Things like tomatoes, potatoes, beans and peppers. One of the best things to try in an urban vegetable garden is leafy salad greens like lettuce. These do well in fairly shallow pots where you have limited space, too. Having just a handful of your own produce will brighten any meal.
Just be aware that when you are growing vegetables in containers, you need to keep your plants hydrated. When you start growing different vegetables you will find that they have different growing conditions. But plants grown in containers tend to dry out quicker than plants grown in the ground or in raised beds.
Remember that not only can you grow things in containers on the ground, but you can take up all available space to grow your food. Besides vertical containers, you can find hanging pots to grow things in.
These are especially good if you live in a tall apartment building and have a small balcony to work with. Some hanging planters will grow the vegetables upside down, such as certain tomato or strawberry planters.
Bring the Outdoors In
You can also grow a garden inside as part of your room décor with the greenery it creates. Look for attractive planters and containers that work well in your space. Use them to bring warmth and an inviting nature to the room.
Remember that just because you live in a city, doesn’t mean you can’t start growing vegetables. You will find that you can be very successful when you start urban gardening. And there is nothing quite like the taste of your own food. A great first step is to grow herbs on a sunny window sill.
Evaluate the garden space that you have, and I’m sure you will be able to grow a few fruits and vegetables in an urban vegetable garden. Just grab some potting soil, and join this merry band of urban gardeners!