04 May Urban Living: How to Start a New Vegetable Garden
Have a little city plot that would be great for a vegetable garden, but don’t know how to get started? You can grow your very own small space garden with the help of containers.
What is Container Gardening?
Container gardening is exactly what it sounds like — growing your garden solely in containers! Think you don’t have enough room to have a garden? Think again! The beauty of container gardening is that you can have a garden practically anywhere! Container gardening goes far beyond a few flower pots on your front porch. If vegetables are your favorite, why not start a vegetable container garden? Think that’s impossible? That is where you would be wrong. Many vegetables and fruits can easily be grown in containers.
Kellogg got our start using organics to revitalize orange orchards 90 years ago. So, we totally have you covered. Check out our five tips for growing proven organic veggies…
- Test Your Native Soil. It’s very helpful to know what’s great and what’s not so great about your soil. Sometimes urban soils can be contaminated from lead paint, heavy metals, or spilled chemicals. It’s always best to know what you’ve got! Your local cooperative extension can point you in the direction of your local soil labs.
- Prepare Your Soil for Planting. That test you ordered on your soil in step one? It is your guide for how to improve your soil. Soil amendments and fertilizers can fix a whole host of problems, everything from clay soils to correcting the pH.
- Plant, Plant, Plant, and Plant Some More! If you have limited space, you might want to focus on growing the EWA’s dirty dozen vegetables. These are the fruits and vegetables that are commonly doused with a lot of chemical pesticides. You’ll get more bang for your organic buck by growing these yourself.
- Don’t Forget to Fertilize. Many people forget to fertilize. Don’t be many people! The key to robust, healthy plants is consistent application of a proven organic fertilizer.
- Organic Pest Control. Believe it or not, putting the right plant in the right spot and keeping it well watered and fertilized will keep most pests at bay. If you still have some of those annoying little buggers eating your crops, your local cooperative extension is a great resource for you. Also check out the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management website.
More Ways to Optimize Your Small Garden Space
- Furniture with an integrated planter.
Furniture with integrated planters are made in all types of materials including industrial style concrete, wood, metal, and plastic. Some of these pieces are “tri-functional” with integrated planters as well as lighting.
- Illuminated planter that doubles as a lamp.
You’ll love the way these planters illuminate a space while also casting light on the plants inside. Use small tabletop versions replace candles in lieu of candles, and larger ones to provide the entire space with soft ambient light.
- Furniture with hidden storage.
Consider benches and side tables with hidden storage to stow cushions and garden tools.
- Umbrella that is also a planter or cooler.
Patio umbrellas come in small sizes and some double as planters.
- Multi-purpose stool, table, planter, and cooler.
Depending on your particular needs, it’s seating, a table, planter or cooler. And it’s on casters, so you can move it with the sun.
What big ideas to you have for small outdoor spaces? We’d like to know!