Planting Your Urban Vegetable Garden
So you live in an area that has forced you to give up your garden and instead have only a patio or balcony. It's easy to think that there's no longer room for growing plants, especially vegetables. Not so! Whether you have a tiny urban lot, a balcony, or even just a windowsill, growing your own food is still a possibility that should not be overlooked.
All that is required to start your own urban garden is:
- A container
- Soil mix
- Seeds or seedlings
Any sort of container is acceptable whether it be plastic, terracotta, wood, or ceramic, as long as drainage holes are provided. Small annuals, herbs & vegetables can grow in containers less than 1 gallon in size while larger vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers will require at least 3-gallon containers. The larger the container, the less watering you'll have to do.The success of your garden will depend quite a bit on the soil mix and fertilizer you choose to grow your plants in. A good soil mix to use is Gurney's® Container Mix. To enhance the mix so that it provides enough food for your garden and holds water much longer, supplement the mix with compost, worm castings, or a good fertilizer. Mix in your fertilizer so that it makes up about 20% of your potting mix.
Lastly, choose the types of vegetables that will maximize your garden space. Climbing vegetables like peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pole beans will make use of vertical space very efficiently. Salad crops like lettuce & spinach can be grown very close together and picked for baby greens. Herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, mint, and chives are also ideal for containers.
Regardless of the size of your space, plant something edible this year. You'll be surprised at how easy it is and how much pleasure it will bring you. Plus, nothing beats the flavor of fresh-picked, homegrown produce!