Urban Gardening for Beginners
Urban gardening is a growing trend allowing millions of people to eat home-grown healthy food. It also helps reducing food miles waisted in transportation, boosts greenery and reduces pollution. You too can start your own garden with a tiny budget and a bit of effort.
Choosing the right spot
Any piece of land you have will do. If you have a backyard, that’s excellent! If you don’t you can use your balcony or a rooftop for your garden. You can also do gardening in a community garden. Alternatively, start your mini garden in pots on your window ledge. The size, the soil, and the amount of sunlight the area gets should not discourage you. They will simply determine the type of plants you can raise and the extent of work you can do.
Building raised beds
Raised vegetable beds are an excellent solution for most people, particularly for people who have no land they can plant directly into. With the beds, in place, you can easily practice weed control, make sure that the plants are getting enough water, and perfectly balance all the required nutrients in the soil. A nice perk is that they are very easy to build.
For those with the backyard
If you are looking into planting bigger patches, directly into the ground, choose the part of your backyard which gets the most sunlight. Before planting, sample the soil to determine the type, acidity levels and which nutrients it might lack. Knowing this, you will easily select the plants which will benefit the most from the type of soil you have in your garden.
The choice of plants
For those who have a backyard and an opportunity to plant in the ground, there are little limits to selecting the right plants. Choose native species as they have better chances to thrive. Also, as mentioned above, take the amount of sunlight and the type of soil into consideration. Assuming you also lack space, go with species which grow vertically, rather than spreading horizontally. Some of the most popular are tomatoes and cucumbers. If you are planting in raised beds and pots, make sure you also mind the depth that the roots may require for spreading. Some of the popular shallow-rooted species are lettuce and reddish.
The equipment required
To begin with, you will need a basic carpentry equipment such as a saw, some nails and a hammer, or screws and a drill, to build your raised beds. As a long-standing gardening equipment supplier, Hoselink recommends the following basic hand tools for an urban gardener: a sharp-edge trowel, dibber, cultivator, small spade with a D-handle, and some shears. A backyard garden may require full-sized rakes, shovel, spade, hose, and a wheelbarrow. However, these last couple of tools, as well as everything else that comes to your mind is simply an addition.
How to pot plants?
To recreate natural ground conditions within a container, start by placing some gravel at the bottom. Of course, make sure that the container has a drainage hole. Add some soil on top of the gravel and tamp it softly. Make sure the soil is organic to keep the plants nice and organic as well. Try to keep everything as healthy and natural as it can be considering the city air. Once you place the plant, tamp the soil and water it. Make sure not to fill the container to the top, as it will start leaking every time you water the plant.
Watering is usually done early in the morning before the Sun gets too high up in the sky. Once the plants are a bit bigger and require more water, repeat the process in the evening. Avoid watering them during the day when there is too much sun, or it is too hot. If you do this, the water will evaporate too quickly for the plant to have a chance to absorb it properly.
Now that you have planted your garden, mind it every day and wait for the results. Monitor the plants so you can catch any potential issues at their early stages. This type of gardening has helped millions stay healthy, relieve stress, and reduce environmental footprint. We are very glad you have decided to join them.