How to grow vegetables in your garden in the city?
City landscapes can be more than just brick and concrete. With a touch of inspiration and a few creative vegetable garden ideas, you can transform your urban outdoor space (even a small one) into a lush garden with edible plants.
Ready to learn more? Follow the advice of our gardening professionals and learn how to grow vegetables in your garden in the city:
Benefits of growing your own vegetables
Store-bought vegetables cannot compare to fresh organic produce, grown and harvested in your own urban garden. Gardening enthusiasts who grow their vegetables themselves know there is hardly any edible as tasty as the juicy garden-fresh food. The rich flavor, texture, and organic sweetness are so worth starting a veggie garden on your property.
When you start a garden in the city, you get instant access to organic produce. No need to go to the store or the marketplace nor spend extra money on food. Home gardens are super accessible and if you made a wise plant choice, you can harvest home-grown seasonal vegetables all year round.
Another undeniable advantage of vegetable gardens is they bring the green wow-factor back into your private space. Go for a windowsill display, container cultivation, raised beds, vertical arrangement, or typical ground soil gardening, whatever suits your gardening style. In any case, an urban plant-growing area stands out as a fine natural decoration that complements the landscape and exterior of your home or office.
Sense of reward when growing them yourself
Probably the best thing about growing vegetables is the satisfaction you get after you grow the veggies and harvest them yourself. The sense of reward and pride when you get to reap the fruits of your hard work and dedication is a feeling every gardener yearns for. It’s always refreshing to take a moment of self-praise for the great job done – nursing and taking care of a healthy vegetable garden.
Types of vegetable gardens in the city
Traditional vegetable garden
In case your outdoor space allows it and the soil on site is nutrient-rich, feel free to settle for a traditional vegetable garden. When you plant the veggies outdoors on the ground, they get to benefit directly from the earth and sun.
Vertical veggie garden
Vertical gardens are perfect for size-limited urban spaces. Especially when it comes to growing the types of vegetables that grow upwards or have vines/tendrils. Vertical arrangements are also a great feature to make every balcony, patio, and backyard stand out with lush green walls.
The whole vertical gardening idea is to save and optimize the usage of space by using netting, fences, and trellis for support. The ideal plant choice for the job would be cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, beans, and similar veggies.
Growing plants in containers is a cute and easy way to grow vegetables in an urban setting, all the while being space-wise. Pot gardening is a wonderful option for veggie cultivation when the garden is small or the lot is on a hard surface like wood, concrete, or bricks. Ultimately, veggie planters and containers can be the perfect addition to any balcony, stairs, and patio design.
Windowsill vegetable garden
Even if your outdoor area is tiny or non-existent, you can still grow herbs and small-sized veggies in pots, on your windowsills. Growing edibles on a window display is an effortless limited-space solution for those who want to grow greens in the cityscape.
Raised bed gardening
If you have a big outdoor space available for vegetable plots, then raised beds might be a great choice for your veggie garden. With raised beds, you can safely grow healthy plants in high-leveled boxes no matter your yard surface – concrete, bricks, ground soil. Raised beds can be a beautiful addition to any landscape design, especially for multi-level gardens.
The process of growing the vegetables
Choose the proper location
The first step in starting a vegetable garden in the city is to pick the veggie plot’s ideal location. Take into account the available space in your yard and consider the following growth factors when choosing a place to plant:
Edible plants like vegetables require a fair amount of sunlight to thrive. Therefore, choosing a sunny spot is vital for the health and well-being of your vegetable garden. The average amount of natural light vegetables need to develop to their full potential is a minimum of 6-8 hours a day.
If the plants in your vegetable garden are deprived of sunlight, it would directly affect the fruition and quality of produce upon harvest season. That’s because stressed plants rarely give ripe fruits.
Unfortunately, not every urban outdoor space has a sunny place to start a vegetable garden. If this is the case, make sure your plants could survive in light shade. How? Well, plant shade-loving greens such as broccoli, lettuce, cole crops, and other green veggies.
