Growing Vegetables in the City

Growing Vegetables in the City

 

There is already a high demand for locally grown food in cities across the country. Many of the trendy restaurants in New York City are already offering dishes made from only locally grown produce. The idea of growing vegetables in an often busy and polluted city environment is nothing new. In fact, city residents were avid vegetable growers back in the mid-20th century, but the neighborhood became more compact and both yard space and living space dwindled.

Luckily, the advent of hydroponics has made growing vegetables in a city landscape more viable than it has been in recent years. Hydroponics is a technique used for growing a variety of plants in self-contained, soil-free compartments. The lack of solid means less space is needed to plant and grow the vegetables. It also means the containers weigh far less, so the hydroponic units can be placed on top of roofs where weight was otherwise an issue.

Hydroponic vegetables offer more benefits. Yes, they are easy to grow in the city because of the weight and their lack of need for soil, but another great benefit is the lack of fertilizer and pesticides. Without soil, many natural parasites do not attach themselves to the vegetables and thus a finer, tastier vegetable can be produced. Also, no fertilizer residuals are inside the vegetable.

If you have the room to grow vegetables in the city the old fashioned way, that is also effective, though it is recommended to keep them fertilizer and pesticide free if possible. Growing vegetables the traditional way requires many things. First, most vegetables have deep root systems, so make sure you get pots that are deep enough to hold them and let them grow to maturity. Be sure you have enough pots because vegetables require a great deal of space between seeds when planted. Also, almost every vegetable requires full sun. If your planned location is cramped and blocked by a wall or other obstruction during certain parts of the day, you may have to change your plan. That’s what makes hydroponics such a great alternative.

No matter what decision you make regarding your vegetable growing, just remember that homegrown vegetables will give you a fresher taste, an additive and parasite free alternative, and a boost to the green movement. There is practically nothing more satisfying than enjoying the taste of something you have grown yourself and to have done it all naturally.