We are ending April and the orchards must already be beginning to boil in many regions of Spain. In higher latitude areas where the cold can still leave us a couple of night frosts, it is time to start germinating or planning which seedlings we are going to want, where to start. We are going to make a summary of the main things that you should take into account to make fewer mistakes. Do you want to start your urban garden? Let’s see it step by step.
DO YOU HAVE A GARDEN OR DO YOU HAVE A ROOF TERRACE?
Before starting with the type of soil, the orientation, the square meters, the varieties, the climate, the irrigation … when it comes to creating an urban garden, the first determining factor is “where” and here two options are derived that change by I complete the way to design and manage the garden.
- You don’t have a garden but you do have a roof terrace.
- You have a garden or a piece of land where you can plant.
Although aspects such as orientation, the vegetables that you plant may be common, there are other aspects that are not so common. First of all, we must bear in mind that structurally the roofs of buildings are designed to withstand certain use overloads. This is always oversized although we must bear in mind that the earth weighs a lot. If it is wet (irrigation and especially rain), then the weight to be supported per square meter increases. By this we mean that you cannot emulate a 60 cm deep garden as if it were a ground floor garden.
To solve this, a cultivation table available at www.decoandlemon.com is one of the best options since it concentrates the space very well. The planting frames can be smaller because the substrate used is optimal (you select it), and the plant will have sufficient nutrients. In addition, it requires less depth and therefore less weight per unit area. In a piece of garden you can improve the soil and modify some parameter of the soil, but at the end of the day, the soil of the site is what it is.
Here is a small basic outline for an optimal setting on the substrate. Although spatially the substrate has more presence, drainage and a good compost with highly available nutrients for plants are the key points in these cultivation systems.
Configuration and approximate proportion of a potted substrate or grow table
THE CHOICE OF THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN THE URBAN GARDEN
The simplest in terms of assembly and design is to manually water our crops since urban gardens are generally not large and the irrigation operation does not take too long, except in the warmer months, where the transpiration of the plant as well as evaporation of water are greater. We must be clear that the cultivation tables and the pots have less depth and the substrate stores more heat since the sun radiates the walls of the continent. This forces more frequent waterings.
For this reason, it is advisable to invest a little in an automatic irrigation system, especially if we are going to miss a while during the summer months, the best option being drip irrigation . In the case of using cultivation tables or pots, micro-drip systems are the recommended option for ease of installation as long as the water does not contain too much lime. Clogging is one of the most common problems with these systems. If they are pots or you are not going to grow very large, the ceramic cones with a carafe of water, can help to maintain the humidity of the substrate for a few days in case of absence for vacation.
In case of having a small plot at ground level if you live in a single-family house for example, the ideal is the classic dripper system or 16 mm tube with integrated self-compensating drippers . If you do not plan to go on vacation or you have neighbors who can throw you a cable, you can always go to the classic hose irrigation .
Irrigation as irrigation it is important to wet the aerial part of the crops as little as possible since the risk of cryptogamic diseases (mainly fungi) increases. With humidity and pleasant temperatures it grows of everything. Plants and everything that eats them before you can enjoy them.
The interesting thing about drip systems is their ease of programming. The simplest single-line watering controllers are inexpensive and allow you to set watering frequencies and times for each watering.
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT YOUR CLIMATE AND ORIENTATION IN YOUR URBAN GARDEN
This is something that we cannot control, but we can manage certain cultural aspects of cultivation to take advantage of the maximum potential of the conditions that the place where we cultivate offers us. If your growing area has good solar radiation throughout the day (south facing of the building), then the horticultural products will appreciate it, although you will have to increase the irrigation frequencies as the heat increases.
Mulch systems greatly reduce the evaporation of water in the substrate and maintain a good constant humidity level so as not to cause too many fluctuations and stress the plant, not counting the fact that we save water.
If the orientation is not ideal, there is little that can be done there, although you should definitely try it, with crops or varieties that do not require too many hours of light. The growth may not be optimal but you can always get good results even with aromatic herbs for the kitchen. Many of them are very rustic and species such as chives, arugula, radishes, parsley or coriander tolerate shadier areas well, although their optimum requires more sun. And you can try fruit trees such as strawberry or raspberry that also give good results.
With these indications you can already plan your urban garden well. The rest will be to decide how to distribute spaces, choose the varieties well and get down to work. Lucky!