What is Urban Gardening and Importance of Urban Gardening

When you think of gardening and the growth of fruits and vegetables, you may think of a lovely rural landscape rather than a concrete jungle.

However, gardening is becoming more popular in cities of all sizes. Read on to learn what urban gardening is and why it is so important.

What is Urban Gardening?

Urban gardening is simply gardening done in a city rather than in a rural environment. There are many types of urban gardening.

All of these types can involve the growth of fruits and vegetables, and they can exist in combination with raising chicken or fish.

Balconies, back porches, greenhouses, backyards, and roofs can all be the sites of urban gardens.

What is Urban Gardening
What is Urban Gardening

Types of Urban Gardening

Several types of urban gardens can fit different spaces and experience levels. You can even combine a few types depending on your preferences.

While these gardens may often be used for vegetables, you can grow flowers and herbs in these environments as well.

Plot Garden

A plot garden is the type of garden that you probably picture when someone describes a garden.

This type is made in the soil in your backyard or a plot of a community garden. Often, large-scale urban gardens will be plot gardens. 

Plants go into a plot in the ground or a raised bed in this type of garden. This garden type offers quite a bit of versatility since you can grow many different plants at once.

Container Garden

Container gardens consist of a variety of containers that grow plants.

You can use many different types of containers for these gardens, including wooden boxes, half barrels, and window boxes.

This type of garden is great for those who do not have a ton of space, or who are wary of the quality of soil in their space.

Many people choose this option if they only have a small porch or deck.

You may combine this garden type with several other types of gardening. Containers can be useful within a rooftop garden or in addition to a plot garden.

Vertical gardens often need some amount of containers as a base for the vertical structure.

Rooftop Garden

If you live in a city without a yard, it can be hard to find the space to create your garden. This difficulty is where rooftop gardens come in.

After ensuring that your roof is safe, make a rooftop garden by placing planting containers on your roof.

This location provides plenty of sun for your plants, but they can also get more exposed to the elements.

To keep the weight low, you will likely need to use a lower depth of soil, and this reduction can limit your plant size.

Hydroponic Garden

A hydroponic garden uses nutrient-rich water to grow plants rather than soil. This type of gardening is typically done indoors so that all of the involved elements are under control.

Many people choose this garden type due to its ability to grow food all year round without relying on the whims of the weather.

Aquaponic Garden

Similar to hydroponic gardening, aquaponic gardening uses nutrient-rich water rather than soil to grow plants.

The big difference is that the nutrients in this water come from fish that live in an aquaponics system.

The fish, in turn, benefit from the presence of the plants. This relationship creates a closed-loop system.

Choose this system if you have some space inside and some time to create this system.  

Vertical Garden

This option is particularly good if you are low on square footage. Vertical gardening is done by growing plants along with vertical structures.

These structures can be trellises, trees, and specialty structures. Vines are a logical choice for this garden type, but you can also grow greens, herbs, and many other plants.

Read How to grow cabbage in containers

Why is Urban Gardening Important?

There are several reasons that urban gardening is so important and beneficial to both the individual and the community.

From helping the environment to improving community health, gardening in the city can make a significant impact.

Increases Environmental Awareness

It is one thing to learn about environmental impact in theory and another to get hands-on experience with nature. Often, living in a city can make it hard to connect with nature.

So, urban gardening is the perfect opportunity to understand nature and the way that food cultivation affects that environment.

Participating in urban gardening makes it easier to understand why air quality, water quality, biodiversity, soil fertility, and resource recycling are vital for the environment.

Good for the Environment

Beyond expanding awareness of environmental issues, urban gardening can have a positive impact on environmental health itself.

Urban gardening helps the environment in a few ways, such as encouraging pollinators and creating green space. Green space helps the environment in countless ways.

A significant way that urban gardening is good for the environment is by reducing the demand for food that has been shipped thousands of miles to a grocery store.

Read Can you grow broccoli in a pot

Keeps You Cool

If you have spent time in a city in the summer, you know that it can be hot. This temperature is often due to a lack of green space.

Gardens and parks help cool an environment down. So, if you want to create an oasis in the heat, start an urban garden.

Importance of Urban Gardening
Importance of Urban Gardening

Preservation of Traditional Knowledge

In centuries past, crops were cultivated in small gardens using traditional knowledge and seeds.

Urban gardening is a great way to tap into the gardening knowledge of those who came before us. It allows you to learn more about your ancestors and traditionally grown plants. 

Good for Pollinators

Pollinators are vital for the health of our food system. However, they can be scarce in larger cities due to a lack of green space and pollinator-friendly plants.

Having a garden attracts pollinators and helps them thrive. Those pollinators in turn help your garden grow. Plenty of bees and butterflies are a sign of a healthy garden.

It’s Convenient

While the process of planting food can require some time and planning, once the produce starts coming in, you have easy access to all the fresh fruit and vegetables you could want.

Those who grow their food do not need to go further than their backyard.  

Read 10 easy tips for growing turnips in containers

Increases Education for Adults

Going to the grocery store to pick up produce is convenient and easy, but it can keep us out of touch with what goes into our food system.

Gardening allows us to understand how food is grown and to gain an appreciation of food production.

Teaches Children Early

Urban gardening can be educational for all ages. Engaging young children in gardening is quite beneficial.

Experiencing urban gardening early in life can instill an understanding and appreciation of fresh fruit and vegetables that will stay all life long.

