Gardening to feed your family

Gardening to Feed Your Family in an Urban Setting

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When you live in an urban setting, you might be resigned to the idea that gardening isn’t an option for you. But that’s far from the truth and many gardening strategies cater to those living in the city and in small spaces.

You just have to plan differently than someone who has an acre of wide open space in the country – or a large suburban backyard to grow food in. Your space is more contained, and may even have limited light, if towering buildings don’t allow for much.

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In some instances, the city or building owners will allow limited space to be used for the community to grow food in together. But you might want to grow an urban garden that’s reserved for you and your family.

You might be growing food on your balcony, in your apartment, or on the roof of your building, depending on what’s allowed and what isn’t. You can use gardening strategies that don’t rely on ample plots of soil, such as hydroponic gardening, container gardening, vertical gardening and more.

Vertical gardening makes the most of your growing space because the plants are positioned upwards, rather than horizontally. Hydroponic gardening is when you’re growing food in nutrient-rich water. These are all great option to start gardening to feed your family when you have limited space.

Make the Most of Your Limited Space & Start Gardening to Feed Your Family!

When you’re growing a garden in an urban area, consider making the most of your space by planting the most nutritional crops for the space, like microgreens, which can be grown fast and added to salads.

Some of the easiest crops to grow in containers within a cityscape are things like tomatoes, potatoes, beans and peppers. Some leafy greens like lettuce will do well in pots where you have limited space, too.

hanging planter for window
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Remember that not only can you grow things in containers on the ground, but you can take up all available space to grow your food garden in. Besides vertical containers, you can find hanging pots to grow things in.

These are especially good if you live in a tall apartment building and have a small balcony to work with. Some hanging planters will grow the vegetables upside down, such as certain tomato planters.

You can also grow a garden inside as part of your room décor with the greenery it creates. So look for attractive planters and containers that work well in your space and use those to bring warmth and an inviting nature to the room.

Want to Start Gardening to Feed Your Family? – Read This First!

People who live in apartments or those in houses with no garden or a small one may wish to grow their own vegetables and feel like there are no options available for them.

In reality, there are quite a few options to start gardening to feed your family when you have limited space.  There are several different types of vegetables/herbs you can grow with container gardening. Here’s a short list:

Tomato Barrel with 4 foot tower
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  • Tomatoes
  • Hot peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Salad greens
  • Various herbs
  • Arugula
  • Peas

As you can see, you’re spoiled for choice. Now let’s look at the equipment you’ll need to grow your very own vegetables.

What you’ll Need to Start a Garden to Feed your Family

#1 Seedling starter trays

seedling starter trays
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You’ll need seedling starter trays. It’s much easier to make seeds germinate in these trays than just planting them in a pot. The trays are usually smaller and can be placed on a window sill to give them sunlight.

This is far easier to do than having to carry a pot and balance it on the sill. Those who live in apartments will not want to risk placing a pot on their window sill. The trays are fantastic.

The trays also have drainage holes so that excess water will not collect in the trays. The humidity dome covering the tray will trap heat and keep the soil warm for seeds that need heat to germinate.

#2 Grow Bags

Gardening to feed your family
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Instead of using plastic pots, you’d do better off using grow bags which have many more advantages such as better drainage, aeration, portability, etc.

It’s easier to use grow bags. With the handles, it’s easier to move it around the house to wherever sunlight is coming in… and later move it back.

If you’re growing potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. you’d do well to get the ANPHSIN 10-Gallon Potato Grow Bags. The flap at the front of the bag will provide easier irrigation and you can monitor the growth of the tubers and bulbs more easily.

Don’t forget to use a gardening saucer under each grow bag. It’ll help to collect water and your floor will not get damaged from soaking up the water.

If you’re growing herbs or smaller plants, you may wish to use a stackable vertical garden. This type of planter will save you a lot of space and you can grow up to 15 types of herbs/vegetables.

