Urban Gardening (U.G)
Urban Gardening – Growing in an urban environment. It has a positive impact on the economy, the environment and food security.
Container gardening is super popular with people utilising buckets, raised beds and window boxes. Hanging baskets are great for the likes of peas as they like to climb.
Benefits Of Urban Gardening
- To learn a new unique skill. People have forgotten where their food comes from.
Urban Gardening helps to educate both young and old about growing foods, sustainability and their health benefits. This is worth learning and teaching. ''If you encourage kids to grow their own vegetables, they will gain interest in eating them too ( the ultimate secret to help them like vegetables!).'' - An Bord BÍa - Have a read through more of their benefits of gardening here.
- To grow safe foods. Mass produced foods that are imported often increase the risk of contamination from bacteria & viruses i.e. Salmonella. Nobody wants to be sick.
- Fast foods and instant meals are becoming even more popular in todays modern world. These faster options may be convenient and time friendly but they can also put a serious dent on our health. (Enjoy in moderation). Today’s generation faces widespread issues as a result, such as diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity due to unhealthy food.
- Growing your own food means you grow healthy, nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These are low in cholesterol, high in fibre, and have beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
- You can pluck the fresh fruits and vegetables whenever they are ready for harvest, so you don’t need to worry about the shelf-life. This is particularly handy with herbs when you need some quick flavouring/ seasoning while cooking! You just can’t beat fresh ingredients.
More recently, Urban Gardening is used for more than just food security. People find comfort & peace in having plants in their homes and offices. As well as increasing their general emotions and social well-being, it also helps reduce stress levels. People actually become more physically active as a result of Urban Gardening.
Check out Piccolos's wide range of herbs, fruits & vegetables seeds all designed specifically suitable for urban gardening.
- Urban Gardening is not a new concept, its roots go back as far as ancient Egypt where community wastes were used to help feed the urban farming that existed during these times. Since then U.G has been used as a response to food shortages.
- Urban agriculture is also usually organic which means the produce is more nutritious compared to products grown in large-scale farms which use pesticides.
- Plants absorb carbon which helps fight climate change and green spaces have been proven to also reduce air pollution.
Seaweed can be used as a slow-release fertiliser for your garden. It is a broad spectrum fertilizer, packed with minerals and nutrients. It is full of hormones that help plant growth. Both wet and dry seaweed is suitable for both your garden or add it to your compost. You don't need to wash it before using it either, however, don't plant straight away after applying seaweed, wait a couple of weeks so the rain can wash away any excess salt. It also increases nutrients and microorganisms. - 'Spicy Moustache'.
Did you know Aloe Vera helps plants to recover from transplanting shock?! Aloe is full of hormones that stimulate new roots. There are two methods to choose from, liquid fertilizer and spray fertilizer. Click here for a how-to.
How to U.G
Pick your space.
Whatever your space, be it an alleyway, an entire rooftop, or a balcony, measure how much space you have and decide from there how large you want your garden to be. There is no such thing as a garden that’s “too small,” but that being said the area you’re working with will determine which kind of plants you will be able to grow and in what layout.
It’s also important to note which type of elemental (sun, wind, rain) exposure your chosen area will get every day, as this will determine the plants you can successfully grow. For example, Picollos' San Marzano Nano Tomatoes require full sun in order to grow whereas their Alpine Strawberry Baron Von Solemacher requires only partial shade in order to grow successfully and Spinach can grow in the shade !!
Pick your pot.
If gardening beds are not for you and do not suit your chosen area, potted plants are the way to go. Additionally, the more pots you have in an area, the higher the humidity, which will improve plant growth. You don't have to just use pots, take advantage of hanging pots, and windowsill pots to maximise your space.
Choose your plants.
The fun part. Your urban garden can be anything you want it to be. It is all yours, so have fun with the planning part. Whichever fruits, vegetables or herbs you love to eat, grow them!
Even though the world really is your oyster when it comes to what you choose, there are a few recommended guidelines to follow.
- First, only plant what you have space for. Don’t overcrowd your plants, and don’t get too ambitious with how much you want to grow. Start small, don't overcomplicate it and go from there. It is best to get the hang of it otherwise you could have too much on your plate and begin to resent it.
- Second, plant food you actually want to eat. Vegetables and herbs are at the heart of most urban gardens. This is a great way to increase sustainability as well as your intake of fresh produce, so don’t waste it on something you’re just going to leave on the plant. Waste not, want not.
- There are some plants that work well together, for example, planting basil beside tomatoes enhances their flavour!
Urban Gardening gives you a chance to develop new skills, add some beauty to your living space, and grow some delicious healthy fruits & vegetables. Remember, there are no gardening mistakes just experiments.!
Not Just a source of fresh ingredients
More recently, U.G is used for more than just food security. People find comfort & peace in having plants in their homes and offices. As well as increasing their general emotions and social well-being, it also helps reduce stress levels.
People actually become more physically active as a result of Urban Gardening.
The simple act of planting a plant on a balcony or windowsill is still a great place to start your gardening journey.
So if you want to enjoy fresh herbs, the best time to plant is either spring or autumn. This can be just after the last frost date or a few weeks before the first frost date. If the seeds you bought have a husk on them like cilantro, you can crush the seeds so the husk is broken. This will help improve the germination rates of the seeds. Place the seeds in the soil at a slight distance from each other. You can place 2-3 seeds together because we can thin them later.
Depending on which herb you are planting, you may need to either cover them with 1/4th inch of potting mix. Or just press them lightly into the soil.
Use a spray can to gently spray water on the soil to keep it moist. You need to do this every day because the seeds need to remain in moist soil for germination. Many herb seeds will germinate after 2-4 weeks depending on the type and variety.
Piccolo was born in 2012 with the intention of offering select seeds for urban gardens.
In their shop, they offer vegetables and plants specially designed for pot growing: compact, dwarf varieties, suitable for terrace garden spaces.
They don’t just offer vegetables. The people behind Piccolo believe a balcony garden should also be beautiful so they offer fruits, edibles flowers and herbs. Their selected seeds are packed with sustainable and completely recyclable materials and collaborate with companies and individuals, creating customised seed packets, botanical wedding favours and other bespoke products.
We would recommend starting off your urban gardening journey with Picollo, we have and we haven't looked back! Their packaging is extremely helpful and foolproof with tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your chosen plant.
Urban Gardners we love to watch: The 'Spicymoustache' is just one urban gardener whom we stumbled across through Tik Tok & Instagram. He shows you what can be done with such a small space and how to get the most out of smaller gardens. He works with a small garden (8x5 Metres) in his London home. The produce he grows would make anyone hungry to start on their own urban gardening journey. Well worth checking out!
Signs your plant show when they need more or less attention
When your plants' leaves turn yellow it can mean it is either over or under watered.
Important to know your plant, not every type is the same. For example, some like less water than others and only like to be watered once a month, whereas others like to be watered daily, with some preferring multiple spritz a day.
Plant Snap and Leaf Snap are good apps that helps you look after your chosen plants. It tells you what your plant likes and the best way to look after it.