Urban Vegetable Growing

The vegetable garden, also called a mail or potager, is a container designed for growing seasonally vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots, etc., placed in strategic positions for eating right away. The traditional vegetable garden, also referred to as a kinglyard or pager, is usually a small open area outside of the home surrounded by fences or walls to contain perennial plants that are not susceptible to frost. It can be an attractive focal point for a landscaping feature. Vegetable gardens are generally raised on a concrete slab or on top of a foot wall or potable wall that can hold soil and fertilizer for each plant, with provision for drainage.   There are many vegetable gardens designed for the urban dweller in mind. These may have a raised bed type with several planters of assorted heights and depths. A raised bed allows the gardener to select various growing conditions; the deeper beds for tomatoes will grow quicker than the shallow beds for beans and onions. Also, it is not essential to till the vegetable gardens as the weight of the plant and root system will determine how much water is absorbed. One of the most successful things a gardener can do is to develop good planting procedures with respect to timing of sowing, harvesting and preserving produce.   In an urban setting there is less room for natural weather to affect plants’ growth and survival so planting at the correct time of year is important especially in areas prone to disease and pests. Plants should be selected to complement each other as well as being in harmony with the surrounding area and the climatic conditions prevailing. Some plants are more suitable for cooler climates, others for warmer ones and still others for both.