Urban Gardening 101: A Guide to Getting Your Grow on in the City

rose bush

Living in a city comes with numerous perks: access to nightlife, general walk-ability, always something to do – the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, gardening is one hobby that can take a real hit when one lives in the city. Agriculture and urban life – sadly – don’t typically go hand in hand. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to bid your green thumb adieu. On the contrary, you can reside amidst concrete and still get your garden on. How? Follow these tips:


Pick the place.

In the city, finding a space to start a garden often poses the biggest issue. Fortunately, there are more options than most people realize! Consider those vacant lots, for instance. Depending on your city’s land access regulations, you could tap into that space. You could plant in a park, on a public corner; or you can keep it simple and stick to a window planter. Feel like you have no space at all? Tap into your creative side and get crafty with everyday items to plant efficiently in unexpected places.

planted pots

You should be in tuned with each plant’s sunlight requirements as well. If a plant needs direct sunlight, for instance, you wouldn’t want to hide it in a shaded corner. Do some research to find out which areas would work best for your desired plants.


Gather some co-gardeners.

Once you’ve chosen your spot, consider bringing more people in to tackle the project. Particularly if you’re going to be gardening in a big, public place – having others on board can make the entire affair easier and more fun. Plus, taking a community approach will allow you to expand your garden overall. If you reach out to neighbors and other strangers in your area, you can also make new friends with similar interests!sidewalk flowers


Choose your plants.

This part is fun! You get to choose, from the huge list of options, which items will end up in your garden. Will you go with flowers? Or vegetables? Perhaps a mix of everything? The amount of space you’ll have available will certainly be a factor. Corn stalks need to grow upward and would, therefore, not fit well in a window planter. Cucumber plants are one of many plants that thrive when they can climb, and also need plenty of space. Strawberries, lettuce and herbs, on the contrary, are short, compact plants that are ideal for small spaces. You want to keep such things in mind when picking your collection. But otherwise, let your personal preferences reign as you choose which plants to put in your urban garden.

Don’t forget about giving your apartment some green love! Adding succulents, that can thrive year-round, add life to your home!



Make time.

While maintaining a garden is much less of a commitment than owning a pet (among many other things), it still requires some time and energy. Specifically, you’ll need to water your plants and dedicate time to weeding, protecting plants from pests, etc. If you’re known for having a poor memory – or if you have very little free time in your schedule – set an alarm and make watering your plants a daily priority (or however often your plants require watering).


Reap the benefits!

This is the whole reason you’ve taken the time and created the garden! Not only has the green helped the environment, but those plants of yours (depending on what you’ve planted) may also be bearing fruit. You get to save money on groceries, enjoy fresh produce and reflect with pride on the entire experience.

See? Creating a successful, thriving garden is not impossible just because you live in the city. With enough will and pinch of creativity, your city garden can put suburban and rural agriculture to shame.



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