How to Create Your Own Urban Garden
Since you are part of the Crazy Sexy Life community, you know the importance of your food, where it comes from and how it’s grown. You also want to start growing your own food, but aren’t sure where to start and what to do since you live in an urban environment.
I understand because I was in the same situation back in 2009. During that time I was living in New York City. There was barely room for me and my bed in the same apartment. Let’s not talk about having a garden. But I was able to transform my 2-by-3-foot fire escape into an organic garden with lettuces, kale, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, mint, oregano and more.
In 2010, I moved across the country to Los Angeles, where I had a 13-by-4-foot balcony that seemed like a farm compared to the fire escape. During this time, I was able to learn about what it takes to grow your own food in an apartment and urban setting, and now I want to share that information with you.
What I’m going to share is practical advice that will empower you to get started growing your own food. It’s not some secret potion that will help you to grow 30-pound pumpkins.
Here are the basic steps to get you started:
Decide Where Your Garden Will Be
There are more options than you would initially think when it comes to starting an apartment garden. It just takes looking at the space a bit differently and getting creative with it.
Some places you can have your garden are:
Think outside the box.
What to Grow
Now that you have the space decided and figured out how much sunlight to get, you’ll want to figure out what to grow. There are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself such as:
- What do you eat most?
- What makes the most financial sense?
- What season is it?
Answering those questions will help you to figure out what’s best for you to grow.
Buying Your Seeds
Figuring out where to buy your seeds from can be overwhelming. There are so many companies out there. What’s the difference between all of them?
You may want to support a company that shares the same values as you do.
Here are three companies to check out:
? Botanical Interests
? Seed Savers Exchange
Starting Your Seeds
When it comes to starting your seeds, you can either go the DIY route or you can buy seed trays.
Two popular DIY options are using toilet paper rolls or newspaper. Both of those items you have available and will biodegrade in your garden.
If you just want to buy something, then there are seed starter pellets or seed trays. A company like The Greenhouse Catalog has a good assortment of seed-starting supplies on their site.
A word of advice when starting your seeds – make sure you label them. You think you are going to remember what you planted where, but 20 minutes later you’ll forget and just have unidentifiable seedlings.
Take the two minutes to label them. You can get creative or keep it simple.
Mike Lieberman is the publisher of UrbanOrganicGardener.com, where he shows people with little to no land how to start growing their own food so they can avoid toxic pesticides, eat healthier and not feel limited by their lack of experience and space.
Photo credit: Joel Down
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