What is Urban Gardening?

Anna T.

Urban gardening refers to the practice of planting a garden in the city. Apartments, townhomes, and other areas with little to no land are being successfully used for gardening even though they may not be considered ideal. This method of gardening is becoming more commonplace as the amount of land available for gardening diminishes due to increasing development. Raised beds, containers, and hanging baskets are examples of items people can use to create a garden in a confined space. Some cities also offer the use of a shared community garden for people who have no room to grow plants on their property.

Gardening supplies and potted plants.
Gardening supplies and potted plants.

Many types of plants, including popular varieties such as lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers, can grow in containers on windowsills. Plants grown in a windowsill should usually receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Herb gardens are also frequently grown in the kitchen; these types of gardens typically do not require much space and can be handy to have nearby for cooking. People who enjoy planting flowers can grow them in hanging baskets and small containers on balconies, patios, and windowsills. Some people who practice urban gardening grow trees, such as Japanese maple and dwarf apple, in containers as well.

Basil grows well in containers.
Basil grows well in containers.

People who want to grow more than what can be grown in a container garden may use raised beds filled with a mixture of soil and compost. These beds are usually made of wood planks and can be built on top of any hard surface, including roof tops. Raised bed sizes usually vary but one of the most common is 3 feet by 8 feet (about .91 m by 2.44 m). The use of these beds could make urban gardening easier for people with busy lifestyles, partly because the beds usually are lower maintenance than most other methods of gardening.

Easily grown plants like herbs are good for urban gardening.
Easily grown plants like herbs are good for urban gardening.

Community gardening could be an option for anyone who does not have space for a garden at home. Most cities that offer this will rent a small plot of land to someone for a fee, or allow them to use it free of charge. Instead of dividing the land up into separate plots, some cities allow everyone in the neighborhood to share and work on the same land. This method of urban gardening could be beneficial for people looking to meet others in their neighborhood who share in their passion for growing things.

City gardeners can choose to grow Japanese maple in a container.
City gardeners can choose to grow Japanese maple in a container.
Community gardens can be found in urban areas.
Community gardens can be found in urban areas.
Petunias are an easy flower to grow in an urban garden.
Petunias are an easy flower to grow in an urban garden.

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Discussion Comments

Sporkasia

Even though I have enough land for a conventional garden, I plant in raised beds. With this pattern of gardening, I am more focused on using all the available space in the bed, and there is no wasted area. I like planning the garden and determining how I can best use the space I have allotted.

Tending to the garden is more convenient because all the plants and vegetables are so close to one another. I also have an indoor garden in my sun room. This is also quite convenient.

Animandel

I have a friend who lives in a development in the suburbs. Her yard space is limited, so she plants vegetables in flower/garden pots and grows them on the back patio. She has had success with growing green peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables.

Her biggest problem has been that deer and rabbits sometimes come out of the wooded area behind her home at night and snack on her produce.

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