Probably one of the most common ways seen in cities to do some urban gardening is container gardens. Makes sense since most densely populated areas don’t have much green space up for grabs for agriculture, and with most people in big cities living in apartments container gardening just makes sense because it is incredibly flexible and can be done anywhere, given the right conditions. You can have a container garden on a rooftop, in an alley, on a patio, or even in a space next to a window with good light. The possibilities are almost endless!
Choosing a Spot
In general, vegetables require around 6 hours of sunlight a day, so choose a spot that will meet that requirement. If your plants will be partially in shade, things like greens and herbs will be a better choice for your garden. Or you could put your planters on a platform with wheels to move to different spots where the sun is over the course of the day if you really want! You also want to make sure they’re not getting too much wind, as this may damage the seedlings. If you want to keep some of your plants inside, choose a spot by a window so they can get direct sunlight.
Choosing a Container
One great thing about container gardens is that you can use just about any container you have on hand! Plant pots are the obvious choice, but almost anything will work. Baby pools, buckets, old pots and pans, whiskey barrels, even old car tires can be perfect to grow some of your container garden in. The one thing to remember is that plants need good drainage. If you want to use a container that it would be impossible to put drainage holes in, you’ll have to choose something else. You also need to be cognizant that different veggies will need different sized containers. A potato plant or any other kind of root vegetable will obviously need something very deep, and something like a tomato plant that crawls will need enough space for a trellis of some kind.
Choosing Vegetables and Greens
- Some vegetables that do well in containers are:
And basically any herb or salad green will do well in a container. Think of spices that you use often and plant those by the window in your kitchen, for example! Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and Rosemary are just a few good ideas for fresh herbs to have on hand. Of course what’s most important is to make sure you’re growing veggies and herbs that you and your family will actually want to eat. Growing tons of eggplant is great and cost-effective if your family eats a lot of eggplant, but if no one likes it then you’ll be spending lots of effort on a plant that will end up not being useful to anyone.
Not only is container gardening a fun hobby, it’s also a good way to save money on produce, get fresh vegetables right at arm’s distance, and a good learning experience for kids in the life cycles of plants and learning how to take care of something that depends on you. Everyone can benefit from and enjoy container gardening!