Giovanna Trabasso / 06/14/2021
Urban Gardening: Bringing Life To Your Concrete Jungle
Despite COVID-19 leading many to move away from big cities and reconnect with nature, many of us remain in the concrete jungle. It can get dull and depressing at times not having any greenery around. Admittedly so, not everyone has a green thumb and can keep a jungle alive in their dimly lit New York City apartment. But urban gardening is not as daunting as it seems. An urban garden takes the form of its surroundings and adapts to where it’s created. If you can’t always see nature, why not bring it to you?
As with any home improvement project, the first step to urban gardening is to understand your space. You can surveil your own space by making as much space as you can. Clean the area and start listing what you’d like to grow. After you have a wishlist, look into what it takes to grow it. Once you know what will be required of you, start sketching ideas for placements. Functionality is what matters most so that your garden blooms, but aesthetics always matters! Urban gardening can be both practical and beautiful.
Luckily, there is no exact way to create your urban garden. While your crops will have their own requirements, you can build your own garden as you wish. The internet is always your best friend when it comes to DIY projects. Many urban gardeners have taken their time to share their journey. Learning from your mistakes is always the best way to improve your projects. But with so many resources available to you for free online, you can learn from those mistakes before ever even making them! To help you kickstart your urban gardening journey, we have put together a few of the most valuable tips from experienced urban gardeners.
1. Finding space for raised beds is important
In urban spaces with no soil to dig, a raised bed is absolutely necessary. A raised bed of about 6 inches high will allow you to plant your crops. They create ecosystems that provide healthy soil for your urban garden to grow in. Of course, when creating your raised bed, the material matters. Untreated wood is always the best material to create your ecosystem in, avoiding any chemical interactions with your soil. No room for a raised bed? No problem! In this case, look for the best container for your spatial needs.
2. Take advantage of the seasons
Crops grow with the seasons, be sure to always plan accordingly. Creating your urban garden does not mean you will have your favorite fruits and vegetables available to you at all times. It takes learning and adjusting, but you will always have the best, freshest produce available when planning accordingly with seasonal change. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new! You will quickly understand what grows better at what season depending on your surroundings and your recipes will instantly become tastier.
3. Consider terracotta pots for portability
Your kitchen might not be close to your urban garden, especially if you’re using a community garden space. In this case, portable containers are ideal for transporting your crops. Terracotta pots are perfect for portability. This way, you can easily bring your fresh herbs and vegetables into your home, use however much you need, and bring it right back to your garden without having to disturb the plant too much.
4. Vertical gardening is perfect for smaller spaces
When space is limited, look up! Urban dwellers often forget that their walls are also available for projects. Vertical gardening might not work for every crop, but it does allow for better use of small spaces. Hanging pots are great when it comes to growing herbs. You can even have a blooming wall inside your kitchen! Making the best use of all your space is key. If you have used up all of your balcony or backyard space, how about expanding to your front yard? Assess all the space you have and make the most of it. Remember, growing up is always an option.
5. No space at home? Look for a community garden or an allotment plot
Unfortunately, even with good planning, some factors such as small studio spaces or no direct light can’t be altered. If your own home cannot hold your urban garden, don’t give up! Look for community gardens and allotment plots in your neighborhood. This way you can still grow your own crops and not have to reinvent your home. There might be some extra care that comes with urban gardens away from your home, but growing your own food certainly makes it worthwhile.
As with every project, starting small is always helpful. Checkout out 5 easy steps to starting your home garden before expanding your crops. If you’re looking into beautifying your low-light apartment or that corner of your home that just gets no sunlight, we have also gathered the best low-light, low-maintenance house plants for you to test your green thumb! Urban gardening comes with trial and error. Every plant-parent can tell you that they’ve killed more plants than they’re like to admit. Don’t be discouraged before you start. Give it your best and forever change the way you shop for groceries!
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