By Reggie Solomon
Choosing what to grow in your garden takes on special significance due to most urban gardener’s constraint of space.
When you’re in an urban garden you’re much more likely to be aware of what is growing than you are in larger non-urban gardens.
What to Grow in Your Urban Garden:
- Grow what you like to eat.
This may seem painfully obvious but, sometimes we forget.I don’t think I’ve ever bought a radish in my life, yet the seductive radish photos in the seed magazines and radishes’ ultra-short 20-day maturation period made me seriously consider growing them — and I’m not even especially fond of the taste.
If you’re thinking of growing a vegetable that’s readily available at the supermarket, and you haven’t bought that vegetable in the last 3 years, it’s probably a good sign it’s not the highest-priority vegetable for you to grow in your urban garden.
I like cabbage, but don’t really like it enough to make it for myself, which is probably a good sign I shouldn’t grow it either (even though it looks so pretty and architectural in seed mags).
You want to come home and look forward to excitedly devouring the vegetables growing in your garden, rather than looking at them and thinking, “Oh that’s cute.
- Grow what you can’t buy in the supermarket.
Grow vegetables you like to buy, but not exactly.
Grow vegetables you like to buy, but not the exact ones you can buy at the supermarket.
If you like Yukon Potatoes don’t grow
potatoes in your garden — grow another potato variation, such as potato with purple or red flesh. This way you get to try something new while being safely nestled in the arms of a vegetable category you already enjoy. Yukon
Think about what your dinner guests will say when you have them over and serve purple potatoes grown from your garden, rather than Yukon Gold’s they can easily buy at the supermarket.
Now that’s memorable!
Look forward to serving your dinner guests stuffed, orange-colored eggplant accented by yellow cucumber slices from a lemon-shaped cuke!
- Grow like a wine-taster.
You train your palette to discern subtleties in flavor by growing vegetables
whose taste you can compare and contrast.
At a wine tasting, you often get the opportunity to sample wines made in different styles but from the same grape; you can also do the same with vegetables.
Rather than plant two of the same type of tomato plant, use the same space to grow two different types — perhaps a stripped german heirloom tomato or one that is a different color or grows in the shape of a pear or bell pepper.
Growing vegetables like a winetaster can be fun. It can also make an easy appetizer for you to slice up and serve friends with a unique summer tasting experience.
Now get out there and garden urban!