Living in a city presents several challenges when you want to have a garden. Small spaces and concrete slabs may not seem ideal for indulging your green thumb. However, urban gardening makes your dream of growing some vegetables, having some fresh herbs, or simply enjoying the tranquility of a garden a reality.
While starting your own urban garden may seem like a daunting task, fear not. We’ll show you how to make an urban garden. We’ll also give you some innovative urban garden ideas to get you started.
A Closer Look at Urban Gardening
Urban gardening encompasses a blend of techniques and approaches to growing food in densely populated urban settings. Due to the very nature of urban dwellings, no urban garden book offers a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, there’s a variety of urban gardening solutions and practices that are employed by individuals, communities, and corporate entities alike.
Examples of urban gardening include:
- A restaurant growing its own herbs in an indoor garden.
- A community creating a raised bed garden in a vacant plot
- A family creating a container garden for their patio,
- An organization keeping bees for honey on the roof.
Choosing the Right Site for an Urban Garden
The first step in creating an urban garden is figuring out the right place to locate it. Some people have space outside, others prefer to use garden planters, Vegetables and herbs normally require 6-8 hours of sunlight daily for them to mature quickly. So, you should place your garden strategically, where it will get plenty of light.
However, young seedlings might need some shade during summer. They normally wither when the sun gets too hot.
Consider checking the pH levels of your soil as well. Some plants thrive in certain pH levels but perform poorly in others. Be sure to find out the optimum pH level for your choice of plants and learn how you can treat the soil to attain the desired pH.
Raised garden beds are excellent for urban vegetable gardening where spaces are limited. You also can create your garden on a balcony, apartment rooftop, patio, deck, or yard.
Benefits of Urban Gardening
Urban gardening presents numerous benefits, but here are the main ones:
- Freshness – if you’ve eaten fruit right off the vine or the tree, you’ll agree that nothing beats the taste of ripe, fresh fruit. Fresh produce is also healthier compared to what you buy at the grocery store.
- Sustainability – Eating home-grown food promotes environmental and economic sustainability. It is a great way to avoid transportation energy costs.
- Access to Quality Food – Some city dwellers don’t have access to quality, affordable fresh vegetables and Community urban gardens can make a huge difference to them.
- Quality of Life – Urban gardening can help strengthen communities, add more green space, offer exercise, give people a sense of accomplishment, and promote societal and individual resourcefulness.
Urban Gardening Ideas
If you want to become an urban gardener, but don’t know where to start, here are 3 innovative urban garden ideas to get you inspired:
Shoe Organizer Garden
You can turn a shoe organizer into a vertical balcony garden. All you need is a sunlit balcony railing. This will give you enough space to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for your kitchen. Simply hang a canvas shoe organizer and fill it with healthy gardening soil. Then plant your greens or herbs in the pouches.
A One Pot/Many Crops Vegetable Garden
A relatively large pot can be amazingly productive if you maximize its potential. In fact, you can harvest 10 different crops in a year if you plan the growing year wisely. Simply get a large trough or tub and drill some drainage holes. Then fill it with soil and plant complementary groups of crops for a selection of fresh, home-grown greens and herbs all year round.
A Tabletop Square Foot Garden
This is an innovative but simple technique of raised bed gardening. It involves planting seeds or seedlings in clearly marked 1×1 square foot plots. If you would love to garden but don’t have the space, time, or experience, this is a perfect urban gardening idea for you. Tabletop square foot gardens are also great for elderly people, people in wheelchairs, or people who have difficulties bending while gardening.