Led grow light for indoor plants
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It’s important to note that the vertical garden is made of plastic and will not be easily portable. Unlike a grow bag, you’ll not be able to carry it around. The best way to get around this problem will be to use LED grow lights which you can shine on the plants.

You’ll not need to move the plants to the sunlit spot daily. Alternatively, you could use a hanging vertical wall planter. You could hang it on the apartment wall that gets sunlight, or if you live in a house, hang it on a fence or wall outside.

This too is a space saver and allows you to grow different plants in a small space.

#3 Potting Soil

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While you could use your garden soil, it’s a good idea to use the Miracle Gro Indoor Potting Mix. It’s perfect for container gardening.

If you’re looking for an alternative, the FoxFarm Ocean Forest organic soil is fantastic, though a bit pricier. If you have the budget for it, choose this mix over the Miracle Gro mix.

#4 Seeds

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It’s best to get seeds that are packaged. Trying to use seeds from the vegetables you got at the supermarket may save you a few dollars, but it’s not a recommended way to go about it.

You can find seeds for most of the vegetables mentioned above by doing a quick search on Amazon. For example, if you’re looking for salad greens, click here.

See! It’s as simple as that.

Or you could just get this Heirloom Vegetable Garden Seed Collection. It has seeds for: carrots, onion, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, basil, sweet peppers, beets, kale, jalapenos, lettuce, peas, squash and cantaloupe.

Most of these can be grown in containers. So you’re pretty much set.

The items mentioned in this guide are more than enough for you to get started with gardening to feed your family.

As long as your plants get the sunlight (or LED light) and nutrients they need, along with sufficient water, they’ll thrive and you’ll soon have your very own homegrown veggies. Amazing!

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How to Grow Delicious and Nutritious Microgreens to Feed Your Family

If you’re growing food to feed your family for better health and nutrition, then you’re sure to have read about the benefits of getting more greens in your diet. Usually, we picture enormous leafy greens.

But these days, with many gardening for fewer people or in small spaces, the growing of microgreens is becoming more popular. Don’t let their size fool you – these miniature plants pack a nutritional punch.

They are small herbs or vegetables often grown for consumption in restaurants for garnish, which has now branched out to households and individuals. Microgreens are not just green, either!

They come in a variety of colors and are typically grown and harvested as young plants, just one to three inches in height. These are not sprouts, though. They’re grown a bit longer.

The great thing about growing microgreens is that more of the plant can be used in your food. When you grow large leafy greens, you often separate the leave from the thick stems, which are discarded.

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But in microgreen harvesting, you can eat the stems and leaves together because they’re so soft and small. You don’t have to harvest an entire plant all at once, either. You can harvest just as much as you want off the plant and allow it to continue growing. It’s super easy to get started with this Organic Indoor Microgreens Growing Kit.

Microgreens Are Ideal For Limited Gardening Space

window box planter
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If your gardening space is severely limited, such as reserved for a windowsill, then microgreens are the perfect crop for you to consider. You can grow a variety of plants for this purpose using a windowsill planter.

Onions, dill, leek, celery and fennel are good examples of microgreens you can grow and harvest from continually. You can also grow lettuce, broccoli, radishes, spinach, and even cucumbers and squash.

Microgreens have a high amount of antioxidants, which are great for anti-aging purposes. The nutrients in microgreens are typically high in iron, copper, magnesium and potassium, in most cases.  Click here, to get organic, high-germination microgreen seeds to get started.

Many studies show that microgreens have a much richer nutrient makeup than their mature plant versions. People use them for betting their heart health, cancer prevention and to help control their weight to manage their diabetes.

People use microgreens in smoothies, on sandwiches or pizza. There is no end to the ways you can insert them into your diet, but you want to preserve their nutrients when preparing them.

This is a perfect gardening strategy for those living in the city who have limited gardening space. They don’t take up space, but they also don’t take a lot of time to grow from seed to plate.   This makes microgreens the perfect crop when starting a garden to feed your family in an urban setting.

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