What is urban gardening?
Urban gardening is the practice of cultivating in and around urban areas. It is also sometimes referred to as urban agriculture or urban horticulture. This practice may include growing plants for aesthetic purposes, but it is mainly for growing food. Basically, it is like the traditional cultivation of crops, but in urban centers. Urban gardening is a shift from the traditional thinking that the cultivation of edible foods can only be done in rural areas.
With more people living in cities where space is limited, many are going more creative with their urban gardens. Now, it is not uncommon to see an apartment balcony garden in the middle of the metro. What this shows is that there are options to grow plants for food even in a little space.
What are the benefits of an urban garden?
- Maintaining an urban garden is a step towards food security
- Urban gardening ensures that your food is safe and healthy
- Urban gardening provides health benefits and promotes food security and sustainable way of life
If you live in an urban area, there are certain things that may seem impossible like gardening. That is because we are used to the idea that a garden needs expansive plots of fertile ground. But employing techniques like vertical gardening, rooftop gardening, balcony gardens, and other urban indoor gardening in a small space, city dwellers are starting to learn their way into food security.
Urban gardening also has a positive impact on the economy. This is especially true if you are an urban gardener growing sustainable food. With this, you grow food as you wanted it for safety and quality. And, when you grow your own food, you can save money and get an organic nutritious meal. Last but not the least, it helps teach the younger generation valuable lessons about sustainability and good environment.
Why are urban gardens important in cities?
Gardening plays a key role not only in preventive health, both in urban and suburban areas. But it is becoming an important policy strategy for the creation of a sustainable urban development for a low-carbon, livable, green, and healthy city.
Where can I grown plants for my urban garden?
Depending on the type of plant you want to grow and the space available in your home, below are some of the many options where you can start:
- Rooftop Gardens: If you are allowed and have access to your home’s rooftop, cultivating plants in the area may be a good idea.
- Potted Plants: If you are a green thumb with less than ideal space to work with, you can start urban farming and plant food in pots. All you need is the perfect combination of a good potting soil and the right plants.
- Window Boxes: If you have small spaces around your home, you can opt for window boxes to add a hanging garden space. Like hanging baskets, window boxes is also an efficient growing space for most urban gardens and perfect for small balconies.
- Raised Beds: A form of container gardening, where you grow vegetables and other plants in containers. Aside from raised beds, you can also try using old tires, watering cans, kiddie pools, and many more for your container plants.
- Small Scale Indoor Greenhouses: If you live in a house with more space, you can also try indoor gardening and start a small scale greenhouse in your sunroom.
- Small Patios: If your house comes with garden space, you can turn that vacant lot into an urban garden for your herbs. If you have gate walls, you can also convert that vertical space into a wall garden with climbing plants.
What tools do I need to start my urban garden at home?
If you’ve been planning to start your own pocket, balcony, or rooftop garden, make sure you have your tools ready. You will be only needing just five basic gardening tools together with a pair of gloves, and you’re good to go.
This mini-rake is used for “turning” or loosening the garden soil in a pot or seedling bed prior to planting. A rake with tightly spaced, sharp tines, sometimes called a “hand cultivator”.
It is one of the most versatile garden tools. Use a spade for shoveling dirt into pots, loosening the soil-with-plant for transplanting, transferring seedlings, and digging holes in tight plots.
This type of heavy-duty shears is so handy, you can use it for trimming dead branches on woody shrubs and small trees, cutting hard-stemmed flowers, and even for trimming grass near pathways. Pick shears with a spring action on the handle, to minimize hand cramping.
These scissors have big grips and small, sharp blades. Use precision scissors for precision tasks, such as cutting herbs, soft-stemmed plants and flowers, and for trimming miniature plants.
There are many fancy sprayers, misters, and other gardening gadgets of the sort, but look no further than this affordable tool. A spray bottle can be used for watering small, delicate plants or flowers, or for spraying pest repellants. Always use separate spray bottles for watering and pesticide, and don’t mix them up.
Urban Gardening Tips to Help You Start at Home
To help you get started in your urban agriculture journey, here are a few things that you need to consider:
Having enough space
Not everyone has a backyard, roof or balcony. To overcome this issue, start a container garden. While decorative pots can be lovely, they don’t improve the quality of your plants and can be expensive.
Selection of plants
There are vegetable, flower and herb varieties that are easy to grow in urban spaces. When planning your garden, think about what to plant.
It Takes a Village
In addition to establishing your own garden, another way to plant is by getting involved with community gardens. Community gardens encourage the entire neighborhood to be more sustainable and make green choices.
Potting your plants takes a few simple steps. Put some gravel in the bottom of your container to help with drainage and fill with soil, tamping it a bit.
An advantage of container gardens is that they allow you to easily move them in and out of the sun. If your plants seem to dry out in one window area, you can try different areas to adjust to what works best.
Whatever container you choose for your garden, remember drainage holes are essential. Without proper drainage, soil can become waterlogged and plants may die.
Small spaces make it ideal to grow vertically, which means planting tall plants like squash, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes.
Hand water every morning. Once the plants are large and summer is hot, they will probably need watering in the evening, too.
A common mistake urban gardeners make is not making sure their soil is good quality. While those made with pesticides promise great results, they are loaded with chemicals.
Gardening not only results in food or flowers, it is a great way to relieve stress, have fun and get in touch with nature.
“You don’t need a lot of land to grow a lot of food.”, as they say here in the Philippines.
A household that can produce its own food is an empowered household. The top problem in an urban area is that there is little land available for food to be grown and families live far from their sources of food. We all want to be self-sufficient and urban gardening in urban communities is one way to achieve that.
At this time of pandemic when our movements our limited, getting food may be harder than usual. Keeping them fresh is even more challenging. If you already have a food source at your backyard garden, that is one less problem for you.
For communities with houses offering bigger spaces for your gardening hobbies, check out Camella’s house and lot for sale in Pangasinan—Camella Crisciente. This community not only offers the quality houses and good security, but also the perfect spot for you with the best landscape. In every Camella community, maintaining green surroundings is our priority to ensure the comfort and relief of our homeowners.