If you live in the country and have plenty of space in your backyard, starting a garden could be as easy as grabbing a shovel and ordering some seeds online. Backyard gardening is an increasingly popular pastime, and a great way to supply families with a steady stream of cheap delicious food, but what if your home is really an apartment and your backyard is nonexistent?
For those who live in urban settings, a backyard garden is likely not possible, but that does not mean that growing food is out of the question – far from it. Urban gardening is growing in popularity, and if you do it right, you could lower your grocery bills while increasing your supply of organic vegetables.
With that in mind here are 10 timely tips for creating a bountiful urban garden:
Talk to your neighbors
The only thing better than a freestanding urban garden in your living room is a collective urban garden on the roof. Teaming up with the neighbors and talking to the landlord is a great way to get that large-scale gardening effort off the ground.
Plan out your space
The biggest challenge for urban gardeners is an obvious one: the lack of space can greatly restrict what you are able to grow and where you can grow it. Proper space planning is an essential part of urban gardening, and that is always a smart place to start.
Start with quality potting soil
Good soil is in short supply in urban environments, and even seemingly pristine dirt could harbor bacteria and pesticides that are potentially deadly to your plants. If you want your urban garden to be successful, stick to quality potting soil and good organic fertilizer.
Choose plants with low light requirements
Some plants that grow readily in the great outdoors may not grow at all in an indoor urban environment, so choose your seeds with care. Look at the light requirements of each crop you plan to grow and plan your urban garden accordingly.
Use your window space to grow those sun loving crops
Even the smallest apartment generally has windows, and using that sunlight is a great way to enhance your urban gardening efforts. You can use window space to grow herbs, tomatoes, and other items that require abundant and steady sunshine.
Take advantage of balcony space with hanging baskets
Urban gardeners can use hanging baskets to turn their balconies into a steady stream of fresh, delicious food. Use baskets of various shapes and sizes to accommodate your favored crops, and do not be afraid to experiment.
Create more space with stylish shelving
If you are pressed for space, you can create more of it with stylish shelving units. Adding shelves to your balcony or indoor garden can vastly increase your growing area and make harvest time more productive.
Establish a harvest schedule
The whole point of urban gardening is to feed yourself and your family, and harvest time is sure to be your favorite time. Setting up a smart harvest schedule will allow you to enjoy your food while it is fresh while giving you more room to grow new and even more delicious urban crops.
Take a canning class
If your urban gardening efforts go well, you will likely end up with more food than you can use. You do not want to let it go to waste. Taking a canning class, or watching some instructional videos online, will allow you to extend the life of your harvest and eat healthy in the cold winter months.
Trade with your neighbors
Once the urban gardening craze gets going, the whole apartment building will want to join in, and they may all be growing different food crops. Trading with your neighbors is a great way to use up the excess in your own plot of urban land while giving yourself something new and exciting to eat.
Overcome the Challenges of Urban Gardening
Living in an urban environment has its perks, from abundant entertainment opportunities and a vibrant night life to great public transportation and lots of great shopping. Even so, life in the city can have its challenges, especially if you love to grow your own food.
If you grew up as an avid gardener, you might think your food growing days are behind you now that you are stuck in a small apartment. The good news is that urban gardening is thriving in a big way, and you can grow an abundance of crops in even the tiniest of urban spaces. Now that you know you to get your urban garden off the ground, all you need to do is buy some seeds, grab a few bags of quality potting soil, and wait for that delicious food to start growing.