One of the most important factors that positively affect vegetable health is adopting a regular watering schedule. When you provide enough water to your plants, they get to fill out and ripe better. Water deprivation, on the other hand, challenges the vegetable garden and can lead to problems with growth and fruition.
The best way to ensure the vegetable garden gets enough H2O is to install a water irrigation or drip system. These are super cos-efficient and easy to install. Such a watering system allows you to thoroughly water the greens regularly while saving you gardening time and money on water bills.
Alternatively, if your city garden is small, hose watering will do the job just fine. However, make sure to avoid water your vegetables’ leaves as it makes them prone to mildews. With that in mind, our advice is to skip on a sprinkler watering system.
The taste and ripeness of the fruits is directly affected by soil quality. To grow to their maximum potential, vegetables need nutrient-rich soil to grow healthy, so the soil factor is essential when starting a vegetable garden.
If your city landscape is not that great when it comes to healthy soil, you can always buy a good gardening mix for your garden. For best results in growing vegetables, consider adding compost or organic matter into the soil mixture.
When it comes to soil properties, drainage is one of the most essential components to consider for gardening projects. Ultimate vegetable development requires good drainage. When the ground drains well, the greens grow well. Damp soil makes roots prone to rotting.
If you aim at perfect drainage properties, consider starting the vegetable garden in raised beds. And if your outdoor area has rocky soil, tilling is a good solution to remove rocks that might prevent healthy root development.
Pick the proper amount to plant
Most garden enthusiasts make a common mistake when it comes to assessing the number of veggies to plant – planting too much. This slight miscalculation can lead to growing way more vegetables than the family could eat. That’s why vegetable garden planning should be a top priority.
How much to plant in your garden? Well, depends on a few factors such as what is the size of the available garden space, how close can you plant the veggies, how many are the members of your household, and what amount of food you could consume. Starting small is always a good idea.
For tiny plots, consider vertical gardening or planting in containers, and buy one to three vegetable plants for each pot (depending on planter size). If you have a mid-size urban garden area (9 square meters), choose four or five varieties of vegetables your household loves and plant three to five veggie plants of each type. For bigger size lots, you can go wild on plant choice when it comes to type and amount.
Pay attention to the type of vegetables
Plant selection is a crucial step in vegetable gardening. There are a few important factors to pay attention to when choosing plant variety and sorts.
First, determine what your family preference is when it comes to vegetables. Make sure to plant only veggies your whole household will enjoy consuming and avoid planting greens that no family member has an interest in eating.
Next, figure out what type of edibles grow healthy in your local climate. After all, to grow ripe and fresh fruits you must consider their weather preferences. If you pick exotic vegetables that do not grow in your local area, then you might have trouble cultivating them. Compact varieties can save you a lot of space without depriving you of delicious vegetable produce.
A healthy vegetable garden needs attention throughout the growing season. So be prepared for seasonal garden tasks, maintenance, and clearance. Another good piece of advice is to use quality garden vegetable seeds to ensure they germinate and provide a higher yield upon harvest.
Best time to plant
Another common mistake in beginner gardening is to plant vegetables too soon or way after their planting season. Have in mind, diverse types of edible plants have individual needs and require planting at a different time.
Some vegetables like broccoli, peas, and lettuce should be planted during cool seasons (early spring and autumn). Others like peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cauliflower require warm soil so they are better off if you plant them in late spring or early summer.
Since vegetables have specific temperature preferences, the ideal time to plant depends on the current season, local weather. Check the garden vegetable seed packets before planting, to make sure you are planting during the right season, so the crops won’t suffer. You will also find information about the type of vegetable (perennial or annual), mature period, growth needs, and harvest time on the tag.
Valuable advice from gardening experts
Starting a garden in the city tends to be a challenging task, especially for beginner gardeners. The good news is, there is nothing wrong with seeking professional help and advice. A consultation with gardening experts can help you cultivate fresh vegetables and take better care of your garden.
Our professional gardening team in London is ready to help you and respond to any local gardening task and emergency. Get tips and tricks on succession planting, interplanting, when and what to plant in a vegetable garden, as well as a helping hand.