Urban gardeners and their gardens face different challenges than rural or even suburban gardeners do. If you happen to be an urban gardener, there’s no reason your garden will fail, you just need to be aware of these challenges and plan accordingly.
Typical issues facing urban gardens:
- City gardens tend to be warmer overall than rural or suburban gardens; even when located in the exact same climate zone.
- You may have a much smaller plot to contend with, meaning you’ll need to be extra creative about how you plan to grow the flowers and food you want or need.
- Your soil may be far less than ideal and can even be contaminated depending on what buildings are nearby.
- Summer heat can be harsh in the urban garden especially when you’ve also got more in-city pollution to deal with.
- Tall structures act just like the taller trees in a thriving forest – they take on the best of the sunlight, leaving little for the new gardens growing up under them. Not only do tall buildings block sunshine but if there’s many of them they can increase the amount of drying winds that hit your garden (tall structures can act like channels for wind).
- Often folks with urban plots may be renting. I.e. you may not own the land you’re gardening on. This presents two issues – one, the person you’re renting from may not want you disrupting the space and two, it breeds a lack of commitment. When you don’t own your own plot it does become easier to be lackadaisical about it – I’ve gardened on rented and owned land, and I really feel more committed when I know it’s mine. Some gardeners I’ve met at community gardens, although they love the experience have said they feel the same way at times.
- Beyond the above – your landlord not wanting you to garden, there may actually be legal restrictions on what you can do with urban land.
Coming up; how to better plan for a successful urban garden.
[image via morgue file]