Sunday, December 31, 2006

Planning a Basic Urban Garden

Building an urban garden is becoming a trend in cities all across the United States. If you live in an apartment, gone are the days when you thought you could not have a garden simply because you did not live in a house. Instead, now you have the option to have all types of gardening choices available to you, but you will need to do some basic research to make sure what you are doing is acceptable.

First, you should check with regulations regarding urban gardens. Some urban areas permit gardeners to grow any types of plants they would like while others limit the types of plants. You may be able to have only perennials or annuals, for instance, as there may be seasonal restrictions. You also may discover that you are not allowed plants that will grow over a certain height or that some types, such as herbs, are prohibited altogether.

In addition to your city, you should check with your apartment or condominium association. Chances are that they have their own restrictions based on the desires of the majority of the tenants. Certain plants may be banned because of their unsightly appearance or because of their likelihood to cause allergies. Whatever the restrictions, it is best that you adhere to them so that you do not find yourself with massive fines for ignoring basic laws.

Once you have figured out the rules, it is time to begin planning your own urban garden. Some people may want to have just one or two plants dotting the balcony while others want to grow an assortment. You may grow plants inside or outside in an urban garden, and you can work to create the best environment for your plants regardless of the location.

Your best bet if you are planning an indoor urban garden is to go with unique containers. Because you have little room in an apartment, you will want to make everything possible do double-duty. That means that a beautiful tin that you have can be painted and used to hold flowers or that you can use accent pieces to complement your decorating style and to grow your flowers. Be sure that you have curtains that are easy to tie back if you intend to use sunlight for your urban garden.

Outside urban gardeners will want to consider the same factors as other gardeners, such as the weather. Be sure that your selected plants will grow in your climate zone. If you are unsure of your climate zone, you can look this information up at your local library or online fairly easily. Knowing the correct climate zone will help guarantee that you choose plants that will thrive, which will make the experience all the more pleasant.

The best thing about having a garden is that you can enjoy the plants you create. In an urban garden, that means that you do not want a lot of plants because you will not have the space to enjoy them. Be sure that you pick an area where you can put plants a couple of feet apart so that you can enjoy each one of them instead of putting them so close together that you will not be able to see each plant.

Also think about the colors of your skyline or city when you are planning your urban garden. Some balconies overlook playgrounds or swimming pools. Try to pick flowers that will blend in the background of your view so that they will seem to create a seamless move from your home to the rest of the world.

Finally when you are planning an urban garden, give real consideration to how much time you have to devote to your plants and keep that in mind when you are getting plants. Some require little care, and if you work 70 hours a week, you need those plants. If you have a more leisurely pace, then you probably can get something that will need more of your attention. Remember that you are not limited by being in urban area. You simply need to make sure that you are able to think creatively about the type of plants you will be able to have in your garden plot.


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