Are you an urban gardener? 8 reasons to grow your own greens

Of all the delights that spring brings with it (goodbye snow shovels, winter boots, hats and mitts; hello tank tops, sunglasses and flip flops!), my favourite is being able to return to urban gardening.

grow your own greens

Although coastal British Columbia’s growing season is not long or hot enough for tomatoes (or cucumbers or peppers or melons) :(, there’s plenty of time to grow your own greens.

Every spring, once the danger of frost has passed, my family and I make the trip to our favourite garden centre in the valley to purchase the seedlings that will keep us in salads until mid-October. Kale, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, romaine. Multiple varieties of each along with parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme and basil; herbs for dressing our greens and marinading the fish fillets and steaks we’ll soon be grilling on the barbecue. Yum!

(Of course, I don’t need to remind you that salad greens are chock full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and fibre and they’ll help you meet your daily quote of 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies…)

Don’t think you have enough space to grow your own greens? Think again! We grow our vegetables in 4 x 8 wooden boxes and large ceramic pots, filled with organic soil and set upon cement blocks to allow for proper drainage. A sunny, sheltered spot works best.

grow your own greens

Not convinced yet? Here are 8 reasons to grow your own greens

  1. They’re fresher (5 minutes from garden to table) and tastier than store bought greens.
  2. Because you’ve grown them yourself (either from seeds or pesticide-free seedlings) you can be confident that they won’t be covered with pesticide residue
  3. You can easily source non-GMO seeds and seedling varieties
  4. They are far cheaper than store bought greens (last week I paid $7 for a large package of organic spinach; a packet of seeds can be purchased for $1 and will last you all season)
  5. Home grown greens don’t need to be driven to market and easily fall within the guidelines of the ‘100-mile diet’
  6. There’s no packaging to throw out or recycle
  7. Tending to plants is a relaxing, almost meditative activity
  8. Your children can help. Think of it as ‘cultivating’ the next generation of urban gardeners! (I’ve also found that my children are much more willing to eat vegetables that they’ve helped to grow)

grow your own greens

Are you an urban gardener?

What are your favourite crops to grow?

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  1. have convinced me to try and grow some after I saw the pots over flowing….the pots are the only way it would work around here too. I may have to start this weekend for some Spring inspiration!!

    Kathy recently posted…Once again we are reminded …. we are not in control…..My Profile

    • You’d be surprised how much you can grow in a small space! Just make sure to add new seeds and seedlings as the season progresses so you never have a gap in your harvest!

    I made smallll beds for us for this yesterday in the yard.
    Now I need to wrangle the child into helping me grow.
    Miz recently posted…β€œTake What You Need” Day follow-up.My Profile

    • Hooray! Does E like strawberries? You guys should be in a pretty good climate for growing them. Plus strawberry pots are gorgeous to look at!

  3. I have tried to grow things a few times – epic fail!! Maybe I will give it another try – I really want to grow my own herbs because they get pricey at the store!!
    Kim recently posted…Catching UpMy Profile

    • Kim, I’m not much of a gardener either, but greens are easy peasy. Just remember to water them (and not in the heat of the day)

  4. I should really do this. But I seriously have a black thumb. I kill every plant I ever receive (notice: receive. I never buy them because I kill them. My Mom always give them to me, hoping things will change. It hasn’t worked yet). I can only imagine how awesome it would be to have fresh greens straight from my own little pots!!
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…One-Minute Egg Yolk DressingMy Profile

  5. I’m hoping we can make an urban garden work this year! Knock on wood!

  6. I don’t know if I’m urban (suburb girl), but I definitely love to grow my own food! It’s currently snowing outside, so it’s hasn’t been time to plant yet, but I can’t wait to get my new garden started. We moved in the middle of the growing season next year, so we’re starting from scratch this season. Fun!
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted…This is Why I Love ColoradoMy Profile

  7. I have the brownest thumb out there – if I can kill a cactus, that is pretty bad!!! πŸ™‚ I do love this post though but I am just BAD at this stuff!!!! I do love how you showed it can be done in crowded southern CA where many of us have not land! πŸ™‚
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…Instagram & Facebook HelpMy Profile

  8. Every year I plan to start a garden. Nothing big. A small variety of whatever herbs and veggies I can grow in deck planters. Every year I start. Every year I get overwhelmed and stop. At least I’m consistent πŸ™‚

    I wonder if it’s too late to start a plant or 2 now?
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Have You Considered A Vegetarian Diet?My Profile

  9. I love my garden. There is something so gratifying about going outside to pick your food for the meal you are making. These are great tips. While I live in a more rural neighborhood, I still use planter boxes pots. Helps the fight against the wild life.

  10. Given our small balcony, it would be next to impossible to grow lettuce and such, but what you still can do (and what we do) is grow our own herbs: basil, thyme, rosemary etc. All require only small pots and will even fit on a window ledge. Fresh herbs taste indefinitely better than the freeze-dried stuff you can buy in bags.
    evilcyber recently posted…Review: Zumba FitnessMy Profile

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