Slowly, but surely, Millenials are budgeting, saving, and entering the housing market. Naturally, first-time homebuyers may not have the luxury of an extravagant lot size and need to be smart with the space they do have — especially the yard or lack thereof.
Over the past few years, urban gardening has grown in popularity, driven by younger generations fueled on environmental awareness and green practices. So, even though Millenials may struggle with real estate, their minimal outdoor square footage is the perfect opportunity to incorporate modern landscape designs with vegetables as the focal point.
While traditional landscaping may incorporate a vegetable garden somewhere in the blueprint, urban gardening can require a tad more strategizing. First and foremost, if your residence is significantly lacking in the yard department, you need to give serious consideration to the sun and where and when it hits any given spot. If you have access to a roof, all the better, but if you’re not so lucky, then you’ll need to be more creative with the location of your urban garden. Remember, your plants must receive between six to eight hours of sunlight each day.
Once you’ve settled on your garden’s location, think about the ideal container for your soil and seeds. There’s no shame in purchasing a pot from your local gardening or landscaping retailer; however, one of the most exciting aspects of urban gardening is flexing your do-it-yourself muscles. Drafting a landscaping design for a planter box that’s measured and explicitly sculpted for your outdoor space can not only add aesthetic value but help your plants thrive as well. Whichever way you choose to spec the planter box, keep in mind the following as you take your measurements and prep for the building materials:
- Depth: Many plants require at least six inches of soil or even as much as one foot of soil depth.
- Drainage: Obviously, plants need water to grow, but proper drainage is equally as important. Drainage can be achieved with a few holes, but also take into account the surrounding area. Adding a small irrigation pipe could help guide the water to a practical outlet and reduce water waste.
Ultimately, your region’s climate may have the final say on what you can and cannot plant in your urban garden, but there are a few vegetable gems that tend to thrive in most American landscapes. Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, chard, lettuce, peppers, chives, and several herbs traditionally grow well in containers, depending on your soil depth, of course. Just the thought of your urban landscaping’s potential should be enough to electrify your tastebuds.
Once you determine a practical landscape design for your urban garden, the weather and your implementation will dictate which vegetables you can nurture and eventually enjoy. Urban vegetable gardens require hard work and love but are a fantastic hobby that’s not only nutritious but environmentally sound as well.