These days, you can find dozens of unique inventions that can help you enjoy the pleasures of gardening, even under the most unusual and cramped urban conditions.

Creative Inventions Help Urban Gardeners

Kent Swanson

Creative Inventions Help Urban Gardeners
These days, you can find dozens of unique inventions that can help you enjoy the pleasures of gardening, even under the most unusual and cramped urban conditions.
by Kent Swanson

Although people have lived in cities for centuries, never in the history of humankind have our cities grown to such enormous proportions. As our cities grow larger, our personal space becomes smaller, and our farmland shrinks. Additionally, our opportunities to enjoy nature become less and less. Many people who move from rural areas to the city often feel like they have to give up the things that they once loved, including natural areas, open spaces, and gardening.

However, living in the city has not deterred many urban gardeners from growing their own crops. In fact, the challenges of gardening in the city have stimulated the creative juices of many inventors who have produced some new and amazing tools and techniques for the gardener. These days, you can find dozens of unique inventions that can help you enjoy the pleasures of gardening, even under the most unusual and cramped urban conditions. The following is a list of some of my favorites.

The Topsy Turvy Planter

Since the creation of the Topsy Turvy upside-down garden planter, urban gardeners have been celebrating and utilizing this unique device to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in very unusual places. For example, the vertical design of this planter allows you to grow crops on balconies, fire escapes, or even under a tree. Thanks to its distinctive design, the Topsy Turvy planter actually won Time Magazine's "Invention of the Year" award in 2005.

While the obvious advantage of an upside-down garden planter is that you can garden in a small corner of your home or patio, there are several other benefits. Gardening in this way means that don't have to worry about weeding or digging out a garden plot. Moreover, as your plants never touch the ground, they are also less susceptible to pests, rodents, and diseases such as fungus rot. While many gardeners comment that they use this gadget to grow tomatoes, you can also use it to grow such common crops are cucumbers, herbs, bell peppers, and even flowers. Urban gardeners have also mentioned that their vegetables grow larger and more robust when using a vertical planter.

The EzGro Hydroponics System

Hydroponics is an unusual form of gardening that uses nutrient enriched water to grow plants instead of soil. This particular hydroponics system is unique in that it uses more vertical than horizontal space. This makes it a perfect growing tool for urban gardeners, as it allows you to grow you plants in a small nook of your house or apartment. Additionally, it doesn't require electricity like many hydroponics systems.

The EzGro Hydroponics System allows you to grow up to 20 plants, and works with anything from herbs, to tomatoes, to houseplants. Moreover, as your growing medium is water, you don't have to worry about over or under-watering your plants. This is a great help, as many urban gardeners have less time than traditional gardeners to take care of their plants.

Vertical Grow Bags

Grow bags are another way that you can take advantage of the limited space in your home or apartment. Grow bags aren't necessarily a new idea, as people throughout the world use inexpensive plastic bags filled with soil to grow crops. However, the creative design of this grow bag allows you to hang it vertically. As with the Topsy Turvy growing system, a vertical grow bag is perfect for making use of your upright space. The designers of this system created enough space to grow 12 bedding plants using standard potting soil. This is because the grow bag allows you to grow plants on every side of the bag. To use the vertical grow bag, you just need to provide that whatever you hang it on can sustain up to 40 pounds of weight.

There are many more inventive ways to enjoy gardening in the big city. If you want to learn more about the new wave of urban gardeners and the ways that they are changing the world, please check out these websites:

City Farmer:
Urban Gardening Help:
Clean Air Gardening, Environmental Gardening Products: 

About the author:
Kent Swanson is a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. He lives in Mexico City and is the author of two websites related to Mexico:

Festival of Mexico Folk Art Guide:
Aztec Gardens, Plants and Recipes from Mexico and Mesoamerica: 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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