It’s a dreamy idea: to have a private vegetable garden within a city. Imagine being able to bring your food from farm to table every morning and night. You would have complete control over how your food is handled and the environment in which it is grown.

Organic, pesticide-free, nutrient-rich, non-GMO, preservative, and additive-free. The taste of freshly picked fruits and vegetables, more accessible than ever. Sounds great, right? Now, how do you fashion a backyard, rooftop, patio, lawn, or side yard garden?

Farm to table raised beds

Maximize the Space Available

One of the greatest difficulties in starting a garden in Los Angeles is space. Most houses do not have large plots of land, and with an increasing population and housing shortages, lots and houses are getting smaller just to accommodate more people and families. Planning and personal ingenuity are of pinnacle importance.

First, you need to build or buy planters. The area should have access to water; a hose or a nearby sink will do, or you will be stuck lugging jugs of water to your plants.

Next, you should determine the amount of space you’ll need for each plant you choose to grow. A tomato plant, for example, will become heavy and topple over or obstruct other plants if you let it grow wildly. The solution is to have the tomato plant grow straight up, using a wire tower, spikes, or a wire trellis (the first image shows a wire trellis set-up in a Los Angeles backyard garden).

Raised bed planters are the best option for urban gardens; they conserve space and allow you to separate fertilizers for certain plants, making your planting and maintenance simple.

Be sure to choose the right plants for your needs; only buy seeds for fruits and vegetables that you actually eat and use regularly.

You’ll also need to consider storage for supplies such as tools, soil, seeds, miscellaneous wood, wire, and string. Consider a shed if you have room; they shelter all of your garden supplies from the elements and keep your yard looking tidy. If you do not have room for a shed, then consider a standing cabinet. Despite not being able to walk into it, a large cabinet should be enough storage to hold everything required for an urban garden. If you have a side yard garden, or you need to store the supplies in a different section of the land/house, then you can use large weatherproof trunks in tandem with cabinets.

Farm to Table urban veggie garden

Benefits of Knowing Your Soil

The soil you use is how you control the end result. Fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden actually taste different than what you get from the store, and soil is the key.

Organic, chemical-free dirt is the basis for completely natural food. Compost helps a lot; you do not have to compost on a massive scale, just enough to add to the soil. If you follow these steps, your crop will be the cleanest, purest, and healthiest food available.

Impress friends with fruits and vegetables unrivaled in taste, purity, and nutrition. They make for great gifts, regular food around the house, and a hobby that helps the entire household.

Who Has the Time?

You have the time. Soon enough, garden work will fit into your routine and some days may even replace the need to go to the gym or exercise. I personally know company executives in Los Angeles that wake early and start their day with backyard farming. The activity becomes more fluid with time, and the food produced is worth it.

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David Barbour

David Barbour is co-founder of Vivio Life Sciences, a wellness company that applies fundamental biology to help people target health, natural beauty, and well-being.
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