Having a spacious yard where you can put in plum trees and rows of corn just isn’t realistic for most city dwellers, even those with a certified green thumb. Nevertheless, you can have an urban garden almost anywhere, as long as you’re willing to be creative and take advantage of the space you have. Here are four important answers to urban gardening questions that should send you sprinting to the nursery supply store!
Where Can I Garden?
“But I live in an apartment!” You say, bemoaning the fresh zucchini that everyone else seems to have. If you want an urban garden, ask yourself these questions: do you have a balcony? A window sill? An exterior wall? How about a fire-escape or a disused alley next to your building? With your landlord’s permission, any and all of these locations can serve as the perfect spot for your urban garden!
How Much Sunshine do I Need?
It depends on what you’re planning to grow. If you’ve got a bright, sunny windowsill, you can opt for herbs, sun-loving flowers, or succulents. Got a shady corner on the patio? Ferns, mosses, and leafy greens will come up in spades. To find out how much sunshine you get, simply spend a day observing by stepping outside for a minute every hour and seeing whether your garden spot is in sun or shade, then add up the sunny hours to get your total exposure.
What Should I Grow?
If you want to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs, be sure to only plant kinds that you know you love and won’t get sick of eating. If you love having flowers in your home, choose repeat-blooming, easily cuttable flowers like roses and hydrangeas. If you’re a first-time gardener, opt for plants that are tough to kill: geraniums, carrots, and mint are all great for beginners.
How Can My Garden be Eco-Friendly?
With all the pesticides and water waste that comes along with gardening, it may seem like your urban garden could actually be bad for the environment! If you want to make sure your little Eden is eco-friendly, be sure to choose organic heirloom plants that prevent the spread of GMOs, use organic fertilizer, plant food, and potting soil, and add flowers that bees and butterflies love to visit to help ailing populations of these important creatures. If drought is a concern in your area, opt for a succulent garden or use a drip irrigation system to cut down on water use.