Good Things in Small Boxes: Urban Garden, Tiny Footprint

With Spring right around the corner, we can’t help but think of all of the delicious vegetables and herbs that are just waiting to spring up in our backyard gardens. For the millions of people who don’t have access to the type of land it takes to grow a bountiful vegetable crop all summer, the Urban Garden gives you a chance to sprout organic produce in a small space.

City dwellers who don’t have the luxury of vast expanses of green space in which to grow veggies typically resign themselves to buying organic produce in the grocery store or growing only the essentials in pots on balconies. A company called The Urban Garden wants to help everyone realize the dream of growing fresh, organic food at home, even if space is tight. Their products are designed to grow the maximum amount of plants in a minimal amount of space.

All of the Urban Garden products consist of compact raised beds. The layered designs help urban gardeners squeeze a large amount of usable ground out of a remarkably small footprint. The boxes even feature “seed holes,” or small openings where single-stem plants can grow horizontally out of the front of the box setup. Weeds aren’t a problem, and the boxes are happy being placed just about anywhere with a southern exposure to the sun.

Available in four different configurations – from the single-level raised bed to the six-level, 54-plant original setup – the Urban Garden is flexible enough to meet the needs of just about every gardener. Even if you think you have a black thumb, the people behind the Urban Garden want you to know that there are plenty of vegetables that require very little skill to grow. For a first-time gardener, choosing easy-to-grow veggies like broccoli, tomatoes and peppers can help you get off to a great start.

While the Urban Garden is an ideal solution for people living in crowded city areas, it’s useful even if you do have yard space to spare. By raising the garden a bit, you eliminate a lot of problems that come with traditional gardening – problems like poor soil quality, overwhelming weeds, and pests (the cedar used in the Urban Garden naturally repels insects) become easily managed with container gardens. And for those of us who prefer organic produce, growing it at home can save an astonishing sum of money over the course of one growing season.

(image via: Popular Mechanics)

There are plenty of resources out there for DIY-ers who prefer the satisfaction of building something rather than the convenience of purchasing it pre-made. If you’re ready to get your hands dirty constructing your own raised vegetable garden, these instructions from Popular Mechanics will get you started. This Squidoo lens about raised bed gardening is very detailed and has step-by-step photos and illustrations to help you through each part of the planning and building process.

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