Medina County is a splendid place to call home. Its landscape is breathtaking, its residents are friendly, and life in general is laid back here. However, while the county was once largely rural, much of that space now features neighborhoods and smaller yards. This spring, don’t let a petite plot of land stop you from growing your own goods! There are plenty of green goods that can thrive in pots and planters.

Urban gardening, as this is known, is rising in popularity. It is not uncommon to see planters displayed on balconies and windows, and oftentimes you’ll discover all sorts of herbs within. It’s easy to micro-garden all across the region. Here are some tips to get you started:

Choose a pot or planter that works for you.

Flower pots can be practical or decorative, brand new or upcycled. If you are trying your hand at urban gardening for the first time, a plastic planter or pot may be a great choice for you. These are often very affordable, so if you find that urban gardening is too much work and you do not wish to repeat it next year, you won’t lose a fortune. Plastic planters heat and cool faster than terracotta, so if you are in a particularly sunny location, there is less potential for damage to your plants.

Terracotta or ceramic pots and planters have the potential to be gorgeous, expanding your design possibilities if you are looking for an urban garden that is both chic and practical. Terracotta is porous, though, so you may want to look for a glazed pot that will prevent the need for extra watering. Unlike plastic pots, terracotta and ceramic tend to be heavier. If you live in a wind tunnel or a windier area, heavier pots may be a necessary accessory for your urban micro-garden.

Wooden boxes, metal tins, and other upcycled household items have the potential to make a rustic-chic planter that’s too adorable for words. However, if you’re an antique collector like me, you should use caution when using something that’s not meant to be a flower pot as a flower pot. Harsh chemicals or toxins may leak out of the object’s preservatives, which you probably don’t want to consume. A quick Google search can probably put to rest or validate any concerns you may have.

And, of course, there are all kinds of new-fangled ways to make gardening modern. You may opt for a self-watering planter or an upside down planter. No matter what you choose, it’s always wise to first consider how much work you are willing to put into a gardening project.

Consider what plants you would like to grow before you begin buying accessories, seeds, and planters.

Different veggies and herbs require different soil depths to flourish. While chives and basil may only require a depth of about four inches, other greens such as parsley, rosemary, and dill may require more like ten inches of soil to flourish.

There are many plants an herbs that can be grown in planters. Potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce can blossom right on your deck. Local garden centers are a great resource for newbie gardeners. Here, experts can answer questions and direct you to plants and seeds that will flourish in planters.

You may also want to consider how much sunlight your yard receives. Is it a lot? Is it only a little? Either way, there are sun-loving and shade-loving species that you can consider.

Be aware that not all vegetables grow well together.

As a general rule, large, deep containers are an easy way for newbies to begin honing their skills. Small containers are more likely to dry out, damaging your plants and requiring more maintenance on your end. If you do decide to plant multiple varieties of plants in a single planter, consider how much water, sunlight, and fertilizer each good needs. It may seem like carrots and dill, for example, are beneficial growing companions since they share a plant family. However, that means they’ll be competing for the same nutrients. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are a great growing companion for carrots.

Certain herbs and flowers can be added to your growing space to help repel pests. Marigolds, as you may know, repel certain species of insect. So, too, do chives and garlic.

Planting seeds at the right time is an essential part of the growing process.

Around the end of this month, we’ll start to notice that frost is no longer painting our lawn each morning. During this time, it’s not a bad idea to start growing certain seeds (such as broccoli, cabbage, onions, and tomatoes) indoors and then transfer them into your outdoor planters. Many vegetables thrive when planted in late April and early May, so be aware of exactly when certain crops should be planted.

Again, local garden centers are a great resource for choosing the right crops for your lifestyle. No question is a dumb question, especially when you are learning about something that is completely new to you.

Have fun with it!

Gardening doesn’t have to be a chore. Encourage the kids to decorate planters, experiment with new recipes featuring your own homegrown goods, and aim to beautify your landscape. You don’t have to have a lot of space to have an urban garden, so don’t be afraid to let your creative side come out to play. This season is about to be a delicious one!