Let’s face the facts man…. you don’t know what the heck you are doing. Instagram says grow your seeds in old egg cartons. Pinterests says you can grow lettuce in 20 days. Modern Farmer show this beautiful chicken coop perfectly clean with happy birds laying eggs for the whole neighborhood. Facebook marketplace sells metal garden kits you can put together in 20 minutes. Sounds like I can stop going to Trader Joe’s twice a week. I’ll just feed my family from my cool new suburban garden over there between the pool pump and the rubbermaid storage shed.
Here are the 3 most important success factors for an urban garden. Ready….
1. You have to have 6 to 8 hours of full sun. No productive food garden will be worth its resources, space, or time without this box checked!
2. You need to have really good soil and need to keep improving the soil every season. Improving is NOT replacing. Soil is made better and healthier with decay and break down of living matter. Leave your old roots to decompose inplace if you can, then amend with more compost or add worm castings. The act of breaking down and composting is what make great organic growing matter. Its true for farms, for raised bed boxes and for flower pots.
3. You need to be in the garden a lot. Gardening is a participation sport, it’s a get in there and work activity. You cannot ignore a garden for more than a day or so or you will miss the signs. What….? Yes the signs. There are activities of bugs, moisture, growth and slight changes to light that need to be observed. Observe and engage in order to have the most success in growing plants, especially culinary plants.
So, now you know the truth for a fulfilling food garden. Do you think your yard can handle the truth? Do you really think you can grow a garden net to your pool pump? Maybe but measured against the 3 factors for success it will be a challenge. Now what is an urbanite to do? Well you can participate in the healthy food chain by buying from a market gardener or the farmers market. Let’s think about this option.
If you and several neighbors want the same access to fresh greens and ripened on the vine tomatoes how can you make that happen? You live in an ever popular Texas HOA that does not allow gardens, or cars on blocks or water hoses laying across your driveway. Humm…. We could do grass roots movement and change (fight) the HOA. OR we could find a common area and take payments to support the functions of the garden. There is always a chief in the neighborhood that will volunteer to organize the garden, divide up tasks, appoint garden chairs and co-chairs ect… You could all get together and hire a gardener and give them the go a head to plant in the common area on behalf of the neighborhood. Or a company like (Urban Dirt Co)There is a term already for this movement. It’s called an Agri-hood and it is being embraced by real estate developers as green space and community amenity features. Think play grounds and walking paths now gardening space. It is a way for city folk to ave closer access to and grow some of their own food. Its possible the “agri-hood” concept could take hold and whole developments might be built around the farm alongside the community pool. Bam!
We help you grow your own food!