Vegetable gardens are popping up all around the cities and invade all sorts of big and tiny space. Not only personal but also communal, therapeutic or social work oriented gardens have found a place in the landscape and habits of city life.
A garden can bear many different fruits and can be adapted to any space, ideas and taste. It is easy and rewarding, so why not do it yourself?
5 Simple Steps to Start Your Urban Garden
Step 1 - Build the Box
First of all, estimate the space you have available. It can be a backyard or a balcony, horizontal or vertical space. If you have a backyard space, flat straight pallet or boxes will probably be the best pick. If you have a balcony or a small ground space, build up the walls with a standing pallet or stacked boxes.
Pallet wood is your best and cheapest friend for a garden! You can use it as it is by only closing and isolating its bottom with nailed or stapled garbage bags. You can also take it apart and build your personalized box using pallet as any other wood already treated and water resistant. You can also buy pine wood at home depot and waterproof it. Once again make sure you cover the inside with strong garbage bag material. draining is not necessary if you do not over water the plants and will save water in the long run. If you want to go fancy and do not like the grey color of pallet wood, paint it! Decorate it! Mine is red.
Step 2 - What Can You Plant?
Establish a setting--where do you live? North, South? Is there sun, wind, rain? Basically, if you live in Florida you plant Strawberries in January, but if you live in New York you plant Strawberries in May.
Set yourself reasonable goals. If you are planting a garden for the first time of your life start simple. Herbs, squashes, lettuce and cherry tomatoes are a great start. If you plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peas or any climbing species, you have to use a metal structure to support the growth.
Try to plant local species in order to promote biodiversity and pollination. Mangoes and pineapples will just not work in upstate New York!
Plant according to the season and pay attention to the harvest time which varies a lot from a plant to another. If you plant too late it will freeze before you can eat anything. Last, if you buy seeds it is essential to respect the different processes of planting/germination. For beginner gardeners, buying baby plants is suggested.
Tip: plant what is most expensive to buy and most awesome to eat fresh - tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, basil, zucchini etc.
Step 3 - Protect
Even in the city, please research the potential predators of your garden before finding out one morning that all is gone. If you have a balcony worry only about birds, squirrels, maybe chipmunks. If you have a backyard, do worry about deer, woodchucks and other plant lover animals. According to what you find, you can set up a net that is high enough with simple wood sticks support nailed into the box or planted in the ground.
Step 4 - Patience and Perseverance
patiently water and contemplate, following instructions and being sensitive to the plants' need according to rain or lack of rain. Look up the stages of growth of your plants and make sure everything is normal (Usually not much to worry about).
Step 5 - Eat, Share, Develop
Harvest last sometimes several weeks and teach you the value and great benefits of homegrown natural food. See what worked or what could work better for next year: are tomatoes working much better than cucumbers? Should you plan on more space next year or protect it better?
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Now you can share with friends, try out new recipes and brag about your new healthy hobby!
If you live in the city and have neither backyard nor balcony, more and more cities develop community gardens where you can rent a little space of your own to plant your garden next door.
If you have more space and want to take urban nature to the next level, introduce honey bees along! In Paris, 400 hives are already in full activities around the city's roofs and the trend is growing!
Check out : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-10942618