Urban gardening is no longer a trend in 2022. It is a real movement that spreads like wildfire around the world’s capitals, enriching the gloomy environment of concrete, glass, and steel. On rooftops, balconies, terraces and between buildings, you can see little parks full of trees, shrubs and flowers – and if the space is larger, there are even mini-vegetable gardens or lawns.
More and more apartment buildings are being designed so that, in addition to a communal pool, gym or tennis court, there is something called “Agrihood”. It is an area where neighbors will grow their favorite plants and, equally important, get closer and develop a sense of belonging. If you also want to have a patio vegetable garden, here are some helpful tips.
Instead Of Petunias – Grow Cucumbers
In recent years, urban gardeners have increasingly turned to planting fruits and vegetables. On our terraces and patios, we usually grow strawberries, blackberries, or lemons. However, an even bigger hit was the vegetable gardens, which simply flooded the rooftops and terraces of tall concrete buildings. Today, behind these fences, instead of petunias and roses, we can see sprouted leaves of young onions as well as cucumbers, peas, and beans.
And that this is not just a fashion show – the exact facts prove it. A well-tended 11-square-foot small garden can produce as much as 200 tomatoes a year, with an incredible 36 heads of lettuce and 100 onions, about three pounds of peas, at least five pounds of cucumbers, and zucchini, chard. spinach, carrots, etc.
Multiple Profits And Aesthetics
The main advantage of a mini-garden on the patio or a terrace is that you can consume fresh vegetables from your garden all season. They are, of course, not treated with herbicides and pesticides. Also, most of these plants are very decorative. For example, cucumbers and zucchini have very beautiful flowers, which will fit nicely in some fine pots. When you have furniture on your patio, then we don’t even have to mention how much you will enjoy in your outdoor space, which is nicely furnished. Not only do these plants bloom, but they also have more attractive leaves – like lettuce.
Therefore, even if you have furniture on your patio – experts at FurnitureOkay claim you won’t lose on aesthetics either. On the contrary. With outdoor furniture sets, your space will look even more sophisticated and comfortable. You will have your mini oasis where you can truly enjoy yourself. Satisfaction with successful cultivation is a special story – and the financial effect should not be neglected as organic vegetables are not cheap at all.
Garden equipment manufacturers and nursery owners in developed countries have realized that urban gardening is a very profitable business and the market is simply flooded with tools, vessels, irrigation systems and hybrids suitable for planting in such conditions. Having full equipment is not cheap – but most urban gardeners opt for the DIY variant, so the investment is minimal.
If You Want To Try
So you decide to start growing a mini vegetable garden. For starters, you need to take into account how much sun you can provide to the plants and take a good look at the light requirements for each species you want to plant. Keep in mind that a balcony that is shaded most of the day is not suitable for growing most vegetable crops – in which case you will need to opt for spicy herbs and green leafy vegetables – arugula, lettuce, chard or spinach. Then make a rough sketch to arrange the pots, not only on the base but also on the walls and fence.
What Kind Of Pots To Choose?
The load is a very important item, so it is a good idea to consult a specialist. In any case, plastic pots are a better choice, not only because they are lighter than terracotta ones, but also because they retain moisture. Styrofoam containers, pallets, deeper wooden crates, buckets, larger pots, crates, etc. – can also serve well as “beds” for your plants. All that matters is that the depth is adequate and that you drill holes for drainage at the bottom. Plastic pipes or polypropylene bags with soil can be hung on the walls with holes for the plants. Such vertical gardens are particularly popular in Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
What To Plant?
There are no restrictions in the mini-garden: practically all kinds of vegetables can be grown, except watermelons and pumpkins, whose fruits take up too much space. A wide variety of seeds and seedlings of dwarf vegetables, intended for small-scale cultivation – can be found on the market. This, of course, does not mean that you should not plant ordinary varieties, which grow well in pots.
When To Water?
Maintaining the humidity of the substrate is a major element in the care of mini-vegetable gardens. Therefore the obligation is greater if the terrace or patio is covered. Plants have to be supplied with water daily, so it is not unreasonable to think of an irrigation system, which can also be made at home. Love Irrigation can provide you with all the necessary tools and services when comes to watering your garden and keeping it fresh.
How To Deal With Pollution?
It is quite clear that polluted air, which primarily involves exhaust gases – can contaminate the soil in pots with vegetables. However, for this problem, there is a solution in the form of sprinkling the surface of the substrate with mulch. That will largely prevent the penetration of harmful substances deeper into the soil – and it will keep your vegetables well-protected.
An Urban Garden Can Be Made Anywhere
For such a garden you do not always have to have a yard or a separate area where you will grow these plants. This useful hobby is also a highly adaptable one. Therefore, you can grow your vegetables in your mini patio, on the terrace, or even on the rooftops.
Many apartment buildings have a flat roof, ideal for gardening. However, in that case, you need a permit from other tenants or a building owner. Or – you can invite them to join you. The procedure is the same as when you are planting vegetables anywhere else – except you have to take into account the gusts of wind, which is much stronger at that height.