How do we make an urban garden at home?

Even if you live in a big city or in an urban environment, you can enjoy an activity as rewarding and healthy as growing your own vegetables and aromatic plants, but how do we make an urban garden at home? Sure, starting out in organic gardening and having a “green” space at home can be a bit complex at first, but with a little planning and enthusiasm, you will be able to take your garden forward without problems.

We are going to start with these tips to simplify the steps to take and get our urban garden set up.

How do we make an urban garden at home?

* Determine what space you will allocate to the garden . We are going to specify what dimensions we have and what space we will allocate to our garden, such as the terrace, a roof terrace, a patio or a balcony. We don’t want to saturate the space. If this is very limited, for example, 1 square meter (1m²) we will take into account factors that help us to maximize mini-gardens such as vertical orchards with different heights. We will take advantage of stairs, reused pallets, hanging flowerpots or other objects that help us to take advantage of the aerial and vertical space (walls).

The space that you set aside for the urban garden must be adequately lit. This means that it will receive between 5 and 8 hours of light a day so that our plants and their fruits can grow and mature well. Avoid placing plants near drafts and heat sources such as radiators or stoves.

when to sow * I don’t know what and when to sow! . If you wonder what you like to eat, you will know what to grow. Tomato and cucumber salads, vegetable lasagna, baked peppers, gazpacho … Think about your favorite vegetables and prioritize in order which ones you will start to plant first.

As for when to sow, don’t worry, there are indicative planting calendars. Each plant has a suitable time of year to be cultivated. Among the most common vegetables that are grown in the urban garden, we can highlight tomatoes, peppers, courgettes or cucumbers that are sown between the months of March and May; or bushes like strawberries that we can start growing between April and August. The onions and garlic can be planted between the months of December and March.

* Choose the pots, containers or cultivation tables according to the plants you are going to grow . There are plants that develop relatively large roots that will need a more or less deep extension for the plant to grow well. This is the case of the aforementioned vegetables that will need containers or pots with a minimum depth of 40 cm.

On the other hand, there are plants such as all aromatic and medicinal plants, such as parsley, pepper, basil, coriander, oregano. peppermint or thyme that need less space for their roots. For these cases, using pots or containers with a depth of 15 cm is sufficient.

Fill these pots with a substrate that we can divide into three layers:

  1. A first layer of sand at the base of the container
  2. Another middle layer of earth
  3. Finally and as the most superficial layer worm humus or compost.

Additionally, we can add a padding or mulch coverage that, in addition to helping to maintain the humidity of the earth, can serve as a decorative element. We can choose a multitude of natural materials such as pineapple, sawdust, gravel or pieces of tree bark.

* Get organic seeds of local varieties . To eat healthy food you need to sow organic seeds. These types of seeds are certified as such and have been obtained from plants grown without pesticides. You can get these seeds in online stores, in nurseries, from other market gardeners, etc. Later, once you start growing your own vegetables, you can extract the seeds and save them for sowing in the following seasons.

It is important that you choose local varieties of vegetables and aromatic plants because they are already adapted to the climate of your area and you will have a greater chance of success when it comes to taking your urban garden forward. It is also important to use local varieties of seeds because this way we help to keep alive this heritage that past generations have left us.

garden patio * What to know about maintaining your garden at home . In general, most horticultural and aromatic plants like the ones we mentioned above are annuals. This means that we cultivate them, they grow, they give us their fruits and later they die. Next season we will sow them again and repeat the cycle again. Another option that we can introduce in our urban garden are perennials. These plants will last us longer, even if we take proper care of them, we will have them with us for several years and their fruits will improve in quantity and quantity.

Once a year we will apply worm humus or compost to maintain the fertility of the substrate in which we grow and that our plants do not have any type of deficiency of micro and macronutrients.

* Treat possible pests in the urban garden . It is one of the main concerns of the gardeners: the pests in the garden. The most common pests that we can suffer in urban gardens are aphids, ants, red spider or mites and worms. For all of them we can use home and natural remedies to combat them without causing damage to the plants or our environment. For example, if we ensure that our urban garden does not lack ladybugs or vaquitas, they will help us control the aphid population and we will not suffer pests. In addition, the decoction of plants such as lavender, bay leaf or basil sprayed on the plants affected by any of the pests mentioned above, help us to combat them.

I recommend that you be realistic and gradually introduce yourself to organic gardening so that it becomes a positive experience from which to learn step by step. Start with two or three plants of your three favorite vegetables and when you see that you have controlled all the care they require, go buying another type of vegetables. If you start your urban garden at home with many different plants you may see yourself overwhelmed and end up leaving it.

In addition, the home garden can be a perfect space for family learning in which we can enlighten ourselves and share knowledge about nature and its cycles, and develop observation, patience, self-learning, creativity and experimentation … no! run out of your urban garden!

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