By Guest Author Emily Folk.
Growing a garden in an urban landscape is possible — you just need to know what planting zone you’re in.
There are a variety of different reasons to grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Fruits and vegetables from a garden will be higher in vitamin and mineral content, especially since they don’t have to travel thousands of miles and then sit in a store before they make it to your plate. If you are conscious about the amount of pesticides or herbicides on your food, having your own garden allows you to know precisely what’s been used to grow your food.
Not only will eating fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden make you healthier but working in your garden will also increase your physical activity and help with your health. Gardening is also a great way to engage the entire family and about sustainability and environmental issues.
When it comes to gardening, most people imagine a rural landscape with tons of acreage for a variety of different crops. However, it’s possible to garden in urban areas, too — and you get the same benefits you would if you lived in the country. For your garden to be a success, you must carefully choose plants that will survive in your zone. Buying plants by planting zone can keep you from wasting money on plants that won’t grow in your environment.
- Know What Plant Hardiness Zone You Are In
There are a few other factors that go into deciding plant zones, which include humidity, rainfall, winds and urban heat. Urban areas are generally warmer than rural areas because the buildings and other structures trap and retain heat. This extra warmth can be a good thing for your garden, and knowing this will help you determine the best plants to plant.
- Know What Plants Thrive in Your Zone
Knowing what zone you are in will make it easier to . You may be determined to grow peaches or pears, but if they won’t survive in your zone, you’ll be wasting your money. Tailor your garden to your tastes and by what plants thrive in your planting zone.
- Know How Long Your Growing Season Is
Once you’ve figured out what zone you are in, you’ll be able to determine how long of a growing season you have. Since some plants tolerate cold and/or heat better than others, you want to make sure you plant them at the optimum time so they can produce fruits and vegetables before frost.
- Keep an Eye on the Weather
Even after checking the USDA website for your plant zone, you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather. Cold and hot weather can linger longer than predicted, which could have detrimental effects on small, fragile plants. Using or moving plants inside during inclement weather could help them stay alive.
- Start Plants Inside
your home is a great way to ensure they have a fighting chance when you move them outdoors. Again, make sure to keep an eye on the weather so you know the best time to transplant them to avoid weather damage.
- Have Fun!
Tending and growing a garden in an urban area can be work, but it can also be a lot of fun. It’s exciting to be able to pick the types of fruits and vegetables you want to grow. There’s pride in taking care of those plants and seeing them get bigger and produce. There’s satisfaction in eating something you nurtured and cared for.
Gardening is a relaxing, rewarding experience, and you can do it pretty much anywhere — including in urban areas. To ensure you are successful, know what plant zone you live in and choose the plants for your garden wisely.
Emily is an avid gardener and sustainability writer. You can read more of her work on her blog, .