Urban vegetable gardening began in the USA during the Second World War and came to provide up to 40% of the food consumed in cities. They became known as “Victory gardens” or War gardens”. They had already been found to be indispensable during the two world wars, when many European countries could not depend on imports and had to guarantee their food supply.
The United States, Germany and the United Kingdom used a great variety of land for this type of urban vegetable gardening, including football fields, parks and gardens, promoting their use with propaganda. The 1960s saw a resurgence of interest, but now in the hands of ecology and anti-system movements. Many countries produce food in this way today from necessity, like Cuba, but it is also being implemented in more developed countries as an effective alternative to purchasing in supermarkets.
Urban vegetable gardens: What do I need?
As well as a space with as much direct sunlight as possible, the amount and variety of food you can grow depends on the type of terrain. The ideal spot is a terrace or roof garden. If this is not possible, you can set up your urban garden on a balcony or by a window with a good deal of light using a vertical garden. Currently there are many models of containers available for growing food at home, like raised garden beds in different sizes, but if you have less space you can easily use a selection of pots or a vertical garden, and any small container will do to plant the seeds (yoghurt pots are ideal for this). As regards soil, ideally you should start with a good plant substrate and organic fertilisers to promote recycling and because this gives you better quality vegetables. Watering can be done manually or later on you can use an automatic watering system, especially to cover times when you are not at home or go away on holiday.