Gardens in urban areas have become a global trend. Have you heard of them?
Interest in this issue has grown as people have become increasingly concerned with improving their eating habits and taking part in activities that are in harmony with the environment. That’s why today we want to tell you how you can make your own garden at home and take advantage of its benefits.
Another important reason why gardens are gaining popularity– is that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) notes that urban agriculture is a way to ensure more food for the population.
You may not notice the shortage of plants today, but the FAO presented a study that found that by 2050 the world’s population will be approximately 9.1 billion– and that 70% increase in agricultural production will be needed.
Unfortunately, the propensity of diseases and pests throughout the world makes it difficult to achieve that goal, but the biggest obstacle is climate change and its effects. That is why it is now very valued that people can produce their own food.
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to grow the vegetables you’ll eat in your own city in several weeks, the answer is “of course!” You just have to learn how to give them the ideal conditions and put a lot of effort into it.
Next, we’ll tell you what you need to make your garden at home, what vegetables you can grow, and what benefits this beautiful practice has.
What you need to make your garden
- A space with direct natural light
It can be a balcony, a terrace, a garden, a window or a roof terrace. The important thing is that it is a ventilated area that receives sunlight so that plants can perform photosynthesis.
You can buy them or make them with recycling material, such as plastic bottles, buckets, or juice containers. Their size will depend on the space you have available in your garden and what type of plants you want to grow.
Before you start planting, check that each pot has at least 3 holes in the bottom so that the plant can remove excess water from irrigation. If you don’t have them, you can make them yourself.
In addition, pots have to be large enough for plants to grow. It is recommended that they be between 7 and 15 cm deep.
Note: If you have a large area, instead of pots you can have wooden planters or vertical gardens.
- Organic substrate
The substrate is the soil where the plant lives and it is an especially important element because it will help your plants grow properly.
The substrate must meet certain characteristics such as: being light (to be easily manipulated), rich in nutrients, and be porous enough for the roots of plants to breathe and retain water.
Depending on what you want to sow, the nursery can advise you on which type of substrate to use. However, a good idea is to mix black earth with a compost that you can prepare at home yourself. Here you can learn how to do it.
- An irrigation plan
Investigate how much water each plant needs and establish an irrigation system that’s comfortable and realistic for you to meet.
Depending on the size of your garden, you can use a manual system, such as a hose, or a drip system.
- Seeds or shoots
If you want to see results faster, sow the plant shoots. The process will be simpler, and you can get them at nurseries.
Now, if you want to see your plants grow from scratch, then sow their seeds. This is a process that takes longer, but in the future, you will save yourself from having to transplant the plant.
You can get the seeds from your own crops or buy them. If you buy them, check that they are of good quality and they’re the plant you want to grow. You don’t want to find out that your rosemary turned out to be simple weeds!
A common question is how many seeds must be sown to obtain a plant. One is supposed to be born from each seed; but specialists suggest placing 2 or 3 in case one doesn’t germinate.
The basic tools for working in a home garden are work gloves, a rake, a hand padel racket, pruning scissors and a hose.
If you want to invest a little more, then you can add a seedbed, a growing table, a weed rake or a drip irrigation system. It will all depend on your needs and your budget.
What you can sow in your home garden
If this is your first garden, we recommend planting plants that are easy to maintain. For example: mint, basil, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onion and chard.
If you have a garden with little space, you can try planting vertical plants such as: tomato, cucumber, pods or peas; or small plants such as: spinach, parsley, carrots or peas, peppers and all kinds of aromatic herbs.
Remember that there are plants that grow best in a season of the year. Therefore, ideally you know which ones you can sow each month, considering the geographical conditions of your city. Here you can find out what foods you can plant in November, both in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Benefits of having a garden at home
Being able to grow in your own home not only has economic advantages, it also promotes your health and care of the environment.
Here’s a rundown of the benefits of growing your food:
- It facilitates healthy and natural eating because the fruits of your garden will be fresh, good quality and free of chemicals.
- It makes you value food more by understanding the processes they go through until you get to your table.
- It allows you to save money by having access to products that can be more expensive at the market.
- It connects you to nature and makes you invest time in a healthy activity.
- The simple idea of being able to eat something that you cultivated yourself generates a lot of satisfaction.
- It reduces stress and anxiety levels. It is proven that humans feel much more fulfilled when they are close to nature. The presence of plants in the home also helps mental health.
- It increases the green areas of your city and that improves the quality of the air you breathe.
- It’s an activity that can be done as a family. Take advantage of it to bond with the little ones in the house!
- It helps to conservation efforts by reducing the use of transportation and fossil fuels needed to reach the market and production. It also cuts out the packaging and storage processes.
- Promotes local and sustainable agriculture.
As you can see, having your own garden at home is simpler than it looks and it also has a lot of advantages.
If you have environmental values, you like nature or you want to learn more about agriculture, we are sure you will like this activity.
However, keep in mind that it requires patience, creativity, perseverance and a lot of observation.
We hope this article has aroused your curiosity. We also hope you will be encouraged to learn much more about urban gardens and how they can help you connect with nature in a very simple, productive and special way.