Practical Tips for Urban Gardening

Practical tips for urban gardening on the balcony
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Whether you live in a house or an apartment, urban gardening should not pose serious problems, but rather become the shortest way to a cheerful mood after a hard day’s work. Herbs, tomatoes, forest fruit, leafy greens, other fruit and vegetables – they all can grow before tour very eyes in window boxes, pots, hanging baskets and recycled containers. It only take some willingness and a vivid imagination. To that end, several practical tips for urban gardening, as given by the New York Times, are very helpful.

First and foremost, you need to assess the light conditions since natural light is a crucial factor in any effort to grow plants at home. There are plants which need more light, others which need less. For instance, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers need between six and eight hours of direct sunlight. Others, such as leafy greens, mint, basil, parsley and other herbs we use as ingredients in the kitchen need about three hours of natural light per day, developing better in the shade.

Of equal importance is to pick pots that suit the plants that grown in them. For example, leafy greens, herbs, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers grow in one to three gallon containers (up to 11 liters) while regular tomatoes and eggplants do better in larger four to five gallon containers (15-18 liters).

Don’t use only garden soil to fill the pots because it is heavier and can contain weed seeds and disease. Turn to a potting mix and add compost in a half to half ratio. Fertilize every two weeks with seaweed emulsion or nettle leaves.

It goes without saying plants need to be watered with a frequency which depends on sun or wind exposure. Water them at least once a day because left without water plants will no longer grow normally. If you leave home for a while, you can rely on water-retaining polymers or can get self-watering pots with reservoirs which are set on a timer. Still, do not let pots and containers get waterlogged and this is why it is recommended to water by hand after checking the soil moisture.

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