So, we know that farming can be a very rewarding experience. Hard work, but rewarding. The food is always fresh and you know what goes into what you’re eating. But, what if you don’t live in an area that you can have livestock and garden veggies galore? Urban living gives us access to a lot, but also limits us to the supermarket or your local farmer’s market. So, whether you have an apartment, a studio, or even maybe a little land outside your house, here’s our quick guide to getting started with some urban gardening.
Finding a spot
Before you start planning out and mapping the (possibly) limited space you have for growing, you need to find a spot that is going to be able to get six to eight hours of sun per day and has easy access to water. Some great spots could be your patio, balcony, roof eaves (for hanging plants, more on that later). Additionally, as long as it’s not against fire code and not preventing your use, you could even use your fire escape if your building has one.
What to use
Now that you have a spot picked out, the next step is to figure out how you’re going to plant your garden. There are different ways to go about this. However, you want to make sure of a few things before you buy pots. Make sure your container has draining holes (these are easy to make if you want to save money, just poke some holes in the bottom of the container that you’re planning on using), isn’t transparent since sunlight will fry exposed roots, will be big enough to support the plant, and to use good draining soil.
What plants to buy
While you can grow any sort of veggies in pots as long as they have room to grow. IF you don’t have a lot of space certain types of plants fit better with certain types of pots. If you’re using hanging pots, ‘tumbler’ vine tomatoes are great because the vines will just bush out over the sides of the hanging pot. If you have more room you can use a trellis planted into a larger planter for vine plants like squash, beans, or peas. Spices have shallow roots so smaller planters can be great for them and they end up not taking up a lot of room.
If you’re really looking to dig your hands into the dirt, and see how much of a green thumb you really have, try finding out if your community has a community garden. These spaces are great to come together and share the work to maintain a great garden for your friends and neighbors.
Well I hope this quick guide helps, and even though it’s the dead of winter, now is a great time to start seedlings and figure out what space will work perfect come spring and summer.
Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!