Tips To Make Your Urban Garden Green

Dated: 06/03/2019

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Urban Gardening Tips for those with a Green Thumb, or Just Trying it Out!

  1. Choose the right plants: Some plants are just meant to be in the burbs (just like some people!). Don’t try to force something that just won’t work - set yourself up for success by choosing plants that can stay in pots or in small areas that work in the city. For example: coneflowers, yucca, petunia, zinnia, daylil & more.

  2. Take it Vertical: Limited in space on the patio or deck but still want a green feel? No worries, take the plants up! Stacking planters or using railing planters is an excellent way to maximize space. If that’s still too much ground coverage, why not try a wall pocket or shoe organizer to house your plants? The benefit here is that you can move it easily should you want it in a different spot or if your lease is coming to an end.

  3. Create Privacy: Nosy neighbors, or just a deck with little privacy? Using ivy or other climbing plants is a great way to allow for privacy plus add in some nice greenery. Be mindful however that these plants can be evasive so keep an eye on their growth!

  4. Herb Gardens: Flowers are beautiful but why not try your hand at something that you can actually use! Growing fresh herbs is a nice way to add a flare to your cooking, cocktails and more. Buying herbs can become costly, but purchasing the plant and letting them grow is a great way to save money and cook fresh!

  5. Too Much Shade?: No problem! Some plants don’t do well in full sunlight and require shaded areas. These are some of the most popular shade loving plants: astilbe hybrids, amethyst flower, begonia, copper plant, fancy-leafed caladium and garden hydrangea. Ferns also thrive in shady areas.

  6. What About Too Much Sun: Just like people, plants can get too much sun. So this means, no ferns for you! Instead optimize greenery that loves direct sunlight such as the shasta daisy, lavender (which smells amazing), Coreopsis, Yarrow & a few others!

  7. Soil is Key: Since you don’t have the luxury of natural soil since your deck and patio are most likely stone or wood, be sure to purchase soil for your plants that is tailored specifically to potted plants. This will maximize growth and help to ensure a happy and healthy plant.

  8. Fertilizer for Your Needs: Remember slow release pellet fertilizer. This will be your best friend with potted plants. Since you will be watering your plants more regularly due to them growing in planters or pots, normal fertilizer would be washed away after a use or two. Using the slow release will allow for this to last longer and be more effective.

  9. Water Releasing Crystals: We all know the shore is VERY appealing over the summer and most plants feel the pain of your weekend getaways, or even a week long vacation! Adding water release crystals to your pot or planter will help while you’re away.

  10. Don’t Drown Them: On the contrary some people think because it’s hot they need more water as do humans, but that’s not the case. Over watering can harm the plant just as much as not watering enough.


We hope these tips lead to a happy and health deck, patio, kitchen or anywhere garden! If you have some happy plants as a result of these tips, share using #FreshPlacesPhilly or share some of your tip with us here!


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Justin Bresson

Justin was born and raised on the Main Line in Bala Cynwyd, just outside of Philadelphia. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. After graduation, Justin....

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