I am always wishing I had more space in my backyard for gardening. In reality, the 1/3 of an acre that we own could do so much more for me than it actually does. People living in urban areas have it tougher than me! Outdoor space is typically very limited for those living in the city, but there are many urban gardening ideas for small spaces that will allow you to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh, healthy, organic and delicious produce can be grown even in the smallest of spaces with these plant growing tips. I will include a few affiliate links for products that might come in handy.
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Urban Gardening Ideas for Small Spaces
Urban gardening can be challenging but also very rewarding. There is nothing like heading out to your patio to pick a homegrown tomato, right? If you are considering starting an urban garden, keep these tips in mind before you get started!
Select Garden Location
Think outside the box for a productive urban gardening idea location. A rooftop container garden, a balcony with window planters suspended along the railing, hanging baskets on a patio or a sunny interior or exterior wall for a vertical garden.
Select a potential garden location and observe it for a couple of sunny days. Note how the sun shines on the location at various times during the day. Most plants will require at least 4-6 hours of direct sun each day and some plants will require full sun. If you want to go high-tech, get a sunlight meter.
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After selecting the right growing location for your urban garden, it’s time add the soil. The more fertile the soil, the more the garden plants will produce. Start with a good quality potting soil that contains compost and manure. Organic gardening solutions from your pantry can help you keep your food free from chemicals.
Any container that can retain soil can grow a plant. Buckets, dish pans, DIY wood planters, etc., as long as the container has drainage holes in the bottom, it’s usable as part of a small space urban garden.
DIY containers built to fit small spaces or vertical spaces may be needed and can be built in a way that compliments the space and works as a living piece of art while growing fresh produce.
Add several drainage holes to the bottom of each container, then place a paper coffee filter over each hole to prevent the soil from leaching out when plant is watered. Add fertile soil mix to the container and get ready to plant.
Select dwarf varieties of plants for growing as part of your urban gardening idea for small spaces. The dwarf plant varieties will produce full-size fruits and vegetables on smaller plants. Plant labels will state if the plant is full or dwarf size. Some will use the terms ‘bush’ or ‘compact’ instead of dwarf. Check out my post on how to grow lettuce and use shallow dish trays instead of deep pots. Plant edible flowers or
Water and Mulch
Container grown plants will dry out quicker than in-ground grown plants and will require frequent watering. Creating an urban garden near a water source will make this task easier for you. Twice daily watering may be needed during the middle of summer for plants grown in full sun. Try plant watering stakes to keep the soil damp longer.
Apply a layer of organic mulch to help the soil retain moisture and prevent plants from drying out. Hay, compost or shredded newspaper are good mulch choices and will help bring both your urban gardening idea and plants to productive fruition
When it comes to urban gardening ideas, don’t let your small space scare you off! You CAN grow at least a little bit of your own food in your tiny living space!
Are you doing any urban gardening this year?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.