35% of American households grow their own food according to the National Gardening Association.
If you want to join them, you can and it’s easy, cheap and so fulfilling to grow your own food.
And yes, you can even grow your own food in a city, here’s what you need to know.
5 Ways To Grow Your Own Food In The City
If you’ve never grown plants before you might want to read the “New Plant Parent” before you invest in food crops. It’s a great way to learn the basics of plant care.
Once you’re ready to care for plants, we’ve got some great ways for you to start growing your own food in the comfort of the city.
If you have just a little outdoor space, container gardening is the ideal solution for you.
You can put a container in a courtyard, on a balcony, or in a small yard and it’s going to be fine as long as it gets some sunlight.
You can grow pretty much anything in a container (except large trees) which means you can pick your favorite fruits and veggies suited to your climate.
Square inch for square inch, container gardens produce the highest yield for soil used because every inch of it is used for production.
You can also develop a container garden that is ideal for access if you have mobility problems, so there’s no real excuse not to have one.
If you have some wall space, then you might consider a vertical garden, you can set up vertical gardens indoors and outdoors and as with all gardens, the important thing is access to sunlight.
Growing upwards is also very efficient in terms of getting high yields out of a space and many plants thrive in vertical arrangements especially tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, asian greens, herbs (like the ones in our favorite herb garden kits), strawberries (just make sure to wash them properly) and peas, beans and melons too!
One thing you might want to try is growing sunflowers and then attaching vertical crops to them rather than using doweling.
Raised Bed Gardening
If you have a big yard then you can probably advance your city gardening ambitions and opt for raised beds.
This is a popular technique which results in the best use of space and the lowest amount of effort (though we should note, you still have to work at a garden or it will die).
Even if you use a wheelchair, a well-laid out raised bed garden can be easy to attend to.
Raised beds are highly productive and they offer a longer growing season than other forms of outdoor city gardening as they warm faster during the spring than anything touching the ground directly could.
You also never need to worry about drainage with a raised bed, no matter how much it rains, your crops are going to be fine.
A keyhole garden is a subset of raised bed gardening, the idea is to reduce the need for walkway space and thus increase the amount of “gardenable” space.
It’s also better at fending off draughts than a traditional raised bed garden is and you can easily use it to ensure ideal nutrient flow between beds.
However, you need to have, at least, enough room for a circular bed of approximately 8 feet, minimum, in diameter and it’s more expensive to build a keyhole garden in the first instance than other types of city garden.
If you really don’t have any space at all, ask around the neighborhood and see if there’s a community gardening option, there usually is.
If not, have a look out for a vacant lot and see if you can persuade the owner to allow it to be used for gardening or your neighbors to club together to buy it for a permanent gardening space.
One great thing about community gardens is that it gets children involved in growing their own food and helps them to form a bond with the land that they probably wouldn’t otherwise, when living in a city.
Final Thoughts On How To Grow Your Own Food In The City
Gardening in a city doesn’t need to be an impossible task, as you can see there are several viable options for city gardening.
So, why not give it a try and join the millions of Americans, who no longer eat store bought produce and instead, enjoy the fruits of their own labors, saving money and building a relationship with the earth as they do?