Keep root vegetables like onions and potatoes fresh longer by storing them in a cool, dry, dark place. Handy open-weave baskets, like these, provide air circulation to keep the veggies dry while the cabinet's interior protects them from sunlight. Photo courtesy of Dura Supreme Cabinetry.
Winds tunneling through high rises and neighborhoods can be damaging and drying. Adjust watering as needed and provide supports for tall plants or decorative fencing/screening as a wind break, says Melinda Myers, an urban gardener.
In snowy winter climates, aim to clean up the garden before early snowfalls arrive. Doing this helps to reduce winter resting places for pests and diseases that go into hiding once snow flies. It’s also easier on you—no frozen fingers.
Just like fruit, vegetables make for amazing arrangement alternatives to flowers because of their color, shape and texture. Try a mix of cauliflower, artichokes, mushrooms and rosemary sprigs. To arrange them expertly, first add a floral foam brick inside of the vessel after soaking it in water. Then secure each vegetable in place by pressing it to the floral brick. Once they’re in place, fill the gaps between them with rosemary sprigs.
Built-in planter boxes made of redwood give a young family easy access to vegetable and herbs in their backyard, surrounded by two- and three-story apartment buildings in San Francisco. The project by St John Landscapes won a 2015 award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
Arrange vegetable gardens in small blocks instead of rows. Watering a block of plants is a more efficient option than spraying water over a long row. Design blocks with a maximum 3-foot width to provide easy reachable access.
Vegetables that bear heavily, such as tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, broccoli and watermelon, are heavy feeders. Most grow well with a 5-10-10 fertilizer mixed into the soil at spring planting. Once the weather becomes warmer, these veggies can benefit from a second application, or side dressing. Follow label directions on the product you're using.
Micro gardens can be started in even the tiniest of containers and spaces. You can make miniature greenhouses for seed raising and microgreens by upcycling plastic food-grade punnets and bottles, suggests Anne Gibson of themicrogardener.com.
Hellstrips with vegetable gardens can include flowers for season-long beauty and better productivity. Annual hellstrip plantings can lie fallow under piled winter snow, then be planted fresh in spring, says author Evelyn J. Hadden, whose book, "Hellstrip Gardening," features this St. Paul, Minn., hellstrip. She suggests using a winter mulch to protect soil from erosion.