Urban Gardening

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When we lived in the country, we had several acres of land.  I had a large garden and didn’t think so much about things like space and water usage: we had lots of land and a well.

Now that we live in an urban area, we have much less space.  We live in a warmer climate and we also have city water.  We pay for the water we use instead of being able to use “free” water from our own well.

Gardening in an urban area can have it’s challenges, but you’ll find it’s worth it to overcome those challenges.

Check Your City Code

This is something important!  I actually didn’t think about this until a neighbor mentioned it to me upon sighting our garden.  In some areas, the code prohibits vegetation over a certain height.  In other areas, gardens may have to be behind a privacy fence.  I have heard that some homeowner’s associations prohibit homeowners from having gardens, although I’ve never known anyone personally who dealt with this.

Think About Space

Most urbanites have a small area of land where they can garden.  Luckily, there are many plant varieties which lend themselves well to gardening in small areas.

For example, you can plant a dwarf fruit tree instead of a “regular” tree.  The dwarf takes less space.  Strawberries can be grown in pots or in hanging baskets to maximize your space.

Maximize Your Output

When your space is limited, it’s important to maximize the output from the plants that you have.  To do this, pay close attention the the varieties of the plants you choose and prepare the soil well.

Fertilizing and mulching your plants regularly can really help maximize the amount of fruits and vegetables you can get from your plants.  Healthy and well cared for plants produce more! 

Choose varieties that are well suited for your environment.  For example, in our area, I’d choose plants that are well adapted to the heat and that are very prolific.  I’d also choose compact plants which can be grown close together.

Plan Well

If you live in an urban area and pay for how much water you use, your garden can cost you a lot of money!  Planning ahead can minimize the financial impact of your garden.

Plants that are well mulched retain moisture much longer than plants that are not mulched.  This will help to reduce water usage.

Water your plants early in the morning to reduce the amount of moisture evaporation.  This can also save you money.  Water the plants at root level, not on the tops of the plants.

Check the forecast before watering.  If your area is supposed to have showers or rain during the day, you may wish to delay your watering until the evening.  You may not even have to water the garden because the plants may have gotten enough water from the rain shower.

Happy Gardening!

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