The City Dweller’s Guide to Gardening
Urban dwellers are increasingly looking for smart gardening solutions, from window boxes to large-scale urban farming options. Growing networks of community gardens and online resources (see the wildly successful Urban Gardeners Republic group) suggest gardening media has grown well beyond glossy mags near the supermarket checkout.
Today, 1 in 3 households grow some of their own food, the largest number seen in a decade. And it’s not just a resurgence seen in the older demographics that typically fill up home and garden stores on the weekends. The number of millennial growers and gardeners has exploded; from 2008 to 2013, participation from this age group surged 63 percent.
Simply put, urban gardening is hot. To help city and condo dwellers with little to no outdoor space, we’ve compiled some key tips for gardening in small spaces.
Having the right container in your garden can make all the difference. Whether it’s a self-watering box that makes maintenance easier, or a well-priced larger pot, there are plenty of great options at your local nursery.
When space is at a premium, don’t underestimate the power of going up. Simple utility carts become an overflowing mini-jungle, and a few hanging pots can work wonders on the ambiance of an outdoor space.
Seeds and kits
“Grow what you eat the most, and think about return on investment,” says Lisa Giroday, co-founder of Victory Gardens, a Vancouver, Canada-based store focused on urban growing. “About 99 percent of the time, I encourage people to grow leafy greens and herbs. Most people would have a salad everyday if they had the right things growing in their backyard.”
Forget the old dollar store watering can, there are better [and more efficient] options, including underground vessels that maximize moisture, as well as moisture sensors, and various affordable, design-forward takes on the traditional watering can.
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