Building a Home Vegetable Garden

If you have a garden of your own, getting access to fresh fruits and vegetables is convenient, but what if you live in an urban area? An urban home vegetable garden is becoming more popular, and with the right space and the right materials, it is easy to start your own. You can still start your own urban garden at home, even if you are new to the idea of gardening.

You can follow Master Gardener Judith Cox with her weekly article on growing vegetables.

Where to locate Your Home Vegetable Garden?

Urban gardening can be done anywhere. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, just join a portion of your backyard. But if you live in a tiny condo or apartment, you can still enjoy gardening at home. Talk to your landlord and see if they’re willing to allow a rooftop garden in a shared common area. A rooftop garden is fun to keep, and you can share gardening tips and delicious food with your neighbours.

Even a small balcony can be turned into a garden with pots and small planters. You can start a garden anywhere as long as you have enough sunshine and live in a decent environment. For those with limited space, consider indoor gardening using a mini greenhouse or light-growing pots. Whatever you like, you can set up your home garden for a fun way to plant, grow and eat your favourite vegetables.

Suggested Materials for Your Urban Garden

Once you have chosen the location for your urban garden, you will need to collect some important materials. While urban gardening in a rural area is similar to growing a garden, there are a few things that you will need to do differently. In order to ensure a successful urban garden set up, use this checklist:

  • In your particular region, a collection of seeds or small plants you know will grow.
  • Soil for gardening (soil in cities can be polluted or nutrient-deficient)
  • To build a raised garden bed or greenhouse, pots, large containers, or materials
  • Food from plants
  • A watering can or a sprinkler nozzle hose
  • Shears for pruning, a trowel and some decent gardening gloves
  • Plant markers for the label of your fruit / veggies
  • If you have a space, a compost bin is a great addition to an urban garden.

Planting Vegetables

Although you may need to change your planting to suit your environment or venue, there are some fundamentals that everyone should know about plant vegetables in an urban setting.

  • Keep seeds and small plants separate by type to avoid disease spread and overcrowding.
  • Plant your seeds at the time of year on a species-specific basis so that they expand before it gets too cold.
  • Use quality garden soil
  • Fill your garden bed or container about half full, then cover the seed or roots with the soil.
  • Water your plants regularly; don’t overwater them to help prevent root rot.
  • Cut off the dead sections of your vegetable plants to promote new growth.
  • Start with vegetables that are easy to grow like herbs, lettuce, and cucumbers. You will become imaginative as you gain confidence.
  • Use a companion planting guide
  • Here’s a guide on how to space your vegetables

Advice and How-to

Taking care of your home vegetable garden is simple when you’re in a hang, but you can use a few additional tips and tricks to make it work smoothly.

  • Grow your kitchen windowsill to a mini herb garden in small pots. Most herbs like a lot of sunshine and if they’re nearby, you can catch some when cooking.
  • Pay attention to sunrise and put your plants on your balcony or rooftop in an environment where the sun would be maximal.
  • Consider a vertical garden, if you are short of space, to maximize the harvest you can grow at a wall or fence.
  • Regularly use an organic fertilizer to keep your vegetables safe.
  • If your neighbour has a garden, consider planting different vegetables and then trading at harvest.
  • To aid climb vine veggies such as peas , beans and gourdes, use a trellis.
  • By adding some flowers, add colour to your yard. 

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