Step by Step guide to growing vegetables in urban areas

Growing vegetables in recycled car tyres in Hiati, Photo by UN Multimedia

Growing vegetables in recycled car tyres in Hiati, Photo by UN Multimedia

As more and more people leave the city to urban areas in search of jobs, relocation due to marriage or just trying to have a ‘better life’ there is a need to grow their own vegetables even though they are limited by space available, mostly balcony or carpark 🙂

Fortunately, you can grow many vegetables in containers, even in small pots on a window sill. Tomatoes, peppers, green amaranth, okra, Telferia are just a few of the varieties suitable for container gardening.

Read more on the steps you need to follow if you want to grow vegetables in the urban areas.

Step 1

Choose locations that get as much direct sunlight as possible and determine how many containers you will be able to plant with the space you have. Containers should be chosen to match the size of vegetable to be grown. Peppers and tomatoes will require a 20 litre pots(bucket or container can also be used), while Telferia and Green Amaranth will be fine in 6-inch containers.

NOTE: Make sure the containers have drainage holes and trays to catch the water that drains through. Drainage holes are best located on the sides of the pot within half an inch of the bottom.

Step 2

Mix a balanced, timed-release fertilizer with your soil-less mix at the rate of half a tablespoon for each gallon of potting soil. A balanced fertilizer is shown by numbers on the bag such as N.P.K 10-10-10, which means it contains equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Step 3

Use the trowel to fill your containers with soil-less potting mix to within an inch of the top. Soil-less mix is sterile and therefore free of disease and weed seeds. It will also provide excellent drainage for your vegetables.

Step 4

Plant your seeds at the correct depth according to the seed package directions. Use a separate container for each type of vegetable. If you have large containers, you might be able to grow several smaller plants like green onions together in the same pot. Refer to the spacing information on the seed packet for how much room to allow between plants. For outdoor planting on balconies or rooftops, find out the correct planting dates when purchasing seeds at the garden center or by contacting your local county extension office.

Step 5

Water your plants once a day to keep the soil moist, but do not over-water. Saturated soil can starve the roots of oxygen and kill the plants. Also, be considerate of your neighbors below when watering plants on a balcony.

Step 6

Fertilize your plants with an organic liquid formula when the plants start to grow. Follow the label directions closely and apply every two weeks right through until harvest. Need a more professional advise on this, contact me.

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About kalusam

I am a graduate of Agriculture with options in Soil Science and Meteorology from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike- Nigeria. I am the lead Agribusiness consultant at Agritechnovate Solutions Entreprises. I have underwent several trainings, conferences and studies in Agriculture and entrepreneurship with University of Maryland, U.S.A , IHAV Foundation Conference, Association of Africa Business School (AABS) Agric business Launch to mention but a few. As a young farmer and entreprenuer with a passion for research and writing, I use this blog to share my experiences as well as inform Youths of the opportunities available in Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. Follow me on twitter: @kalusamanya Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kalusam Skype: kalusam WHatsapp: +2347036931636
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