It took a pandemic for folks in the city to jump on the urban gardening bandwagon. But hey, it’s never too late to develop the green thumb you thought you never had.
The upside of urban gardening is you don’t need to have a sprawling backyard to do it. Even the smallest corner of your urban home can be filled with life if your goal is to become self-sufficient.
While there are a LOT of plants and crops in the Kingdom Plantae, you might wonder what the best ones to grow in your humble city garden are. Well, we’ve got the perfect list for you.
Here are some plants you can grow at home:
13 Plants for Urban Gardeners
Small-space gardeners gather ‘round! Looking for a plant that quickly grows and only takes up little space? Enter the radishes.
These colorful vegetables are super easy to grow and ready for harvest in just about four to five weeks. Radishes thrive in areas that get plenty of sunlight. They also do well in high-quality potting soil with an extra dose of sterilized compost and lots of moisture but with good drainage.
A quick tip from Grow Your Heirlooms: it’s best to go for medium-sized varieties like Saxa radishes since they're just the right size for pots that are five to six inches deep.
You can check out the video above for more tips on growing radishes indoors.
Wanna add a ‘lil spice to your recipes at home? Consider growing jalapeño peppers. These smaller chili peppers are best grown in indoor containers.
Position a container that has fertile, moist, and well-drained soil in a sunny corner. Water the peppers deeply every two to three days, and don’t forget to keep the temperature warm (about 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit). If you live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you can keep your jalapeño peppers warm by using grow lights or heating pads.
These plants will grow up to 3 feet tall and will produce fruit for more than five years with proper care. And did you know they’re also rich in antioxidants? The carotene in them helps fight damage to your cells. You’re not only spicing up your food, but you’re also spicing up your look.
The most rewarding part of urban gardening is seeing your crops bearing fruit, and tomatoes are one of the best plants to grow in a city garden. They don’t only produce harvest quickly, but they’re also good for you.
In the right conditions, growing tomatoes indoors can be very easy. Cherry tomatoes bloom in a room with a strong light source, so it’s best to plant these tasty treats in containers placed in front of a window where the sunlight can reach them easily. Choose a south-facing window, and don’t forget to rotate the plant so all sides get an equal amount of sunlight.
Cherry tomatoes also love getting a lot of moisture, so check on the condition of the soil a couple of times a week. If the soil feels a tad bit dry, go ahead and slowly water it. This ensures that your tomatoes grow sweet and juicy.
If you love tomatoes as much as we do, they make the perfect ingredient for sauces. We especially love them with pasta. But if you want to take it up a notch, you can also preserve them; now you have something nutritious to take out of your prepper pantry when SHTF.
What leafy green is popular among gardeners? Kale, of course! That’s because it’s an insanely low-maintenance plant. Kale doesn’t need much space, which makes it perfect for urban gardening.
Growing kale is simple. Here are some tips that can help you:
- Place under a strong light source eight hours a day.
- Plant in nutrition-enriched soil.
- Add high-quality compost.
- Water regularly.
With a regular schedule and watchful eye, you’ll have a healthy bunch of kale in hand soon.
Fun fact: kale is one the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in the world. Why? According to Healthline, kale is packed with all sorts of beneficial compounds that have medicinal properties. If you don’t believe us, you can check the many benefits of this super green here.
Another easy-to-grow vegetable that’s both delicious and healthy is green beans. The type that grows best indoors is the smaller bush beans, as they only grow about 2 feet high. Since bush beans don’t need any trellises or stakes, they’re also way easier to manage indoors or in your apartment balcony.
Bush beans are usually harvested after 50 to 60 days of planting, and like most of the plants on the list, they require at least six hours of sunlight daily.
The best thing about green beans is they’re rich in vitamins A, C, AND K. These nutrients help fight a handful of health conditions; they decrease the risk of cancer, promote fertility, provide adequate folic acid during pregnancy, help with depression, and improve bone health.
You’re gonna need a fair amount of work and planning when growing cucumbers indoors, but with the right variety and equipment, you’re gonna get a decent harvest from the cucumber plants you grow.
First things first, find cucumber varieties that produce fruits without pollination since you’re growing them indoors. Why? Bees and other pollinators don’t live in your home or greenhouse. Your best bet of producing a good number of cucumbers is the self-pollinating types. Here are some types of cucumbers you can plant in your urban garden:
Indoor cucumbers require a bit more attention than outdoor cucumbers. They need lots of light 一 eight to 10 hours of sunlight per day, to be exact. Like a special container mix with good drainage and a generous amount of fertilizer, the right type of soil is also needed. You’ll also need adequate water, about an inch of water per week, and a trellis to keep your cucumbers from invading your home.
