How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden
LearN How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden
If you’re anything like us, you’ve had the dream of one day growing your own produce from your back garden and making your very own meal à la field to fork. Well that dream may be closer than you think! Granted you may need to replace the word ‘garden’ with ‘patio, and think more along the lines of containers, pots and trays rather than an actual vegetable patch- but we’re not about to let London’s notorious lack of outdoor property space bring us down! Who’s with us?! In fact, your urban oasis can be an incredible place to grow veg from!
I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HOW TO GROW VEGETABLES, HOW DO I START?
If, like us, you’re new to this and feel a little overwhelmed by it all, with no idea where to start- look no further! Our step-by-step guide is the perfect crash course for how to grow your own vegetables in small spaces- from the easiest veggies to grow and when to plant vegetables, to how to plant vegetables without a garden and our favourite gardening tips.
PICK YOUR VEG
Time to get inspired. Call us nerdy but we just love picking out what veg we want to grow by taking a trip to our nearest garden centre or large supermarket and checking out what’s on offer. Not all veg is created equal however, and some are much easier to grow than others. We suggest for you first timers that you go easy on yourselves and pick some novice friendly, easy to grow veg.
The best vegetables for beginner gardeners are:
Sow: February to April
Best grown in: Pots or bags on the windowsill, hanging baskets.
Onions & garlic
Best grown in: Narrow, deep containers with good drainage or a raised bed.
Sow: March to July
Best grown in: Raised beds or deep pots/containers in moist soil.
Sow: March to August
Best grown in: Containers, a raised bed or a grow bag.
Sow: March to June
Best grown in: A raised bed, with canes or chicken wire for support.
Sow: March to July
Best grown in: Pots and containers on the windowsill, or a raised bed.
Mixed Salad Leaves
Sow: Throughout summer
Best grown in: Shallow pots or large containers.
Sow: April to September
Best grown in: Any shallow container.
Sow: April to July
Best grown in: A raised bed with something to climb up- such as wire or a plant support frame.
Sow: Late spring, no earlier than April
Best grown in: Containers, with a cane or plant support frame.
Sow: November to March
Best grown in: A raised bed.
GET YOUR STARTER KIT
Now that you’ve chosen some easy vegetables to grow at home, it’s time to get some tools!
Some gardening tools that you’ll need for growing veggies are- gloves, plenty of soil and a watering can.
Optional- Propagation trays or planting trays- these are for planting the seeds for things like tomatoes and chillies. With many vegetables (such as leafy greens) you can skip this step and go ahead and plant the seeds straight into their final containers.
PICK YOUR CONTAINERS
This step can come later if you are only using vegetables that need planting in seed trays first. Check the back of your seed packet to see whether this is the case! It usually takes 5-6 weeks or so for them to be ready to be transferred into larger pots/beds. Many vegetables such as lettuce and rocket however can be planted straight away into their final rest places, without any need for seed trays and all that propagation malarkey! Excellent!
Ideas for d.i.y. vegetable garden planter boxes- bathtubs, old sinks, wooden pallets, tins, buckets, old drawers, bits of furniture, storage tubs- pretty much anything! Check your local Freecycle to see if there is anything that you can use. Pinterest is also a great place to find inspiration for innovative vegetable planting ideas. Just make sure whatever you’re using has sufficient drainage for any excess water.
For planting things like potatoes and other root veg you can pick up grow bags for pretty cheap. These come in all kinds of sizes for different spaces. For not too much money you can also get hold of something called a raised grow bed if you’d like to simulate a vegetable patch on your terrace or patio! We like to use grow beds as they brighten up the stone slabs covering our tiny back garden- but it you’re really stuck for space then ladders, shelves, window planters and hanging baskets are the way to go.
SOW YOUR SEEDS
We highly recommend roping in some friends and doing it one sunny Sunday. We can say from first hand experience there is nothing more satisfying that popping down the pub for a roast after a long morning of seed planting and potato chitting!
Make sure to check out the instructions on your seed packets and follow them carefully in regards to what month to plant them, the best place to put them, how damp the soil needs to be, how many seeds to place in each container hole and how far apart they should be!
If you are planting your seeds in seed propagation trays, be sure to pop the lid on once you’ve planted the seeds and watered them! Check the packet, but in most cases the seed trays need to be placed next to a warm window sill.
Now you want to wait for your seeds to germinate!
How do I know when my seeds have germinated, you say?
When the sprouts (two tiny leaves at the end of a green stem) appear from the soil you know the plant in germinated.
If the seeds still haven’t sprouted after a week, try placing them near a radiator.
After your seeds have sprouted and they have been put into their final containers, it’s time to sit back and wait for them to grow! Well, not quite...
CARE FOR YOUR VEGGIES UNTIL HARVEST!
Be sure to check the back of the seed packet for care instructions, and when to harvest your vegetables. All vegetables require different amounts of water/sunlight and soil space, so make sure you’re paying attention to that and also watering them regularly
We hope this has given you some idea of how to get started growing your own veg- even the smallest of urban spaces has the potential for growing a vegetable garden!
WHAT CAN I DO IN THE MEANTIME?
All this talk of home-grown veg is making us hungry!
Get yourselves down to The Vurger Co. this week for your plant fuelled fix! Remember we also deliver!
In the meantime, learn about all the lovely plant-based ingredients we use and their benefits here.
Much love from your green fingered friends,
The Vurger Co. Team