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Urban Gardening in Your Own Space

May 26, 2010

Urban gardening can be a challenge in most New York City apartments. Thankfully if you have access to a fire escape, roof, or even one window, you can grow your own garden with these tips on growing upside-down:

To make a planter, cut a two-inch hole in the bottom of a five-gallon plastic bucket. Thread a tomato seedling down through the opening and pack strips of newspaper around the root to secure it in place and prevent soil from falling out of the container. Fill the containers with a mixture of soil and compost and suspend them from sturdy hooks.

If you don’t have five-gallon buckets laying around, you can use plastic soda bottles, milk jugs, garbage bags, reusable shopping bags, used tires, or any other plastic or sturdy reusable item!

Upside-down growing is perfect for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, jalapenos and basil. Get creative and try other vegetables—upside-down gardening is a trial and error process.


– Hanging gardens save space in tiny living areas

– There is no need for stakes or cages

– Worms can destroy gardens planted in the ground, but hanging gardens are less susceptible to pest damage and fungus when suspended in the air

– Gravity creates a naturally efficient delivery of water and nutrients

– Hanging plants in windows or on fire escapes allows for better exposure to sunlight and air circulation, aiding in photosynthesis and growth

– Weed growth is almost completely eliminated

Bonus: growing Lemon Basil in a hanging garden acts as a natural Citronella alternative, repelling bugs while creating opportunities for delicious salad dressings!

There are many variations to this method, so check out these websites for instructions on how to create an urban garden in your own space: also has several how-to videos


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