Carrots make for healthy and attractive culinary houseplants. They’re also a great source of vitamin A, fiber, and alpha and beta carotenes--- nutrients you’ll need whether SHTF or not.
Carrots come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, but the best variety for pot cultivation and the most popular for urban gardening has to be the Nantes carrots. This type of carrot is best suited to pot cultivation because they have non-tapering roots with blunted ends. Bonus: they’ve got great flavor, too.
You can start by growing these carrots directly from seeds since they don’t take well to transplantation. Sow them a quarter of an inch to a half inch deep into the soil. Once the seedlings grow about 2 inches, thin them out to ensure that you grow only the best carrots in your containers. Check out the video above to learn more about growing these tasty veggies.
Now, you might not think so, but growing avocados inside your home isn’t that hard. Some avocados grow up to 80 ft. in height, but dwarf varieties are the way to go for an urban gardener like you. For a better chance at fruit, get a dwarf tree that has been grafted onto rootstock to increase the plant’s best trait and make it stronger. An avocado’s roots grow fast, so make sure to use loose, well-draining soil, too.
You can check the video above to see how simple it is to grow nutritious and delicious avocados.
Chives are hella expensive and sometimes difficult to find in grocery stores. Luckily, you can grow your chives at home! These plants are super low maintenance, grow all year round, and provide a punch of flavor to any meal. They’d especially come in handy if and when you find yourself stuck at home, eating canned meat and bland MREs.
If you’re growing chives in your own kitchen, make sure they receive at least six hours of sunshine every day. It’s best to place them by your kitchen window for maximum exposure.
Pro tip: always keep their soil moist. Chives grow best when watered frequently as long as there’s proper drainage.
Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, you will find satisfaction in growing your own vegetable garden, especially with some yummy spinach.
With just water, quality potting soil, and sunlight, you’ll easily be harvesting spinach in large amounts in just six weeks. You know you’ll never run out of spinach with how fast-growing this vegetable is.
If you want to be big and strong like Popeye, including spinach in your diet, is the way to go. Spinach is known to give you healthy skin, nourished hair, and strong bones. They also help with digestion, lower the risk of heart diseases, and improve blood glucose control in diabetes.
Green onions are probably the most straightforward plant food to grow at home. Why? You don’t have to start from scratch. You can literally replant the roots of your green onions with just a cup of water. You can grow them in soil, too, but water has better results because they grow bigger and healthier.
They’re also uncomplicated to care for because they don’t require as much sunlight as some other veggies. Just remember to change the water regularly, so you’ll have a bountiful harvest after a few weeks.
We know not everyone is a fan of ginger, but you can’t deny they add a punch to your recipes.
It doesn’t hurt they’re simple to grow, too. You just have to select healthy ginger roots and set them in a wide pot with well-draining soil. They also sprout best in warm areas with indirect sunlight.
But you might rethink your distaste for ginger when you learn about its health benefits. Greatist says this super spicy food is known for calming nausea and reducing inflammation. Raw ginger is also believed to ease sore muscles and lower fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes. When chopped and boiled, ginger makes for a tea that can get rid of any tickle in your throat, too.
Another plant you might find beneficial growing in your kitchen is mint.
When your town experiences terrible weather, and you’re stuck at home for God-knows-how-long, you’re going to need a mood booster. For example, a glass of mojitos. And you know what goes best with this cocktail? Mint, to add a fresh flavor to your drink.
Mint is also great when you’re exploring the outdoors. Just snip a few leaves before heading out because you might eat something funny in the woods, and this bright green herb is an acknowledged alternative medicine treatment for IBS.
Like chives, mint is a pretty straightforward plant that can tolerate a wide variety of conditions. It’s fine to water the plant when the soil feels dry, but make sure not to make it overly wet. Mint tends to reach for light, too. Don’t forget to give all sides equal sunshine or artificial lighting so it grows evenly and gives great flavor.
The lack of space isn’t an excuse for you not to start your urban garden. There’s literally plenty of plants (like those we listed in this article) that can quickly grow right at home, even for beginners.
Let the green thumb in you take over because, let’s face it; you’ll probably have to rely on this skill when SHTF. And we all know for a fact being self-sufficient is your best defense during a crisis.
Already started your urban garden? Let us know how it went, and feel free to give us some tips below!