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News from the Good Food Project

Urban Gardening Ideas

Swiss Chard

Want to start a vegetable garden, but don't have a yard? Luckily for us, vegetables have only three basic requirements: light, soil, and water. And they don't have to be planted in the ground-they grow great in containers. You have to start by finding a spot for your pots that gets six to eight hours of sunlight a day and has access to water. Window boxes, patios, doorways, sidewalks, and even roof eaves (for hanging baskets) can house a few containers. In general, shallow-rooted plants, such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, and most herbs, need only 6 to 8 inches of soil depth to grow well, while deeper-rooted plants, such as tomatoes and squash, need 12 inches of soil. Terra-cotta pots, wooden boxes, and even 5-gallon buckets make great containers. Just make sure your containers have drainage holes, are not translucent or opaque (sunlight will fry plants' roots), and are big enough to support the plants growing in them. Fill your containers with a well-draining potting mix (topsoil will compact in containers) that has some compost or an organic granulated fertilizer mixed in. Remember that container plants usually require more water than ground plants. In no time at all, you will be enjoying fresh, crisp veggies straight from your home!

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