Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden: Urban Gardening-6 Creative Ways to Garden in the City

6 Creative Ways to Garden in the City
Who says urban dwellers can’t be green thumbs too? As a matter of fact, indoor gardening does not have to be challenging, and can be just as enjoyable and rewarding as outdoor gardening, especially when you know what, where, and how to plant. You’ll be surprised to find that so much of the best soil-grown plants can be cultivated indoors, from juicy tomatoes to pretty zinnias. For some clever indoor and urban gardening ideas, reference the list below and get prepped for some serious salads, all cultivated by you!
Figure 1: Growing Herbs (Photo Credit Shutterstock)
1. Plant an Herb Garden–One of the simplest ways to grow indoors is to start an herb garden. Herbs are perfect for growing on the windowsill or a sunny counter-top because they do very well in their own little pots. Stick them in a few well-draining containers somewhere they can soak up a ton of sun and watch as they sprout up beautiful, fragrant herbs and spices. Plant some rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, sage, mint, chives, oregano, thyme, and so much more. New to herb gardening? Follow The Herb Society of America’s herb garden guide.

2. Grow Container Tomatoes-Just like your favorite herbs, with a bit of love, tomatoes thrive indoors in the right containers. Make sure you select container tomatoes (varieties of tomatoes that are ideal for growing in small, contained spaces) and select the right pots in which to grow them. Tomatoes love to climb and cascade, so make sure you plant them in the appropriate containers, such as window boxes, pots, or tubs. These fruits are generally determinate, meaning they set their crop all at once or over a short period of time, but you’ll be surprised to find that many container grown tomatoes will yield impressively sized crops!

3. Use a Seed Starter–If you’re an indoor or urban gardener who will eventually be able to plant outdoors or in larger pots, then you may want to consider investing in a seed starter dome. These unique domes contain spongy, soil-less growing medium in a protected, climate-controlled environment. All you need to do is plant your seeds in the well-spaced planting cells, water, and cover. They’ll sprout up vibrant plant life in no time, growing big and strong without drying out or drowning. Once ready, you can transplant your seedlings to your outdoor garden or to larger pots. 
Figure 2: Planting Tomatoes (Photo Credit Shutterstock)
4. Grow a Vegetable Garden–Did you know you can grow more than just tomatoes indoors? With specialized products such as a seed starter unit and some grow lights, you can produce everything you need for a super-healthy salad and tons of other dishes. Some of the very best veggies to grow indoors include the following, all of which should be planted in well-draining containers:

  a. Carrots–Growing small carrots inside is surprisingly easy and solves the problem of trying to find stubborn, rocky soil in which to plant them. To care for your potted carrots, place them in a sunny area—somewhere with at least six hours of sunlight per day—and never let the soil dry out.

  b. Beets–For a delicious, summery salad addition year-round, grow beets! Plant your seeds in fertile, sandy, and pH-neutral soil in a long pot at least 17 inches deep. Make sure to give them lots of room to grow and don’t crowd them! Keep the soil uniformly damp (but don’t over water) and place your pots on a windowsill or near a window so they get plenty of sun. 

  c. Lettuce–Lettuce is surprisingly easy to grow and is amazing for people who want to make garden-fresh salads, even in the middle of winter. Some of the top varieties of lettuce to grow indoors are baby oakleaf, garden babies, merlot, salad bowl, and red deer tongue. Plant your lettuce seeds about 4 to 6 inches apart, at a depth of about 8 inches. 

  d. Hot Peppers–Who wouldn’t want off-the-vine peppers to throw in salsas, sauces, and salads throughout the year? It’s totally possible—just remember that these tropical perennials love light and do best with at least 10 hours of it each day. Plant your peppers in pots that are at least 8 inches tall. 

5. Leverage the Windowsill–If you’re not especially interested in buying a bunch of new equipment, such as indoor grow lights or a seed starter system, remember that you probably have a bit of access to the outdoors in the form of your windowsill, patio, or fire escape. Just remember that if you do decide to use your fire escape as a sun platform for your plants, you’ll need to keep the pathway clear so that it can be used in the event of an emergency. Remember that you’ll probably need to bring your plants inside for part of the year, especially if it gets cold where you live.

6. Grow Flowers–With all this talk about fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs, we almost forgot about one the favorite things to grow inside—flowers! Some blooming varieties should be started indoors as seeds in the spring (such as zinnias and other annual blooms) and then transplanted outside when it’s warm out. Zinnias especially thrive in containers, so it is beneficial to select them as a top pick for indoor gardens. With these colorful flowers, you’ll have gorgeous bouquets, even in the middle of the winter!
Figure 3: Seed Starting Annuals (Photo Credit Shutterstock)
The Perfect Way to Grow Year-Round
One truth of gardening is that nobody lives in a place where they can grow everything year-round. But with modern advancements in indoor gardening, we can create healthy environments for a wide range of flora and fauna, turning our homes into fragrant, enjoyable green spaces that lift the mood! Happy planting!
Author Bio: Grace Quarer oversees Park Seed content development from Park’s headquarters in Greenwood, South Carolina. Before joining Park Seed, Grace managed garden content for a large national chain of home improvement stores. Grace grew up in a gardening family, but it was marrying into a farming family that introduced her to seed starting for home gardeners and professionals. Her hobby is teaching friends and her community how to sprout, grow and cook as a proud part of the “farm to table” movement.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for April. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month for This Month in the Garden. Learn gardening tips, information and come along on horticultural adventures! Linking with:  Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.

~As Always...Happy Gardening! ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.


  1. Lee, it's unusual post, you tell so many ways to garden indoors. The tomatoes on the picture look pretty and I suppose will be tasty. I have some pots with tomato seedlings and due to the epidemic situation perhaps I will grow them on my windowsill. We all stay at home.
    Be healthy!

    1. Hi Nadezda. This post is a little out of the box for me, since I deal mostly with outdoor landscapes. I do grow a variety of houseplants and have tried growing herbs and vegetables indoors during the cooler months. I hope you find the information to be useful. Grace Quarer from Park Seed supplied the post.

  2. Great ideas and gorgeous pictures!Hugs!

    1. I am glad you enjoyed This Month in the Garden. It was fun to present something a little different than the usual. Have a good week ahead.

  3. Incredibile quanto sono belli i tuoi pomodori all'interno! Complimenti!

    Buona giornata :)

    1. Thank you for visiting Gabriel and I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. Never thought of growing tomatoes indoors, so maybe your post gives me courage to try. Although, I see that tomato photo is not your experience. Tried lettuce one time and it was a flop.
    (Just added you to my blog list since I come here a lot.)

    1. It is something nice to try Ray. I have grown seedlings indoors during the colder months to get ready to put outdoors and they were successful. The author who donated this material is an expert on indoor gardening from seed, and I have seen urban gardeners growing edibles indoors, so its worth a try!


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!


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