How Your Garden Grows & Why We Should Consider Vertical Farming
Growing your own produce is a sustainable and healthy way to eat more nutritiously. If you live in a city, this can be a bit of a challenge, but fortunately, there are a wide variety of options that will allow you to become a small-scale “urban farmer.” Benefits of Home-Grown Produce Growing your own vegetables, herbs, and fruits allows you to consume straight-from-the-vine foods that are fresh and free from pesticides and chemical products designed to increase shelf life. Having produce more readily available will encourage you to consume more of it. “Extra” produce can be sold, shared, donated, canned, frozen, or made into new ingredients - think pasta sauce or salsa. If you have kids, the act of creating a home garden can be both nutritious and educational. Traditional and Semi-Traditional Gardening Traditional gardening involves panning seeds or seedlings directly in the ground; semi-traditional can include container gardening, using soil, but in stand-alone containers. If you have space, you can till and fertilize soil, lay down a weed barrier, and plant seeds or seedlings directly in the ground and harvest when ready. Vertical gardening allows you to plant up-and-out instead of down. You might have a trellis-like structure with different growing compartments that allow plants to grow in stacks rather than rows. Container or raised garden beds mimic traditional gardens, but you plant in containers, ranging from large baskets to platforms. City Gardening Approaches If you’re limited in your garden space, you’ll need a little creativity and ingenuity. Hydroponic gardening allows you to grow plants without soil - typically, growers use seed pods submerged in water under a specialized light. Agroponic gardening allows you to plant in alternative “soil,” like clay pellets or
coconut husks. Aquaponic gardening mimics natural ecosystems by growing plants in water inhabited by - and fertilized by - live fish! Gardening Across The Seasons Planting, irrigation, lighting, and harvesting fundamentals will all vary from one season to another, and needs/viability will be based on your geographic region and planting type. All plants require irrigation, whether that comes from natural rain, hand-watering, drip lines, or a hydroponic system. You can grow indoors year-round with a grow light. You can grow outdoors year-round if you use a greenhouse in the winter months. Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs is healthy and nutritious. An established self-sustaining garden can even add to your home’s appraised value.