How to Start an Edible Garden in The City: 6 Essential Tips ⎢UGR

How to Start an Edible Garden in The City: 6 Essential Tips

how to start an edible garden

Do you want to know how to start an edible garden?  Here’s how.

I love growing my own vegetables. It enabled me to save money and also eat fresh and nutritious food! I have successfully grown vegetables in my own apartment. If you doubt whether you can grow vegetables in your urban dwelling, yes you can! In this article, I’m going to teach you on how to how to start an edible garden.

Everyone wants to have healthy fresh food and now it is your turn to produce your own food. Many people dream of having a garden therefore they think the space is not enough. Surprisingly you can grow your own edible garden in a few containers in your patio, balcony or even your windowsill. You can grow food for all seasons throughout the year. Here are some useful tips on starting an edible garden.

How To Start An Edible Garden

1 – Let it Be Small

Wanting to know how to start an edible garden? Start small! Though you may have a big backyard, it is recommended to start a small garden. In the course of time, you will realize the fact that you can grow a lot in a small space and the efforts needed to grow a garden will be lesser. After a year you can expand your garden. If you don’t have enough space in your backyard, you can go with patios and decks.

2 – Plan it Well

There are certain questions you have to answer yourself before you build your garden. Maybe as of this time you are wondering how to start an edible garden. What type of plants can grow in your area? Which space receives more sunlight? How many hours can you spend in your garden per week? How much food would you like to grow? If you find answers to these questions, congrats! You are on the right track.

Related: How to Start a Garden: 8 Incredibly Easy Tips

3 – Soil Fertility

If you want to know how to start an edible garden, you should take soil into consideration. Soil is one of the major factors for the success of your garden. You can do some soil tests and find out the crops that can grow well on your soil. Buy good quality organic compost-rich soil and do not opt for cheap or low quality soil.

The easiest way to find out whether or not your soil might be on your plant’s liking is to check it. Don’t worry; analyzing your soil isn’t complicated, and you don’t have to wear a lab coat.

Soil pH

Here are two ways that you can take a look at your soil. First, you can use a do-it-yourself package: this basic pH test measures your soil’s acidity and alkalinity and nutrient contents. Buy a package at a nursery, comply with the instructions, and voilà — you will know your soil’s pH. However this is just a simple test.

Soil Lab Test

The other one is to have a soil lab do a test for you. A whole soil test is a good investment because a soil lab can thoroughly examine your soil.

A soil lab’s test can determine several things. It will analyze your soil’s nutrient content. If you understand your soil’s nutrient content, you can determine a lot and what type of fertilizer to apply. In reality, many soil checks let you know precisely how much fertilizer to add.

The lab test can also detect soil problems which are specific on your geographic location. A soil study may additionally help you become aware of other problems. The soil lab must then provide you with a recommendation for a type and quantity of fertilizer to add in your soil. For example, in dry-summer season areas, you may have salty soil; the treatment is to add gypsum, an effective mineral soil additive.

4 – Short Term Crops

Still wanting to know how to start an edible garden? Choose the right crops. Like soil, choosing the right varieties and plants is also an important step for a vegetable garden. Consult with gardeners in your local area and do some research in the seed catalogue to find the best crops for your soil and climate. Choose the ones that can be harvested within a short time only than long-term crops.

Fast vegetable plants are good to grow because they offer some food for your home within the shortest time period. Some of the fastest growing vegetables are radishes, turnips, spinach, lettuce, kale, beets, snap beans, peas and broccoli.


You can harvest radishes after 20-30 days. They grow right away! When sowing radish seeds, plant a few about a half-inch deep and the rest a bit deeper. Those close to the surface will germinate fast, extending the harvest via some days. The deeper roots will be later, however larger, than the shallow ones.


You can harvest turnips after 60 days. Fully mature turnip roots are usually prepared after 60 days, when they measure up to 3 inches in diameter – although can be harvested earlier.


Spinach is one of the quickest-growing leaf veggies. Plant within the spring and start harvesting the leaves in four to six weeks, beginning with the older, larger ones.


Leaf lettuce including Romaine, may be harvested in much less than 2 months after planting. Lettuce is a heavy feeder and prefers a rich, properly cultivated soil with precise drainage.


Kale grows properly in nearly any form of soil, has few problems related to it and will come up with a short tasty harvest.


Beets are a groovy season vegetable crop and can live on frost and almost freezing temperatures. Plant seeds half of-inch deep and 1-2 inches apart. Pick beets when their shoulders protrude from the soil.

Beans and Peas

Bush beans provide a quick and excessive yield. In approximately six weeks after planting, you could begin harvesting skinny, soft bush beans out of your garden.

English, Snap, and Snow peas are a incredible addition to a quick paced garden.


Plant broccoli seeds 1/2 inch deep, and space your plants 12 to 24 inches apart. Once the main head has been harvested, the broccoli flowers will nevertheless produce smaller heads from side shoots all through the season.

Edible flowers

Edible flowers are a beautiful, playful addition to any garden. They are a fun way to add color and flavor to a multitude of dishes in the kitchen. Edible flowers are so easy to grow and nutritious too. Choose among my list of the top 6 edible flowers will help you to choose those for you!

5 – Raised Bed Garden

If you want to know further on how to start an edible garden, you should opt for a raised bed garden. For a small vegetable garden, try the raised bed square-foot planting method which divides plants using a grid and allows you to grow more in a tiny space. Square-foot gardens have fewer weeds which makes it easier for you to maintain a healthy garden.

6 – Label your Plants

Garden needs labelling too; your label should have the plant name, variety and date of planting. This will avoid planting twice and will help you in adding fertilizers. Keep a journal to track your harvest period so that you can plan accordingly for your next planting season.

Related: Starting a Balcony Garden: Tips in Starting the Perfect One

7 – Pests and weeds

You may have to combat with weeds and pests in your garden. They will hinder the growth of plants and may even spoil your food. For a small garden, weeds will usually be low and you will need to remove them once a week. Insects and pests will vary from plants to plants and one location to another. Seek the help of your neighbourhood gardeners for eradicating pests.

In Conclusion this is how to start an edible garden in the city. Growing your own food is a healthy lifestyle change. You can feel relaxed and enjoy the benefits of your efforts in your garden. You can learn more about the seeds, watering, harvesting and crop rotation on the go.

Read next: Tips for Growing Cauliflower Successfully

featured image from @dogdaygardens

About the Author


Mr Urban Gardeners Republic is the best gardener at UGR! He's crazy about Urban Gardening and can't stop talking about that. You can connect with him on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter but the best way to see his amazing works, is to find him on Instagram.