Many town and city dwellers are adding a small space garden retreat to their homes and apartments.
photo credit: Mike Raybourne
They have realized that fresh vegetables, fragrant flowers and savory herbs are possible to grow, even in the smallest of spaces. A tiny urban plot, a balcony, sunny windowsill, or even by using a community garden, they can grow fresh chemical free produce.
Gardening Tips for setting up a small Urban Garden
Evaluate your space. Make the most of the space you have. Sit down and draw up a plan, Grow what you will use the most or have trouble purchasing and set up a program to share produce with you neighbors. They may have more room to grow certain crops than you so.
And if all else fails, sign up for a community garden spot. Many cities and towns are offering space for people to grow plants and vegetables.
Enrich the soil. Having limited space means that your soil will work harder to produce crops in a smaller area. You may also be using succession planting techniques (growing several crops in a row in the same space) so make sure your soil is loamy and full of compost.
you can improve your soil by checking with your local parks department to see if yard waste is composted for community use. You can also collect leaves and grass clipping from neighbors.
Apartment dwellers can start a vermi compost bin in their apartment and make compost using kitchen scraps and earthworms. It’s amazing how much compost you can make in a garbage can.
Keep your garden area clean and tidy. A clean garden area has less insect and bug problems so remove any dead or weak plant leaves. Weeds should be pulled daily and they can be added to a compost bin. If you want to cut back on any weeding add mulch. Mulch also has the added advantage of keeping moisture in the soil making watering easier.
An advantage city gardener has with a smaller garden area is the time it takes to maintain. A small plot can easily be watered and weeded in 20 minutes a day where a large garden can take hours each day. And a container or windowsill garden only takes a few minutes each day.
Grow your crops vertically. If your available gardening area consists of a narrow rectangular space or a small balcony area or patio corner train miniature vegetables, tomatoes and flowering vines to grow up a trellis. Many seed companies have a wide selection of miniature vegetables for small gardens areas.
An entire salad garden can be grown in a window or container planter by selecting ‘Micro-Tom’ tomatoes, mini lettuce varieties, sweet onions or a clump of chives in a container. You may even have room for a cucumber plant.
Many trees can be grown in containers and set out on patios and along property lines in the summer. If you grow small fruit trees you will have the added benefit of fresh fruit.
Protect your clay and stone pots from freezing temperatures by bring them indoors in the winter. You can also wrap the large pots with plastic bags filled with straw to prevent water penetration, which will crack clay pots in freezing temperatures.
If you don’t have storage space or don’t want the extra work of storing pots, use faux stone or faux terra-cotta pots made from plastic. These pots are light and less prone to frost damage.
With the cost of food skyrocketing and the fact that the world is not producing enough food to feed the people its important to raise what you can to help your budget and help our world.
There are many articles on recession gardening at Recession Gardening garden plan.
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