6.16.2011

Tips For Urban Gardening


By Laura Sears
metrocurean contributor, lb's good spoon

It's not easy growing greens in a big city. In fact, if you've had a garden or any form of green space in another life, thinking of planting a garden with the teeny 3-by-3-foot space you may now have can be downright depressing.

Consider myself someone who recently had the shock of walking through a garden center realizing I couldn't grow tomatoes or zucchini or chard this year. My plot was too small and my sunshine lacking. Instead, I opted for some potted herbs that I hope to see partial sun and an array of red and white impatiens for the shady plot of soil I do have.

If you're not so lucky to have soil, perhaps there's a place for you to put some pots — even a sunny spot in your kitchen. Growing food in a city is all about being resourceful.

Here are a few helpful green thumb tips:

•  Potted herbs are a great starting point. Mint likes its own pot or it'll take over if it's with others.

• 
Basil and tomatoes love the sun.

• 
Cherry tomatoes work well for small areas as they don't grow too high or become as cumbersome as full sized tomato plants.

• 
Thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary are great culinary herbs and can do with partial sun.

•  Whether you're gardening in pots or the ground, take the time to prepare the soil with a good organic mix like Bumper Crop.

•  Raised beds with all new soil are a good idea for urban back yards. The existing ground soil can have undesirable elements like lead.

No room for green space at all? Look into community gardens around town. Washington Gardener offers some resources for finding a garden near you.

Stay tuned for more gardening tips from Metrocurean readers in our Great Urban Gardens series. Want to submit your city plot? Find the details here.







Laura Sears is a personal chef, cooking instructor and food writer following her love of cooking and writing after a career in various business jobs. Born and raised in Ohio, she is both molded by those roots and the ones she grew as an early adult in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her love for local, seasonal food blossomed there as did her desire to garden each opportunity she got.

Living in DC has been a recen t change though she is encouraged by the number of farmers markets and local suppliers of meat and dairy. You can follow her on her personal blog 
LB's Good Spoon that was created in 2008 after several friends kept asking her what she had cooked up recently!



metrocurean contributor, lb's good spoonmetrocurean contributor, .

Stay tuned for more gardening tips from Metrocurean readers in our Great Urban Gardens series. Want to submit your city plot? Find the details here.







Laura Sears is a personal chef, cooking instructor and food writer following her love of cooking and writing after a career in various business jobs. Born and raised in Ohio, she is both molded by those roots and the ones she grew as an early adult in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her love for local, seasonal food blossomed there as did her desire to garden each opportunity she got.

Living in DC has been a recen t change though she is encouraged by the number of farmers markets and local suppliers of meat and dairy. You can follow her on her personal blog 
LB's Good Spoon that was created in 2008 after several friends kept asking her what she had cooked up recently!


LB's Good Spoon

4 comments:

Alicia said...

Perfect timing, LB! I am just venturing this way now with one healthy tomato plant (in a pot) and some herbs. I have high hopes! Thanks for the tips.

Robin Horton/Urban Gardens said...

Nice post, I want to eat those tomatoes!

@joshfleischmann said...

Agree with the mint tip- Mine is happily in command of it's very own pot, and has grown to fill out the entire container. Luckily, I have plenty of uses for mint- Like cold watermelon fennel salad. Yummm.

Amanda @ Metrocurean said...

Robin Horton/Urban Gardens: Checked out your site - it's beautiful! -----

@joshfleischmann: Mmm, watermelon fennel salad sounds fabulous.