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Urban farmer t shirt and tips for growing in the city

our mission urban gardening

Whether you garden in a big city or a small one, urban environments are great places to grow food and flowers, provided you keep a few things in mind. Yes, wearing our cool urban farmer t shirt will help you grow in style, but you'll need to do more than look good to garden in the city. Here's some great advice urban gardeners and farmers should follow to make sure they're making the most of their environment and growing as safely as possible. 

Tips for urban gardeners and farmers

  • Test your soil first. Because urban soil can sometimes contain contaminants, particularly if it's a site that was once used for industrial activities, it's worth getting your soil tested for the presence of lead and other heavy metals before you start gardening. Many Agricultural Extension Service programs across the U.S. offer soil tests for heavy metal content. This is an incredibly important test to have done if you garden where heavy metal contamination is possible. Ingesting contaminated soil particles could lead to many health and developmental issues, especially for children.
If your garden is near an older house with flaking paint, or if any sort of industrial activity took place on site, you risk lead particles clinging to vegetables, even after they're washed. Lead can also be absorbed through the skin and into the lungs via airborne dust. We want you to be safe when you're wearing our urban farmer t shirt or any of our other Ironweed Apparel tees. Heavy metal content soil tests cost between $10 and $30 - a small price for an urban gardener to pay for reassurance. Here's a great guide for urban soil testing in Canada and one for urban soil testing in the U.S. 
Urban farming crops
  • Maximize your space. Urban gardeners are often short on space, so maximizing your growing area is a must. Grow vertically when you can by training vining crops, such as cucumbers, squash, and melons, to grow up a trellis instead of rambling over the ground. Also, choosing more compact vegetable varieties is a great way to save space in the garden. Here's a list of some excellent small-space vegetables.
Interplanting is another excellent way to save space. By planting two or three crops of differing heights together, you'll be making good use of every growing plane. For example, plant Swiss chard in between your taller tomato plants and then grow a "skirt" of low-growing herbs such as thyme and chamomile beneath the chard. You'll have three crops filling the area, instead of one. Just remember to give each plant room to breathe or you risk fungal infections.
Urban gardening tips include growing on balconies and in containers.
  • Maximize your time. Save time in your garden by mulching it well at the start of the season. With a good layer of mulch in place, you'll be spending far less time weeding and watering than you would without it. Other good time management tips for the garden include:
  1. Set up an automatic drip sprinkler system to automate irrigation.
  2. Use a garden journal to keep notes about what to do when.
  3. Grow in containers to reduce garden upkeep tasks.
  4. Plant perennial plants when possible to cut down on the number of new plants you'll need to plant each spring.
Of course, we want you to spend as much time as possible in your garden (showing off our urban farmer t shirt of course!), but saving time is always a good thing!

Urban farming in containers is a great way to save space and time.

  •  Share the love. One final tip for urban gardeners: be ready and willing to share your love of gardening and home-grown produce with others. If you grow extra beans, pass them on to a friend - it might inspire them to start gardening, too. Or, if you can't share the tangible rewards of your garden, share your knowledge. Maybe you can teach a class for new gardeners in your community or start a local urban gardening club to offer tips and advice to other folks who garden in the city. Yes, our urban farmer t shirt, along with all of Ironweed Apparel's gardening shirts, is meant to help propagate the love, too!

We hope you enjoy growing in our urban farmer t shirt! Available in women's and men's

    Urban farming t shirt

    Plus, check out these other cool gardening tees from Ironweed Apparel: 

    Chlorophyll Junkie

    Hug a Tree and Love a Bee

    Ironweed Blossoms

    Look great while you grow, with our urban farmer t shirt and these great urban gardening tips.

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