Organic seed gardening in urban areas may require choosing varieties that grow compact plants, or that can be grown in areas that don’t receive full sun. Apartment dwellers will require containers and possibly a different plant selection than people who live in houses with yards. Many apartments have balconies and expansive windows that allow adequate daylight to start seedlings before placing them outdoors. Grow lights are an option to help prevent the plants from becoming leggy, when there is not adequate light available. Determine the best organic seed garden plants for use in metro and urban areas based on what you enjoy harvesting fresh and space.
To choose the best organic seeds and plants for your conditions, consider the amount of direct sunlight the area receives and the growing zone. Most heirloom and organic seeds are able to adapt somewhat, however you can usually find a variety that is already suited to your growing conditions. Some innovative growing designs incorporate vertical walls made out of PVC that can be used for greens, organic herbs, or vine plants can placed on an interior wall year round. Tiers of long, slender boxes that can be lifted easily allows an extended indoor/outdoor garden patch well-suited to the urban gardener.
Greenhouse facsimiles can be easily created to start organic seeds indoors. Covering a tray of dirt with plastic wrap and placing it in a warm, sunny area creates a simple little greenhouse for germination. Once the seeds emerge, the plastic wrap should be held up and away from the seedling, although it can still remain in place. This creates a warm, humid area where the plant can strengthen and thrive for a few weeks until they are transplanted.
Patio gardeners who want to use inexpensive organic produce in their meals may want to try the following varieties that are perfect for containers. Consider planting them in pots that are lightweight enough to take indoors to extend the season. Have fun planting new varieties and colors that will transform your patio into a dream garden.
• Organic Gourmet Greens Mesclun Mix can be grown in deep trays, snipped for use and allowed to regrow until hot weather sets in. It can be replanted for fall and makes an excellent salad mix. Be sure to use organic soil and fertilizers if necessary. These greens grow quickly to provide healthy organic salads. They are a colorful mix of Arugula, Greenwave Mustard, Red Russian Kale, Mizuna, Tatsoi, and Parris Island Cos.
• Cherry tomato seeds tend to develop compact plants that work well in limited space. If you haven’t already tried the blue tomatoes introduced by Sustainable Seed Company this year, check them out. They add a unique color and intense smoky flavor.
• Large red and bi-color tomatoes that can be frozen or canned also can be grown in containers, particularly when they are staked or cages are used to create vertical growing space.
• Pepper plants tend to be compact and can be grown nearly anywhere there is heat and sunlight. They are a popular addition to any garden as they pack an abundance of flavor into every bite.
• Cucumbers and other vine plants can be trellised if there is room, as long as they have adequate support the plants should do well.
• Carrots, onions, beets, and radishes can also be grown in containers as long as they are deep enough to accommodate them.
Planting organic seeds in an urban apartment can supply the same high quality of produce they do in suburbs or rural areas. In fact you may even have some advantages, including less rot caused by the produce lying on damp soil, and fewer insects. Organic seed gardening provides an excellent opportunity to teach children how to develop a sustainable lifestyle, as well as teaching them about the importance of eating healthy foods.