growing your container garden

Urban Gardening: Grow Delicious Fruits And Vegetables Even If You Live In A Crowded City

If you live in an urban environment, you may think the chance of having a garden with edibles such as fruit and vegetable plants is out of reach. However, if you have several feet of space on a balcony or patio, you can satisfy your green thumb cravings by planting varieties of fruit and vegetables that are dwarf-sized and can thrive in small spaces. The following guide can help you choose the right plants from a local nursery and care for them in an urban space.

Ideal Fruit Plants

There is nothing like the taste of ripe, sweet fruit straight from the source. If you love fresh fruit and live in an area that has several months of warm weather and sunshine, you can grow fruit trees successfully.

If you like citrus fruit, you can choose from varieties of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Popular varieties for urban gardening of each type of citrus are listed below.

  • Oranges: Trovita, Washington navel, Skaggs Bonanza, Valencia
  • Lemons: Eureka, Improved Meyer, Lisbon, variegated pink
  • Limes: Key lime, Tahiti, Bearrs seedless, Thornless Mexican, Rangpur
  • Grapefruit: Oroblanco, Dwarf Redblush

If you want more exotic fruit, look for dwarf varieties of guava, kumquats, and papayas at your local nursery.

Ideal Vegetable Plants

When it comes to vegetables, you have a much wider selection of plants to choose from for a small space. You can cut down on the amount of money you spend purchasing vegetables when you grow your own. Some vegetables, like okra, do well in small spaces with very little care.

It is also easy to grow vegetables directly from seeds. Plants that are ideal for balconies that you can grow from seed packets include:

  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Beans for vines
  • Leafy greens
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Bell peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Melons

You can also grow midget watermelons and pumpkins in an urban garden.

Shopping and Care Tips

Visit local nurseries that carry fruit trees or even order them online from shops that will ship a young plant complete with a plug that contains the plant's roots and soil in an intact plug.

When you want to grow your plants from seeds, make sure to purchase seed packets from a reputable nursery. You do not want to spend your money on defective seeds from the gardening section of a run-of-the-mill big box chain store.

Put your plants in large, sturdy containers. Make sure that the plants have enough space between containers to breathe and receive sun exposure. Do not crowd plants together or they will compete against each other for sunlight.

If the temperature in your area drops below freezing for more than a few days, bring your plants inside until the temperature rises well above freezing. For more information, contact companies like Bob Williams Nursery Inc.