Urban gardens are essential in contributing to healthy communities. From public spaces that encourage people to enjoy the benefits of green living, to growing your own garden at home, the rewards are greater than just gazing at pretty flowers and lush greens.
Getting out and about to garden provides the perfect opportunity to soak up a little sun, with green spaces great for promoting healthy minds and bodies too.
They’re known as healing environments for a reason. Just a short amount of time nurturing your plants can boost your mood, lower stress and ultimately make you feel fantastic. And if you’re growing your own edibles, like veggies, fruits or herbs, you get access to organic delights and significant cost savings – all without having to go to the supermarket!
Whether it’s a balcony, rooftop or windowsill, you can grow your favourite plants and veggies with limited space. Here are some top gardening ideas for city dwellers.
Grow a Rooftop Garden
Rooftop gardens take urban areas to a whole new level, converting concrete jungles into sustainable spaces full of life. They’re great for privacy and contributing to an environmentally friendly community.
Many plants and veggies thrive on the rooftop, because of the plentiful sunlight.
Invest in the right products, like plants that can tolerate direct sun and lightweight planter boxes.
Consider using composite screening to dress up your rooftop garden and provide a solution to screen out prying eyes until your plants are established.
Big Benefits of Micro Gardening
Small-scale gardening can come with big benefits! Micro gardening is the process of growing plants, usually edibles, fragrant flowers and herbs, in containers or pots.
It’s perfect for suburban houses with lack of space to grow on your windowsill, balcony or in the courtyard. Micro gardening is also ideal for anyone who wants the benefits of having a garden, but doesn’t have the time or energy to tend it all. Because they are low-maintenance, they’re easy for anyone to enjoy.
The key to a successful micro garden is an efficient use of space and great soil. Choose soil that’s nutrient-dense (or make your own with recycled food waste).
Your micro garden doesn’t have to cost a lot to thrive either. They can be as simple or as complex and costly as you want! Find a sunny spot in your home or outdoor space and start with suitable plants. Dwarf bok choy, baby carrots, Italian basil, baby eggplant and microgreens are among the easiest to grow.
Vertical gardens make for an appealing addition to any small space. Tall plants like tomatoes, beans and cucumbers are perfect, and creep up to act as a decorative privacy screen too. Grow ‘green walls’ in your courtyard or jazz up plain spaces with a visually appealing vertical garden.
You can purchase a pre-made vertical garden kit from your local nursery and just add your own edibles and micro garden plants into the pots. Or, if you’re feeling creative, why not make your own?
Vertical gardens are easy to make with recycled pallets or a metal/wooden frame as the structure. For the pro gardener, you can set them up with their own irrigation systems or just water regularly by hand. Use recycled plastic bottles for the planters or small containers.
Opt for plants and herbs with softer stems to encourage them to grow downwards. Any plants that naturally ‘droop’ are perfect for vertical gardens because they will create a lush green wall effect. Think succulents, herbs, colourful blooms and anything else that looks fantastic or serves a tasty purpose.
Portable planters are great for saving space, but also for working with nature to minimise problems and optimise harvests. Food crops in portable planters can be easily rotated or moved to take advantage of where the sun and shade are at particular times of the day.
You can make your own portable planters out of composite timber, which will offer the natural charm of hardwood boxes without the maintenance, or purchase from your local nursery. You can even use an old wheelbarrow to turn into a unique and attractive portable planter!
Portable planters in raised garden beds are also a great way to grow veggies. Raised beds can be made portable by installing wheels to the composite timber planter box. Raised beds also cut down on watering and work, making your garden much easier to tend.
There’s no denying that a little garden can go a long way. With some inspiration, creativity, soil and great looking plants, you can have your own slice of heaven, even in an urban environment.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who recommends NewTechWood Australia – a pioneer in the development and manufacture of outdoor composite wood decking, fencing, wall cladding, screening and more. You can catch Jayde on Google+.
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