Urban gardening is a buzz phrase and hot topic that is receiving a lot of attention again recently and for good reason. Urban gardening increases food security amongst the poorer urban communities, reduces waste, creates vitamin-rich foods, and gives the community something positive to unite everyone together.
We have put together some tips and tricks that may address some of the concerns that you may be having when considering starting your own urban garden.
Not everyone has a backyard, roof, or balcony. This is primarily the greatest reason for starting a container garden. Small spaces are also ideal for growing vertically, feel free to plant the tall vine plants like cucumber, tomatoes, and beans.
Containers or Pots
There are a wide variety of planters and pots available at your local nursery to choose from, plenty different sizes and shapes in almost every colour imaginable. You could also choose to upcycle containers no longer in use such as old toys, crates, buckets, or tins. A good scrubbing and a lick of paint is all that will be needed for you to start your urban gardening utopia.
Whichever plant, or pot you choose to house that plant, you decide on will require adequate drainage. All plants need watering and because of that all pots will need a few added drainage holes if there are not already some present. Be sure to check that these holes are large enough to allow any excess water to flow out freely. Without proper drainage your plant is at risk of becoming water-logged and may die.
The quality of your chosen soil will go a long way in deciding the future health of your plant. Choose organic from the beginning, the other soil types may promise you the world in terms of results but the only way to achieve such wonderful results so fast is via a very long list of nasty chemicals that you would not want near your fruit or veggies and, ultimately, near your mouth. This soil type can be supplemented with sawdust and organic matter from your own kitchen – think eggshells and potato peels.
Deciding what you want to grow is very much a personal choice or can be decided collectively by the community members involved. Fruit and vegetables can be temperamental to heat and cold so do your homework before planting. Some will prefer drier climates and others need a bit of humidity to properly flourish.
Remember to have fun with your garden, whether you are growing your own food or joining a community project with your neighbours, it is important to find enjoyment in it. Many people believe that plants are sensitive to energy and their output is somewhat reliant on the energy they receive from their surroundings. This might not sound like an exact science (which is mostly because it is not) but there might just be something to it. At the very least having fun will be good for you and there most certainly is science behind that! So, go forth and forage, your urban garden awaits…