Urban gardening: Life hacks for your own homegrown and organic veggies

The interest in gardening has recently spiked: Thanks to Corona, now also us younger generations have experienced supply shortfalls. But even without shortages, homegrown veggies have so many advantages: Their quality and taste is superb, they are cheap and raising them is a great hobby. With homegrown vegetables, you are in control of how your food has been treated. Only you decide whether or not pesticides and insecticides touch their surface! Growing your own vegetables will provide you with healthy options, avoid plastic waste and raise awareness for the value of groceries – something most of us have lost quite a while ago!

The TOP 10 of easy to grow veggies for the urban garden

Growing up on a traditional family farm, my mum had the most amazing vegetable garden with everything I could imagine. Living in a big city on my own nowadays, it is difficult to grow your own things with limited space available. But it is not futile! Depending on your situation, there are some vegetables which you can grow in your home. Vegetables suitable for the window box or pods for indoor gardening:

  • Herbs: Basil, oregano, thyme, sage… herbs grow perfectly in the window box of the kitchen where they are handy during cooking!
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Bush beans
  • Carrots
  • Microgreens
  • Ginger
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Hot peppers

Depending on the size of the window box, some of those veggies will naturally have trouble. Carrots planted in a low box will not get very long, but thick instead. Depending on the chosen breed, some of those veggies will outgrow the window box – they should be moved to a big pod, if no outdoor garden is available. Then it is possible to grow also tomatoes indoors!

Tomatoes growing outside in the sunset. Some tomato breeds are more suitable for urban gardening and even an indoor garden than others.
Photo by Chad Stembridge on Unsplash

Sustainable zero waste hacks for the (indoor) garden

Your wonderful home garden does not grow in one day – it is a step by step process. But you can use some tricks to speed up the process and make it sustainable along the road!

Regrow your veggies: We have all seen veggies sprout even when they are not supposed to do so, such as old onions in the cupboard. But we can use this to jump-start our garden! Spring onions, leek, lettuce or radish… many veggies can regrow if placed in a glass of water. Once they start sprouting roots and leafs, you can place them in a pod and give it the best chances to regrow to full glory!

An old egg carton that I reused to plant tomatoes: With one seed per egg compartment, it offers a fantastic zero waste plant pod to start the tomato farm!
An old egg carton that I reused to plant tomatoes: With one seed per egg compartment, it offers a fantastic zero waste plant pod to start the tomato farm!

Reuse trash as plant containers: Especially when growing plants such as tomatoes from seeds, they need different containers during their growth phase. Egg cartons are a great way to start the tomato project: They enable you to plant 6 or 10 seeds in separate containers. Those that make it can then easily be planted into bigger containers once they have several leafs. For individual plant pots I reuse old glasses and tins, for big plants even buckets can make a suitable home.

Use food scraps as fertilizer: Once they start growing, many plants (and even your decorative plants!) can benefit from some fertilizer. Many food scraps that we have left over can act as organic fertilizers: By composting it or using a worm box, we can make perfect hummus for our garden. But without the necessary space for a composter, we can also make use of some minor scraps. Dried coffee ground can directly be used as plant fertilizer just like the juice made from soaking banana peels in water for just two days.

Have you tried indoor gardening? What is your favorite vegetable to grow on your own?

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