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5 Tips for Starting Your Own Urban Garden

Homegrown food isn't just for those who make their homes in rural areas. Here are some tips for starting your own urban garden.

urban garden
Written by
Calin Van Paris
is a source of nourishment in more ways than one. Not only does cultivating a garden mean an eventual abundance of fresh food, tending to living things is also an accessible source of meaning, as well as an excuse to get outside and get your hands dirty.
For gardener and gardening consultant Dominique Charles, CEO and creator of
Plots & Pans
, growing food and helping others to do the same is a study in joy, satisfaction, and connection with
Charles specializes in advising and planning around urban gardens, plots planted in backyards and outside of apartment buildings, ensuring that everyone knows the benefits of making a home garden grow.
Here, five tips for starting your own urban garden.

5 Tips for Starting an Urban Garden

1. Start With a Strong Foundation

urban garden
When getting into gardening, a strong start is key. Make sure that your beds are built and placed with care, your soil is of top quality and ready to receive seeds, and healthy
is incorporated.
Charles notes that the costs of starting a garden can be steep, but the investment (and extra thought) will pay off in healthy growth for seasons to come.

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2. Know Your Grow Zone

Understanding your garden's plant hardiness zone will ensure that you're planting things that can actually grow within it.
Charles notes that a
can make more exotic options possible, as can bringing potted plants indoors at certain times of the year.

3. Grow With Purpose

Your garden should grow the way you want it to, so take the time to ask yourself what that looks like. What do you like to eat? What are you hoping to harvest? Are you gardening for bounty or beauty?
"I love tomatoes and green beans, and so those are things that I genuinely look forward to growing," says Charles. "And so I'd ask people, 'Well, what do you love in the summertime? What is that thing that you have to have?' And so, you know, if you say, 'I have to have strawberries,' then that's where we're going to start.”

4. Eat Your Produce!

urban garden
Don't let all of that homegrown grub go to waste! If you're not able to consume your fresh fruits and veggies right away, opt to cure, freeze, or otherwise preserve items.
Getting creative is also key—try
, sauces, and more to utilize all that your garden's growth has to offer.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Try Something New

From learning to prune to planting (and tasting!) new items, Charles considers gardening a literal growth opportunity for you and your plants. "I think that's probably my favorite tip is just try something new," says Charles.