How to Set up an Urban Organic Vegetable Garden

An organic vegetable garden can give us a great variety of fruit and vegetables to eat. Some people see it as a type of therapy, others as a way to communicate with the earth, and others because they want to eat more healthily and naturally.

Here are some tips for setting up an organic vegetable garden, even though you live in the city.

An organic garden: how to begin

In order to grow an urban vegetable garden, where we can grow food that our family can eat, we need a small space on a terrace, balcony or in the garden. Some recommendations:

  • The space must receive at least 6 hours of direct sun, so that the plants can grow well.
  • Any plant pots should face South, so they receive the most light.
  • If a lot of space is available for the garden, it is a good idea to cover it with a shade cloth so that your pets can´t get in.

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  • Make sure you put the garden near a water supply so it is easy to water.
  • The number of plant pots or containers that you use will depend on the number of people in your family.
  • Plant the vegetables and fruits that your family likes to eat the most, if they are suitable to grow in your particular climate.

Choose the right containers for the garden

The plant pots or containers should:

  • Be light so you can easily move them and so they are not too heavy for a balcony or terrace.
  • Have good drainage so extra water from the rain or watering can drip out.
  • Be as big as possible, so the plant roots can grow well, as if they were in the dirt of an ordinary garden. A depth of 20 cm is recommended.

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  • Make sure you choose different sized pots for leaf vegetables and root vegetables, because they grow to be different sizes.
  • Materials: wooden or ceramic pots protect roots better.

Defining your vegetable garden

It’s important to know where you’ll put your vegetable garden. Then learn a little about the plants that you will plant there. Next, buy the pots or containers that you’ll need. It should be in a place that’s comfortable to work, so you can bend down and be able to reach all of your vegetables. The dirt that you find at any gardening store is great, but it’s important to add some subsoil (you can buy that too), so that the plants grow well.

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Vegetables can be planted in two different ways: as seeds or seedlings, depending on their species. It’s also helpful to know how the different plants affect each other. For example, you can put tomatoes and basil in the same pot, and they will both be stronger as a result.

Images courtesy of Wicker Paradise, Cali4beach KateMonkey