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Urban Gardens – Growing Food in the City

Even Manhattan residents enjoy beautiful urban gardens. Even Manhattan residents enjoy beautiful urban gardens.

Farmers have got it great. Rural landowners have all the space they need for growing crops, maintaining beautiful gardens, and helping themselves to fresh food anytime. But as more and more natural land is turned into concrete city blocks and high-rise buildings, not everyone has that luxury. When it comes to gardens, are city dwellers just plain out of luck?

Absolutely not. Even if you live in a crowded urban area or a small apartment, you can still enjoy all the benefits of a lovely garden. A window, balcony, deck, patio, or roof receiving six or more hours of sunlight is all you need for growing an urban garden.

Urban gardening is a fantastic way to supply yourself with fresh produce and enjoy beautiful flowers and aromatic herbs. Urban agriculture, also known as rooftop or balcony gardening, is becoming increasingly popular in large cities as more people recognize the value of home-grown plants and vegetables. Benefits also include:

  • Low cost and convenience – fresh, organic produce is available right in your own home.
  • Home-grown food does not have a heavy carbon footprint, as opposed to grocery store food that has traveled long distances
  • Less chemicals and unknown substances in your meals
  • Brings biodiversity to cities and adds green to the “concrete jungle”
  • Sustainable agriculture supports an eco-friendly environment

If you’re a city dweller, balcony or rooftop gardening is an excellent way for you to grow your own vegetables. Rooftop gardens are a practical way to make use of extra space and are relatively easy to care for. With small containers, you can grow anything from lettuce and tomatoes to beans and peppers. It’s also possible to grow vine crops such as squash and cucumbers. Nearly anything can be used to grow vegetables as long as you have adequate drainage and sunlight.

For shallow-rooted crops like carrots, radishes, and lettuce, you’ll use small containers; while tomatoes, beans, and potatoes grow better in larger containers. Hanging baskets and trellises can also be used for growing vegetables, and are an ideal way to make the most of your urban garden space.

Some communities are coming together to share or rent out extra land to individuals who have limited or no space for gardening. A local non-profit organization in Vancouver links people that have extra land to rent to those who are looking to grow their own crops. Visit sharingbackyards.com for details, or research your locality to find a similar community gardening project.

In the Growers section of RosebudMag.com you can read all about indoor gardening in an urban setting. Establishing your own indoor hydroponics garden has the advantage over a regular outdoor urban garden of being able to produce fruits, vegetables, and herbs year round, as well as having total control over the variables of growing such as light, heat, humidity, nutrition, ventilation, and choice of grow medium.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for your health, and growing them yourself enhances your quality of life. Home-grown food provides educational opportunities for children and teaches them the value of agriculture. As more of the earth’s population resides in urban areas, now is the time to educate as many as possible about the benefits of urban gardening.

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How one couple in New York solved their gardening dilemma.
Last modified on Friday, 21 September 2012 17:29

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