How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden on a Terrace: A Complete Guide

We want to talk about how to grow a vegetable garden on a terrace. In recent years, the number of times we wonder what we consume, where it comes from what we eat or how this food is going to sit me, has increased.

How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden on a Terrace: A Complete Guide

This has led to a greater concern for our food, hence the consumer groups are currently booming or self-consumption and self-management of food is gradually more present in everyday life. For this reason, the cultivation of small vegetable gardens at home is becoming a common practice in cities.

Let’s see a little more of these issues that we have raised in the introduction.

Why have a vegetable garden at home?

In the first paragraph of this article I have raised several ideas that perhaps I could explain in a better way. The idea that above all I would like to develop more is the concern that exists among the population with the food we consume daily.

These are examples of questions that you often hear in conversations in cities when talking about food. Questions like these give rise to the idea of why not plant a bell pepper or aromatic herbs in a small space on my balcony or rooftop. All this is also affected by the momentum of the “green and responsible movement” that is taking hold in large cities. That’s why I previously related consumer groups to the creation of vegetable gardens on a terrace. But better, I’ll leave the consumer groups for another article 😉.

Vegetable garden on a terrace: Necessities

Urban gardening is a practice that is gaining its space and respect in Spanish cities, so much so that in Madrid 10% of the population already grows in their own home. But it is a movement that began in other countries during the industrial revolution in the 19th century. It was a way to soften the social conflict created by rural-urban migration. We are talking about countries like England, the United States, Germany or Canada.

Leaving aside the pollution and the hard working conditions that the industrial revolution reminds us of, we have to admit that nowadays people’s mentality is changing and people are more interested in how they grow what they eat and what they eat. Therefore, it is normal that courses such as those offered in many gardens of the Red de Huertos de Madrid, have a good number of participants. For example, on September 27th in the garden of El Retiro there will be a course on how to make a garden in a container and already three weeks in advance there are no places.

How to grow a vegetable garden on a terrace ?

First of all, I would like to tell you that you must be careful. You must make sure that the location of the garden must be:

Accessible
On a resistant surface, which can support loads over 300 kg/m2
Safe, both for assembly and maintenance.
Light and wind, choose the area where there is more direct light and where it is more protected from the wind.
Access to water, in the same location.

To answer the question that I had raised in the title of this section, I am going to help me from a colleague. Rodri is a person who lives in the outskirts of Madrid and who has a vegetable garden on his terrace. Last week he let us visit it and from here I am going to give you some brushstrokes of how you can plant it. If you have any questions, you know, the forum is at your disposal.

As you can see you need a space between 5-10 square meters. The plants used by Rodri have been plants that need a good number of hours of sun but not excessive heat such as lettuce, broccoli or arugula (as you see in the bottom of the photo) and raspberry and strawberry (as you see in the first part of the snapshot).


Installation of an irrigation system

The irrigation is done with the help of a programmer, which varies depending on the season in which it is. If it is in full growing season, irrigation is done early in the morning and in the evening, to avoid burning the crop. Out of season irrigation is done only in the morning. As you read, depending on the needs of the crop.

How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden on a Terrace: A Complete Guide
Irrigation programmer in a vegetable garden on a terrace

From the programmer comes a hose that branched for each pot and in each of them there are two waterers like the ones in the photo.

How to Grow an Urban Vegetable Garden on a Terrace: A Complete Guide
Irrigators in a vegetable garden planter on terrace

The support he uses are wooden pots that you can find in any store and inside he placed worm humus. According to what Rodri told us, he has not had any pest problems and the only thing he had to use sporadically was an ecological insecticide known as NEEM. He also has aromatic plants but decided to place them in a different spot, although he has a good harvest.

I hope you are encouraged to plant a vegetable garden on your balcony or terrace and send us photos to share it with the rest of agrohuerters.