As well as being good for the environment and a great way to create a sustainable food source, gardening is such a therapeutic exercise. I do have a garden, but it’s on the tiny side and is only a small patio area so my gardening techniques are limited.
If you don’t have any space to start your little garden – Do not fear! There are plenty of urban gardening options you could try. Not content in being restricted by the environment, however, people have started turning urban spaces into farming areas. This benefits the city, injecting plenty of colour and fresh air into a space, but is also so beneficial to us too, gardening is a healthy and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed with others. What have you got to lose? What’s more, starting your own urban garden can be easier and cheaper than you think, and can be done almost anywhere. Here is some information about urban gardening, and a bit of advice on how you can try it yourself.
Where you can start your urban garden
The best thing about urban gardening is that you can do it anywhere. The activity encourages making use of old boxes and containers to grow your plants in — you don’t need to grow them in the ground. Where you choose to start building your garden is entirely up to you. If you live in an apartment that has a balcony, you could try to create a mini garden area here so your plants will get plenty of natural light, water, and attention from insects.
Alternatively, if you have a shared courtyard area you may wish to start your garden there, as this could also encourage others to get involved with the project. You always have the option of finding allotment space if you feel like you need more room. Contact your local council to find out where your nearest allotment space is. Of course, you could always just grow indoors — you may not get the same amount of sun, but it’ll at least be convenient.
What you should grow your plants in
Feel free to use plastic plant pots if you want to keep things fairly straightforward. Plastic pots are great because they allow plenty of drainage if required, but are made from a completely water-tight material so soil is unlikely to dry out. You can choose from budget and more decorative styles of plastic plant pots or go for something more unique, I love this Geometric Planter, for example. You could also use other plastic containers such as empty bottles, buckets and drums. Ideally, you will choose a container that has plenty of room for root growth, and can be penetrated if your plants needs additional drainage.
If you are looking to make your garden more quirky than functional, you could use less common items such as old wellington boots or a car tyre to start growing your plants inside. With urban gardening, the emphasis is on low cost, so be resourceful by repurposing old containers into plant pots.
Choosing what to grow
While some may simply be looking to nurture a few colourful flowers to make the area look pretty, others may want to grow produce such as tomatoes, strawberries, or herbs. If you are setting up your urban garden next to an existing one, don’t be frightened to go and ask if they could spare you any seeds — the gardening community is traditionally very welcoming and encouraging to those looking to start their own. If you want to choose your own colours, however, you will be better off buying seeds from a local supplier. You can browse the extensive range of seeds at Wyevale Garden Centres, before purchasing them in your local store. You can always pop into Wyevale, where we got tonnes of hands on advice from their horticultural experts, so you are sure to be off to a good start with your garden.
When it comes to starting your own urban garden, choose a space that is close and easily accessible to you, plant containers that are cheap or repurposed from old items, and plants that are either beautiful to look at or delicious to eat. The most important thing of all though is to enjoy yourself and to see this as a long-term project that will benefit yourself and the people around you.
Collaborative post with Wyvale Garden Centres