Pack a lot of garden into a small space -- even your own chickens! -- with these ideas for urban gardening.
Urban gardening is a great way to grow your own food, even if your plot is limited to a small city lot. One of the best ways to add an urban garden is with a raised bed. It's so easy that you don't even need soil to place it on; raised beds are fine on sturdy decks or paved surfaces, such as the edge of a driveway.
This urban garden raised bed is packed with fun features. The urban garden showed here offers two deep planter boxes that are large enough to grow tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes -- or even larger crops such as blueberries. A decorative arbor visually connects the two beds and gives vines, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or squash, a place to climb.
One way to manage water runoff in an urban garden is with a rain garden. Find out how here.
Holes drilled into the sides provide even more space for growing low, spreading plants such as strawberries, thyme, or spring greens. A hinged bench is another space-saver in tight spaces such as urban gardens: It offers a place to sit and tend your vegetables (or relax and enjoy the fresh fruits of your labors) while also conveniently storing tools and gardening supplies.
You'll get the most produce from your raised beds if you site them in a spot that sees full sun (at least six hours of direct sunlight a day) and has good airflow, which helps plants resist disease. Fill the raised bed with a high-quality potting mix rather than digging soil from your garden (which may contain weed seeds or pest and disease organisms).
Raising your own chickens is a hot urban gardening trend -- it's easier than you might think and fun, too! The coop here looks attractive enough to fit in any yard and provides all the features you need for success with three or four chickens (which should give you about two eggs per day). Plus, the birds will provide a source of manure to add to your compost -- which will eventually help yield more in your garden!
Note: If you live in town, check local restrictions about having chickens.
Fenced with chicken wire at the base, this backyard chicken coop keeps your feathered friends safe from predators and gives the chickens room to move about. A hinged nesting box makes harvesting your own eggs a cinch, too. Change the bedding in the nesting box regularly to encourage your chickens to keep laying lots of eggs.