Creates Jobs

The presence of urban gardens creates gardening jobs for people in cities.

While your little container garden on your balcony may not necessarily create jobs, each small garden contributes to a culture that supports large-scale urban gardens.

These large gardens grow local food, and they employ people for all levels of the gardening and production process.

Sometimes bigger urban gardens will sell at a farmers market or provide ingredients to restaurants.

Useful for Job Training

Not all gardens can provide paying jobs for people. However, it is possible to gain great experience from volunteering in a community garden.

Working in a garden can teach people skills that are useful in the workforce. These skills may include collaboration, patience, and commitment.

Gardening can also provide a practical understanding of science and mathematics.

Read Growing Cauliflower in pots or containers

Helps People Get Outside

Having an urban garden is a great way to encourage people to get outside.

While some indoor garden types do not necessarily have this benefit, any outdoor garden requires the regular presence of gardeners.

Some urban gardens are open to the public, creating a cozy space for any community member to visit.

Gardens Improve Mental and Physical Health

Working in a garden provides you with the opportunity to move your body and get some exercise without even realizing it. You may need to lift things regularly, squat to pull weeds, and walk all over.

Beyond your physical health, your mental health can also be improved by spending time in a garden. Your attention span and overall mood can be improved.

Combats Food Deserts

A clear result of an urban garden is that fresh produce is available.

Many areas are known as “food deserts.” This title refers to when neighborhoods do not have access to fresh food, relying on fast food or under-stocked grocery stores for meals instead.

An urban garden can provide those who live in a food desert with fresh produce.

Uses Space Well

It is common in cities for some space to get neglected.

One example of this is an abandoned lot that is overrun with weeds and garbage. This space can be transformed into a bountiful garden that provides fresh food for the community.

Even a small space can be used cleverly with the addition of vertical gardens or hale bale planters. That space does not go to waste if it is used efficiently.

Provides Fresh Food

This availability of produce helps the community members eat healthier and understand the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The presence of fresh fruit and vegetables can also encourage creative cooking practices. This opens up a way for friends and family to bond.

Helps You Make Friends

An urban garden can often impact more people than you may think.

Even if you are simply growing a few vegetables in a vertical garden on your porch, sharing those vegetables can grow your community.

You can also join local communities of amateur gardeners. 

Builds Community

With larger scale gardens you can engage community members in the tending of the garden or community meals made from the products of the garden.

The presence of an urban garden can give a community something to rally around and contribute to. Those who are connected to a community garden can bond over nature.

Creates Beauty

Beyond just being useful, gardens are also enjoyed for their beauty.

Whether you are growing flowers, produce, or both, your urban garden can provide aesthetic value to your neighborhood. A garden can even improve your property values.

FAQs on urban gardening

How does urban gardening help the environment?

There are a few ways that urban gardening helps the environment. For starters, it can help reduce pollution in cities. This is because when people have access to fresh produce grown in their own backyard or community garden, they’re less likely to buy food that’s been shipped in from far away, and that means there will be less traffic on the roads, which means less pollution.
Urban gardening can also help conserve energy and resources. For example, if people are growing their own vegetables using organic methods, they’re not relying on transportation and distribution systems that use fossil fuels. And when people recycle nutrients back into the soil through composting, it reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

What is the impact of urban farming?

Urban farming, or gardening, has exploded in popularity in recent years. One of the main reasons for this is that people are becoming more and more interested in where their food comes from and how it’s grown.
There are a ton of benefits to urban gardening, the biggest one being that it helps to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income areas. It also helps to reduce pollution, since you’re growing food in an area that would otherwise be used for parking or development. And finally, it helps to create community bonds and builds relationships within neighborhoods.

How can urban farming help world hunger?

Urban farming can help world hunger by providing fresh produce in areas where access to healthy food is limited.
In addition, urban farming helps combat world hunger in another way: it reduces the amount of food waste. According to the United Nations, approximately 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. That’s 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year. If that food was instead used to feed people who are hungry, it would be enough to end world hunger.
Urban farming helps reduce food waste by keeping produce fresher for longer, since crops are grown closer to where they will be eaten. This also eliminates the need to transport fruits and vegetables long distances, which reduces CO2 emissions and conserves energy.

What is the goal of urban farming?

The goal of urban farming is to provide residents in cities with access to fresh, healthy, and affordable produce. The goal of urban farming is to bring healthy, fresh produce to areas that typically do not have access to it.
One of the main benefits of urban farming is that it helps reduce the amount of food that is wasted. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 30-40% of the food that is produced in the U.S. is wasted. That’s a lot of food!
Urban farming also helps improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And finally, it provides opportunities for people to get exercise and connect with their community.

How can urban gardening help in providing sustainable food?

There are many ways that urban gardening can help to provide sustainable food. One way is by decreasing the reliance on food production systems that are located far away from urban areas, and instead bringing food production closer to where people live. This decreases the amount of fuel needed to transport food long distances, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to conserve energy resources.
Another way that urban gardening can help to provide sustainable food is by increasing the density of vegetable and fruit production in cities. This can be done by using vertical gardens or rooftop gardens, for example, which maximizes the use of available space and results in less land being devoted to growing flowers or grasses instead of vegetables and fruits.

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Final Thoughts

Urban gardening brings horticulture into the city and fresh food into your home. Whether you have space for a vertical garden, a container garden, or several garden plots, you can take advantage of the benefits offered by urban gardening.