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Getting Started With Food Gardening in Philadelphia: 2. Method

A step by step guide to food gardening in the Philadelphia Area

Start Here - Choose Your Method


If you're truly limited in outdoor space, reconsider growing indoors. Plants can easily sit on windowsills or in bright corners of your home. For others, the indoor garden may become starter plants for an outdoor garden come the growing season.


Do you dream of a backyard filled with delicious dinner ingredients? Realize that dream by planning out dedicated garden space in your back or front lawn. An ideal growing space will get at least 8 hours of sun exposure, easy access to water, and good drainage with built up soil.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is a great growing solution for small spaces and for extending your seasonal harvest. You can easily crowd your balcony, deck, rooftop, or the small patch of sunlight on your patio with modular containers and tubs. Common container garden plants include tomatoes, peppers, greens, lettuce, flowers and herbs, beans, onions, and garlic.

Raised Beds

Raised beds can be built from bricks, concrete, found materials, and (most commonly) wood. They can also be made of mounded soil. If the soil on site is depleted or unsafe, raised beds are a great solution for growing because you can bring in new, enriched soil. Because of their height, raised beds can provide better accessibility for people.


Turn your underused rooftop into a green space! If you're considering a fully planted green roof, you'll likely need to hire a structural engineer conduct a structural analysis and probably a professional company to install it. The simpler approach to rooftop gardening is to use containers or raised beds. Containers are perfect for rooftop gardens because they are light, modular, and more affordable. 

Vertical Growing

Grow up! Take advantage of vertical space and grow a vertical garden using fencing or trellises or another type of support system. This technique can be used to create living screens between different areas, providing privacy for your yard or home. Common veggies grown in vertical gardens are pole beans, peas and tomatoes. But other vining crops such as cucumbers, squashes — both summer and winter, and melons can also be grown vertically.

Community Gardening

Join or start a local community garden as a neighborhood approach to food growing. Learn how to secure the land on which your garden will live, work with local businesses and officials, reach out to the wider community, and sustain the garden for years to come.