In these uncertain economic times, many Americans are contemplating urban agriculture as a way to boost their self-sufficiency and prepare for disasters such as hyperinflation. Raising animals is one way to do this, but some people have also chosen to grow food plants.
Besides improving a family's preparedness, urban gardening also carries numerous immediate benefits, including providing fresh and organic produce free of toxic pesticides for everyday consumption.
There is a range of plants that can be easily grown in one's backyard or on a patio or balcony including tomatoes, legumes, green beans, peppers and mesclun greens such as celery, arugula, mizuna and kale. Flavor-enhancing herbs are also good candidates for urban homesteading.
There are many resources that can guide prospective urban gardeners through questions regarding the proper amount of water, light and type of soil that specific plants require.
According to UrbanGardeningHelp.com, finding a good place to grow plants — as a general rule, it should have at least 6 hours of sunlight a day — is the first step. It is also important to select plants based on the location where they will be grown so that shallow-rooting plants that require only around 6 inches of soil are planted in containers, while longer-rooted, such as tomatoes, are planted in the ground.
The source says that "if you create the correct conditions for healthy plants, you'll be well on your way to enjoying fresh fruits and veggies from your own garden and reducing our impact on the environment."