1978 Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
Thanks to the Book ‘Em Sale this year, I’ve acquired the beginnings of a gardening library for pennies on the dollar. The book I’ve been most obsessed with is this 1978 Encyclopedia of Organic gardening. Thirty-four-years-old doesn’t seem so old for a gardening book.
In any case, I thought I’d post their definition of Urban Gardening:
In recent years, many people have discovered that gardening in the city is not simply fun, but is economical and produces better-quality food that is available in stores. Surprising yields of vegetables can be obtained from an intensively gardened, postage stamp-size backyard, and fruits and vegetables can be grown in contained on the roof, balcony or front porch. Some people manage to keep livestock in their backyards or on a roof; pigeons, chickens, bees, and rabbits can all be raised in the city if health codes allow and if the animals are not a nuisance to their human neighbors.
Although city gardening is similar in some ways to gardening in the country, it does require some special skills. Although city gardening has its disadvantages, one can learn to manipulate the microclimate of plants, in order to produce food over a longer period of time than would be possible in the country. By necessity, city gardeners learn to grow more produce in less space, increasing the theoretical productivity per acre.
There are many ways to maximize outdoor space for more efficient vegetable production. Use window boxed to grow small plants such are herbs, radishes, carrots, and onions. Plant vegetables such as lettuce, that, when cut, will continue to reproduce. Stick to compact varieties of plants that do not shade our other areas of the garden and avoid planting crops along a north wall. Build trellises or fences to utilize vertical space for plants such as tomatoes, peas, squashes, cucumbers, and beans.
Interplant slow- and fast-growing vegetables: the fast-growing vegetables will be harvested before they can crowd slower-growing plants. See also Intensive Gardening.
Some urbanites are fortunate enough to live in a city that has a community garden program In many localities throughout the country, city governments, social agencies, industry, public institutions, churches, and private individuals have made land available to gardeners in their cities, often at no expense to the gardeners. Such programs are proving to be increasingly popular as the cost of food increases, and people seeking to raise their own food should investigate their own communities to see if there is already a community garden project there, or should try to initiate one on public land that is currently not being used.
For you urban-gardeners out there, what do you do to maximize your space? My main approach is to use trellises pretty heavily, but other than that I’m not sure there’s much else that I do. Leave a comment with your ideas!