Living in urban areas comes with numerous benefits. However, one of the downsides is the presence of very little green life despite its numerous benefits.
The green life offers like providing food, fresh air, comfort, and improved aesthetics.
Nothing beats the feeling of tranquillity that comes with the presence of plant life. This is why lots of urban dwellers insist on having gardens around the home.
Having in mind that starting an urban garden requires lots of resources like time, labor, and plenty of willpower.
Steps to Start a Productive Urban Garden
If you’d like to start an urban garden, simply follow the steps below and you can have a great garden in no time.
- Get Some Space
The initial obstacle you will have to navigate in starting your urban garden is the lack of space.
Identifying the position of your garden lets you know its size and the amount of exposure it gets to sunlight, wind, and humidity.
Living in an urban area means that you might be restricted to only indoor spaces. This will reduce the size of your garden and the variety of plant life you can have, but this doesn’t mean that your garden can not be exciting.
You can find a lot of wonderful ideas on how to get the most out of the little space you have online.
- Get Some Containers
The next step in setting up your garden is getting your planters ready. Planters will make your gardening fun. They are produced with a wide range of materials, so getting them won’t be a difficulty.
Outdoor planters come in different sizes. They have become increasingly popular as available spaces for urban gardens get smaller.
Having little space means that you may have to move your plants around often. With planters, it is possible to do this.
You must consider the following factors when choosing planters for your urban garden.
Consider the weight of any planter before buying it.
Remember that you will be moving your plants around very often; you do not want to stress a lot while doing this. So, get lightweight containers.
Also, have in mind that it will contain the soil, water, and plant.
Your soil needs water, but waterlogged soil is dangerous for your plants. It encourages root rot. Make sure that your planters have enough drain holes. This will ensure that excess water can seep out. If this is not possible, the soil will get waterlogged.
The plant roots should be able to breathe. This is only possible if the soil in which it is planted has air flowing through it.
Get porous planters. The best ones are those made with unglazed ceramic. They allow air to pass through them, keeping the soil aerated and your plant roots healthy.
- Prepare the Soil
The well-being of your garden depends largely on the quality of your soil. You must get good soil rich in both organic and inorganic matter for your garden.
Loamy soil is the best for gardening. It is rich in organic matter. Its particles are small, allowing plant roots to grow.
It also retains water sufficiently without getting sticky; this allows sufficient air into root spaces. And it doesn’t break when you dig it.
You can easily identify loamy soil by its appearance and texture. It looks very dark and does not stick to your hands.
If you are lucky, you can get some loamy by digging in nearby fields. To get enough loamy soil for your garden, discuss with other urban gardeners or obtain it from nearby gardening stores.
- Get Your Plants
The next step is planting your garden. Depending on the plant, you might need to get seeds or seedlings. Seedlings might be more expensive but they are the better option.
It is necessary to get healthy plants. Besides wasting your time and efforts, you will easily get discouraged if your plants keep dying.
Knowing what to plant is confusing when you’re starting an urban garden. Oftentimes, you have a lot of favorites, and it becomes difficult to eventually select what to plant.
You may also have a hard time getting the ones you desire. To solve this, take the following steps.
Do some research about the plants you want to put in your garden. Talk to other gardeners. Go online, too.
This will let you know if the weather of your urban area is conducive for your choice of plant, and it gives you a good idea of the number of resources you need to invest in.
Some plants require a great deal of money to maintain. You don’t want to run into debt because of your garden, do you?
Also, find out if you need to install barefoot friendly gravel in your garden.
- Find a store
Find a gardening store around your neighborhood and online, if possible.
This ensures that you get expert opinions on what to plant. You find the store helpful whenever you run into problems.
You must ensure that your garden receives a steady source of water supply.
The amount of water you should provide for your plants depends on several factors including the plant type and environmental conditions.
Have a proper understanding of this to prevent dehydrating or swamping your plants.
Depending on the size of your garden, you might need to have an elaborate water supply system put in place.
For a small garden, you can sprinkle water with your hands or watering can. For larger gardens, you may need to have a sprinkler system installed.
In any case, seek expert opinion from other urban gardeners and nearby gardening stores.
Besides the nutrients your soil provides, there are some supplements you need to provide for your plants to ensure that they remain healthy.
A lot of these supplements are harmful chemicals and need to be handled with great care.
Ensure that you get them from trusted gardening stores and have proper knowledge about how they should be used. Some of these supplements include:
These are nutrient supplements to be added to the soil.
They come in the form of pellets and contain Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium salts.
Your soil will be favorable for a lot of unwanted plants. These are called weeds.
Weeds will compete with your plants for soil nutrients, and if you let them, they will end up choking the plants in your garden. You need herbicides to eliminate the weeds in your garden.
Your garden will attract a lot of bugs and rodents.
Some of these are beneficial, but a lot of them will destroy your garden if you let them. You need pesticides to deal with this problem.
Starting your urban garden will demand a lot at first. Don’t feel discouraged. If you remain diligent, you will begin to reap the endless benefits in no time.
Make sure that you keep in touch with other urban gardeners and gardening stores nearby. You need useful tips in solving whatever gardening problems you might face in the long run.