If you want to, you can grow your own food anywhere.
Recently, we looked at apartment gardening but now we want to extend that a little and our urban kitchen gardening guide explores what to do if you have just a bit more space available to you.
The Personal Attributes Of An Urban Kitchen Gardener
You don’t need any experience gardening to make this work but it’s a good idea to have some key personal attributes:
- A willingness to work. This is a pastime which is going to mean getting covered in soil as well as digging, moving plants and caring for them, etc. the work won’t do itself.
- Time to do the work. Modern life can be really busy but if you can’t dedicate, at least, a little time to your garden each day – it’s going to die/get out of control.
- A willingness to wait. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your garden’s produce be. It takes a time for veggies to grow and you will tend them until they do.
- A willingness to learn. Veggies are usually problem free but things can go wrong and when they do, your ability to learn from your mistakes rather than wallowing in failure will make all the difference in the long-term.
- A readiness to bounce back. When a crop fails, you don’t sit around and mope, you clear out the garden and start again.
How To Prepare For An Urban Kitchen Garden
The biggest part of preparing for an urban kitchen garden is simply preparing the space for your plants to grow in.
We’d like an area of 12’ x 12’, ideally, where you can build a raised bed.
However, if you don’t have that kind of space, it’s no problem – you can split out the space in plant pots (as many as you can fit in).
Then once you have the pots or the raised bed, you need some red sand, soil and compost in a 1:1:1 ratio and fill them with it.
Then we’ve just got a few other observations that will help with placing the garden:
- It needs light. Most plants require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to grow effectively, watch the space you’re considering using and make sure that it gets enough.
- It should be close. We like to keep our urban kitchen garden outside the back door (though in a pinch, the front door is fine) and close by – that way it’s easy to work in.
- It needs water. You need to be able to get a hose pipe to the garden to water it, make sure this is relatively easy.
- It needs to be safe. If you opt for a raised bed garden, never use a treated timber to construct it. The treatment is often poisonous.
- Consider mobility. Harsh winters can kill plants but if you plant in pots, they can be moved inside in bad weather.
- Think up as well as out. We like to use vertical gardening techniques (trellises are cheap and easy to use) to make the most of the space available.
Crop Ideas For Your Urban Kitchen Garden
If you’ve got this far, then it’s time to plant your garden and that should be easy too.
We’d never presume to tell you what to grow, we don’t know what you like but we do have some simple ideas that might help you get some inspiration.
If you try to “theme” your crops – that is so they support a particular food idea (say Chinese food or Hungarian food) it’s easier for you to get the harvests that allow you to cook fresh and tasty meals.
Examples could be: Italian food, spicy food, food for canning, food for pickling, or even “expensive food” (the kind of treats you love but can’t bring yourself to buy in the supermarket).
Once you’re done, you can then tend your garden and wait for harvest – you shouldn’t see any pests or diseases but if you do, always use natural pest control.
You can also make compost easily for fertilizer, see our free guide on how to compost at home for details.
Final Thoughts On Urban Kitchen Gardening
Once you get into the swing of things, growing your own food is easy and fun.
Plus, don’t miss our kitchen garden guide to growing vegetables at home here.