Urban Gardening for Dummies

Urban Gardening for Dummies

I learned a TON about gardening when I reviewed Urban Gardening for Dummies via my relationship with Global Influence.  I was actually surprised how much I got out of it.  I shouldn’t have been – the For Dummies series are excellent, but for whatever reason I went into this review thinking I’d pick up one or two tidbits and that would be good enough.

I learned those one or two tidbits plus about 5,000 more.

I thought I knew what I was doing with gardening.  After all, I’ve had a garden every summer and managed to grow my favorite vegetables – although I suppose I should admit that I’ve never been able to get bell peppers to grow and a few other things. But all in all, I’ve managed pretty well.

garden harvest vegetables gardening


Even though I thought I knew it all, I was intrigued by Urban Gardening for Dummies because there were some basic gardening things that I wanted to brush up on.  But, more, I’ve been really drawn to the vertical gardening tricks I’ve been seeing pop up on Pinterest and Instagram and figured those would be featured in a book about Urban Gardening considering the space limitations.

I was not disappointed and can’t wait to show you a couple of the projects that Urban Gardening for Dummies has inspired.  I’ll just say *gutters* and leave you in suspense.  Stay tuned!

I currently live in a suburb of Denver, so some of the chapters on rooftop gardening and how to accommodate for pollution and heat issues found in a true city weren’t directly applicable to my gardening area.  But I lived in Manhattan for a year and totally wish I’d had this book when I was there!

Just a few of the topics covered include:

  • Solar angles w/ building interference.
  • Heat reflection in a city & impacts to when to plants and growing seasons.
  • Pollution adaptation.
  • Rooftop gardens – both structural and aesthetic considerations.
  • Community gardens and selling your produce.

There were plenty of topics that applied to me and that made me go “Aha!” a couple of times – answers to questions I’d had about soils and fertilizer and more that I wondered about, but hadn’t ever looked into.

soil test gardening for dummies

What is that you ask?

Urban Gardening for Dummies really gave me insight into the differences in soils and how to figure out what type of soil you have and therefore what you need to add to it for various plants.  This jar test is one way to figure out how much clay, silt or sand you have.  The book then tells you what plants will work best in those soil types and how to adjust the soil to get the best results.

And did you know that a potted plant won’t make it all season if you don’t fertilize it?   I assumed if I used good soil with some nutrients added, that we were good for the season at least.  Nope, need to add fertilizer because the plant will use more nutrients than is in the pot pretty quickly.

Did you know you should add 2 inches of compost to your garden at the start of each season?  I didn’t.  Again I thought since we put “garden soil” into our beds when we first built them that we were golden.  I suppose this is why it’s dubbed Urban Gardening for Dummies.

I’ve already implemented this tip.  See?

raised bed gardening for dummies

Not to worry, I spread it out and mixed it in too…

What are your gardening goals for this summer?  Mine include:

  • BASIL!!
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Figuring out my soil and watering to optimize my flower production.
  • Design some flower areas to have something blooming all year.

I’ll post periodic pics to show you how I’m doing.  Share yours if you have any too!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Urban Gardening for Dummies to facilitate my review thanks to Global Influence and a thank you gift.

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