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How to Grow Organic Veggies in the City

If you live in a largely-populated city, you most likely have to deal with congested roads and highways, unbearable traffic, and a lack of personal space. Here in Houston, we have over five million people in the metro area, and even at home, we can feel cramped for space.

Do you ever have a difficult time finding quality produce at your local grocery store? Better yet, do you trust the produce at the grocery given all of the Monsanto issues that have been raised in the past few years? If not, there’s still hope, even if you have a minimal space to work with. From apartment living to homeownership, there are ways we can still get the best fruits and veggies possible with container gardening!

Container Gardening in the City

We all get why people are drawn to big cities; the entertainment, nightlife, and never-ending lack of something new to do or explore. But with these great things come the tradeoffs, including the smaller living quarters and less land. But when we have limited space to work with, raised bed and container gardening is the perfect solution to our produce needs.

Raised bed gardening is also perfect for condo dwellers or homeowners with poor soil.

These raised beds can improve overall production while utilizing the small space you have to work with, and are extremely efficient when it comes to your time and money. One of the great things about raised bed gardening is that you can use various soil types between beds, giving you a greater ability to plant the wide array of yummy produce you and your family crave.

Raised beds are a great gardening option for big city life because they are extremely efficient and yield better results than crops in a field, as your raised bed is filled with loose, nutrient-rich soil that allows plants to thrive. Then, when we take into account the improved soil drainage and aeration you get from a raised bed garden, it’s easy to see why these beds are ideal for those living in a metro area.

How to Get Started

Before you get started on your raised beds and container gardening, think about the space you have to use. How many beds can you fit, and which types of fruits and veggies are you wanting to plant? Do they all require the same type of soil to thrive – allowing you to get away with just one raised bed – or will you need multiple beds for multiple soil types?

Once you’ve purchased the necessary materials and have built your raised bed, you’ll want to fill the bed with high-quality potting soil or compost, and then rake everything over to create a smooth and level surface to work with. If you notice any rocks or random debris when raking, make sure to remove these items. Then, you can begin planting some of your produce. Luckily, you can get away planting more in your raised bed than you would a traditional garden, since the bed provides a greater concentration of fertilizer and manure for your produce.

Now, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when planting your fruits and veggies. Lettuce, for instance, has a few special needs that other produce items simply don’t require. Start by poking holes in the soil with your index finger and space these holes out six inches from one another. Then, place a few seeds in each hole and wait for them to germinate. Once they’ve taken root, you can go back to each and remove what you need so you have just one seedling per hole in your raised bed. However, for other types of produce, you can plant seeds over the surface of your raised bed and they’ll succeed in growing into nutritious fruits and vegetables your whole family will enjoy. And lastly, if you plan on planting zucchini or cucumbers, try your best to plant these on the edge of your raised bed where they’ll have plenty of space to grow to the side and even over the edge of the bed.

There are so many different kinds of fruits and veggies you can successfully grow at home in a raised bed garden; it’s really up to you and your family what you’ll grow. Just make sure you choose plants that can thrive in your climate, and you’ll be sure to serve up some great produce to your family in the near future.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for DIYMother, where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.

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