Gardening is a source of inner peace and joy to both adults and children alike. It is a great family time hobby, and can have a magical effect on everyone that nothing else does. It doesn’t need to take a ton of time or space. Depending on your lot, your favorite vegetables, fruits or herbs, there are a few urban garden options that can fit your green thumb. It’s much easier to keep up with a small garden during the busy summer season. You’re more likely to be successful, which means you’re going to have a lot more fun this year and beyond.
Choose Your Size
What is a small garden? Some of the community gardens will be 20’ x 20’, this was often too big for beginning gardeners. Half that size, 10’x10’, is a more manageable size for families. Starting with one raised bed is also a good choice. A 4’x8’ raised bed will allow you to grow a handful of different vegetables and will be easy to manage. You can always add more raised beds in the coming years.
What Do You Want To Grow?
The first step in deciding what to grow is to look at your eating and grocery shopping habits. What do you eat and buy from the grocery store on a regular basis? What are your favorite weekly meals?
Immerse Yourself in the Experience
If you let it, gardening can become one of the most fulfilling and joyful parts of your life. There’s nothing quite like going out your back door to harvest a bowl of fresh vegetables for dinner! Take time to enjoy ingredients in your garden. It sounds obvious, but if you grow what you eat you’ll get much more satisfaction from your garden
Start with Seedlings
There are different ways to plant vegetables in your garden. Some things are more commonly grown by starting with a seedling (a baby plant), and some vegetables are grown by planting a seed in the ground. Seeds often need more attention initially than plants, so I recommend that beginning gardeners use seedlings as much as possible in their gardens for the first year or two.
What type of container should I use?
Straw Bale Gardening provides many advantages over traditional soil gardening, some of which have already been alluded to: no weed seeds, no disease or insect carry over, and a neutral pH which allow you to grow essentially anything with roots.
The raised height of the bales is a big advantage, eliminating the need to get down on the ground level to plant and harvest. Soil is heavy and moving it around is labor intensive, while straw bales once in place eliminate much of the physical requirements of traditional gardening.
Choosing what to plant is really easy, because almost anything with roots will thrive in these bales. Stay away from the few plants that like extremely acidic or alkaline growing media, because the bales will produce a “soil” that is nearly neutral.
Container gardens are also a great option and take less time & space. Whether it is large pot/planter or a box container garden (they can come large or small), you will need to take on what you can fit into your schedule. Watering daily is essential, as well as positioning in the correct sunlit areas.
Herbs are very low-maintenance. Even if you don’t have a big backyard, you can grow your own herbs in small pots.