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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sustainable Gardening in an Urban Landscape

If you’ve ever seen the 1960s sitcom “Green Acres,” you know it’s about a high-class woman used to city living who marries a farmer and moves out to the country. Even if you’ve never seen it, you can imagine the antics and comedic gold that might occur in such a situation. 

But, what if you’re a city lover at heart who still has a green thumb? Maybe you don’t want to leave the city for greener pastures, but you want a plot of land for gardening and growing your own flowers, fruits, or vegetables? 

More people throughout the country are moving to apartments or townhomes. While there are plenty of benefits to renting and living in the city, it’s hard to find ways to garden when you have limited space – especially if you’re trying to live a more sustainable life. 

Thankfully, it’s not impossible to satisfy your need for urban living with sustainable gardening. Let’s cover some helpful tips that can scratch your green acres itch while still allowing you to enjoy the benefits of city life. 

Make the Most of Minimal Outdoor Space

You might not have a big backyard you can till up for gardening, but chances are you have at least some space to introduce greenery into your life. If you live in an apartment with a courtyard, for example, utilize that space to plant beautiful flowers and native plants. 

Even if you just have a small front porch or stoop, you can become an expert in potted porch plants. Some of the best vegetables for pots and containers include

  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant

Keep in mind that plants perched on your balcony might need extra care and additional water since they’ll be more prone to drying out. Use recycled pots or reusable containers to cut down on waste, and invest in organic soil to improve the sustainability of your porch garden. 

Take Things Inside

If you don’t have any space for an outdoor garden, consider growing one indoors. 

Before you start thinking that you’ll never get your security deposit back, consider some creative options that can appease your green thumb. One of the easiest ways to have an indoor garden is to grow herbs. They can thrive in almost any container, and you can set them up on a windowsill in your kitchen to get enough light and be at the ready whenever you need them. 

If you want to take things a step further, consider attaching small planters to your walls. 

Vertical gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, and whether you transform an entire area of one room into a “greenhouse” or simply place a few flowers and plants on vertical shelves, you can satisfy your need for greenery in your small home without having to get things dirty. 

If you do decide to bring nature indoors, make sure you prepare your home for potential pests. Bugs and gardens tend to go hand-in-hand, and somehow they always seem to find their way in. You can pest-proof your home by

  • Sealing any cracks or openings
  • Keeping your kitchen clean
  • Hanging a birdhouse outside your window to attract natural bug-eaters
  • Keeping your home dry
  • Using essential oils

With a few simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy having herbs, flowers, and indoor plants greet you every day without worrying about six-legged friends tagging along. 

Practice Sustainable Gardening – Wherever You Are

Just because you live in an apartment, townhouse, or condo doesn’t mean there aren’t gardening options available. Nowadays, community gardens are seeing a rise in popularity thanks to the influx of people moving to urban areas. They’re great for areas that struggle with food insecurity, they can help to form relationships, and allow you to get your hands dirty. 

If sustainability and eco-friendly practices are important to you, make the most of any gardening experience you can get your hands on (literally). Whether it’s indoors, on your front porch, or on the rooftop of your building shared with several other people. Some of the best ways to practice sustainable gardening include using organic materials, growing crops that are in season, using mulch, composting and managing your water use. 

There’s always more to learn and more you can do to make your garden as green as possible. No matter the size of your planting space, keep doing your research on sustainable gardening practices. The more you know, the more you can educate others sharing a space with you, or any of your friends interested in starting their own garden. Everything from replacing soil to best composting practices will make a difference in the eco-friendliness of your space. 

Don’t let city living keep you from enjoying the perks of getting your hands dirty. With a little creativity and dedication, you can enjoy the benefits of gardening in an urban landscape, and do so while staying committed to sustainability. 


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