Copyright (c) 2012 Poppy Lynch
Urban gardening may seem like just another trend, but unlike a lot of fads, it’s a trend that has staying power because it actually provides substantial benefits to the average person’s quality of life. Even apartment dwellers who live several stories up and have nothing more than a small balcony can grow a variety of plants. A small investment in potting soil, growing containers, fertilizer and seeds or starts is all that is needed to create an urban garden.
Making the Patio or Balcony Into an Urban Oasis
Some people desire to be surrounded by lush, blooming vegetation and blossoms and decide to grow flowers in pots on their balconies or their patios. All annual flowers are good choices for this. Those with balcony railings may select vining ornamental plants that will grow around the railings. Good choices for this include nasturtiums, morning glories, blue potato vine and even rambling roses. Not many things are better after a tough day in an office than relaxing with a cocktail or glass of sweet tea at a table in your own outdoor living space. Annual flowers have the benefit of providing blooms for an extended period of time, providing color from spring through autumn.
Culinary Herbs for a City Apartment
Many people who live in the city are discovering the satisfaction of creating meals in their own homes rather than constantly eating takeout or going to restaurants. A patio or balcony is the perfect place to grow culinary herbs in pots. Herbs generally don’t take much fertilizer and only require an adequate amount of watering, and they are often aromatic. Meals taste much better when prepared with fresh herbs. Oregano, chives, mint, rosemary, sage and lemon balm are just few example of culinary herbs that can be successfully grown in pots, and some can even be grown on sunny windowsills during the winter months.
Vegetable Gardens in Urban Yards
People who live in houses within city limits are increasingly choosing to forgo lawn space in favor of vegetable gardens. Tomatoes, corn, lettuce, radishes, beets, spinach and broccoli are a few of the items that grow well in home gardens. Various salad greens can be grown together in large containers and picked when fresh salads are needed. Although the back yard is the traditional domain of home gardens, people are beginning to see the value in using their front yards for growing vegetables as well. Those who have consumed meals prepared with vegetables from home gardens are rarely satisfied with grocery store produce.
Bringing the Country to the City
Incorporating plant life into an urban environment has emotional, nutritional and aesthetic benefits. No matter how small their apartment or house, city dwellers can always find a way to grow herbs, vegetables or ornamental flowers in containers or on small patches of land. Some even grow fruit trees in large outdoor planters. Cherry tomatoes do especially well when planted in hanging baskets.
People who live in apartments or condos with no outdoor space available at all can still grow herbs and flowers indoors. Grow lights and hydroponic systems are available for those who want to do this. With advancements in horticultural technology, there is no reason why those living in even the deepest urban pockets can’t have an abundance of vegetation in their lives.
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