4 Tips for Urban Gardening

Summer is here (well, kind of), and what better way to spruce up your living space than by having some plants in your home? Concrete, tile and wood are cool, but plants add life and colour to your home. And don’t be discouraged- just because you live in a small space with no yard doesn’t mean that you cant have your own garden. Container gardening is the way to go in our concrete jungle, and it is fairly easy and inexpensive if done right. Here are a few pointers to turn your urban dwelling to a green sanctuary:

1. Soil

It’s always best to use potting soil, instead of soil straight from the ground. There are added nutrients and better drainage than the soil straight off the earth. It’s also handy to know how much soil that your plants needs- shallow root vegetables like lettuce, peppers, radishes and herbs require 8 inches of soil for root penetration, whereas larger plants need a lot more wiggle room (12 inches or more). To maintain a healthy plant, it is also good to change your soil once a year. Tomato Plant

Photo Credit: Emily Coghlan (Flickr)

 2.  Pots

Clay, plastic, glass, metal- there are so many options. To have a healthy plant, you have to pick the right medium to store it in. The key is to strike the balance between aesthetics and functionality, and the best way to do that is to research what material works best for which plant. Terracotta pots are great for spots that very windy- they are  heavy and less susceptible to blowing over. They are great for plants that don’t require a lot of moisture like cactus and succulents, as terracotta absorbs moisture in the soil. Plastic is a cheaper alternative, and is great for plants that require a lot of  moisture. It is important to remember to poke enough holes at the bottom of your pot to ensure that all excess moisture drains away, otherwise mould and root rot will kill your plants. Glazed pots are pretty and come in a variety of colours and are also great for plants that require a lot of moisture. Terrariums works well with moss,herbs, succulents and cacti.   Succulents

Photo Credit: Kevin Boomer

3. Water

Don’t overwater your plants! Know your plant, know your soil, know your pots, and water accordingly. Excess water results in you drowning your plant, and root rot if no proper drainage.

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4. Placement

Placement of your plant is just as important as any other factor when it comes to ensuring a healthy and happy plant. Plants need to need to get an average of 6 hours of sun a day (more or less depending on the plant). Study your living space and the movement of light around the room, and place your plant accordingly.

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