Sprout's Top Tips for an Awesome City Vegetable Patch

Growing vegetables is so much fun, and there is no better time to start than this spring. At Sprout, we are on a mission to get people living in urban environments to grow vegetables at home. If you are thinking of starting a vegetable garden in 2022, these are our top tips!

Sprout Vegetables London greenhouse
  1. Follow the sun

Vegetables need 3 things to grow – healthy nutritious soil, the right amount of water, and bucket loads of sunshine. Choose your sunniest spot to grow your veg in, and they will repay the favour! In cities with different buildings blocking light left right and centre, the sunniest spots can change through the year. If this is the case for you, try growing in pots that are small enough to handle, so you can follow the sun. 

When choosing your pots remember you also need adequate space for the roots. A good rule of thumb is that any vegetable with a stem needs a pot at least 20cm (preferably 30cm) deep – any shallower and they won’t grow as healthily. We find 30cm cube pots a happy medium giving enough root space while still being able to move them! If you only have space for shallow pots, then shallow rooted plants are the ones for you – you could try lettuces, herbs, radishes and spring onions.

lettuce growing in the sun in a city
  1. Keep it simple

Don’t try and grow too much – cramming more veg in doesn’t translate to more harvests. It may sound obvious, but the best part about growing vegetables is then getting to eat them at the end. So the best advice I can give is to choose a few of your favourite veg and really nail them.

Then choose the variety you will grow. There are over 10,000 different varieties of tomatoes, with the sizes of the plants ranging from 15cm to over 10m tall. Think about what space you have and what is the perfect fit for it.

If you only have a small space like me, look for the ‘dwarf’ varieties. These have been bred to stay small and compact whilst still providing bountiful harvests. But if you have more room, get experimenting with some of the more adventurous varieties!

vegetables growing in a city


  1. Make a plan

To really make the most of your space, careful planning is needed to get your veg growing in their best seasons. There is no point planting a load of tomatoes late in the summer, as they are never going to grow in time before winter.

Base your plan around your show-stoppers, which require the most time to grow - things like tomatoes, peas, carrots, French beans and courgettes are our staples. Then see where you are going to have some free real estate at certain points of the year and fill it with some quicker crops – try different lettuces, rocket, spring onion or microgreens. This way you can use the same pot to grow multiple different crops through the year.

chard harvest small garden ideas

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