Urban gardening

How does urban gardening work and what is it?

Hey everybody
to learn what our topic is about watch the following video:

Text from the video:

We made research and want to educate the people and raise awareness for this subject. Actually many people are already doing urban gardening without realizing it.
Urban gardening is when you use little space at your home to grow flowers, plants and little trees, which you can do on the balcony, in a room, or outside in a garden. This refreshes the city life with green spaces.
We made an international Survey and also Collaborated with India to find out more about urban gardening in other countries.
Our working hypothesis is that we think people don’t have time to do it, which we got confirmed in an interview we made with an apprentice of a gardening shop in Wädenswil, Switzerland.
So we found out a few ways how we can motivate others to do urban gardening at home and learned much more during our project. 

We hope you enjoy reading our results and we are curious about your stories and experiences and can’t wait to read your comments. 


Interview with an apprentice from an urban gardening shop

We wanted to find out more about why people don’t have time to do urban gardening and how easy it would actually be. For this purpose, we interviewed the apprentice from the “Raschle Gartencenter” in Wädenswil, Canton Zurich, and received many interesting answers.

Do you think that urban gardening will be realized in  Switzerland and especially in the cities?

In our shop, we always have urban gardening products, which are presented once a year in an exhibition in spring. Especialle for people who don’t have a garden or balcony, planting in your own home can be a good thing. During the lockdown, many people even came to our shop from Zurich to Wädenswil ZH and I think that many of them already do urban gardening without realizing it.  

Which age group does most urban gardening?

This is very different. Students are certainly a large group and they come very often. Of course, many older people and parents also come. You could say that urban gardeninng has no  age limit. It is used from young to old.

How can we motivate people to do urban gardening?

You could say that plants are like pets. They need a lot of time and also love. In addition, plants bring a lot of color into life and it beautifies the living room as well as the balcony or garden. You could motivate people with these beautiful aspects. 

What are the reasons why people don’t do urban gardening?

People don’t have the time and they are rarely at home. I would say that time is the biggest reason for this. Another reason could be that you have an allergy to the plant or for example the child or pet that eats the plant and it could be poisonous. 

What influence do you think Covid-19 has on urban gardening?

In the lockdown, we were flooded by customers. The shop was full and people queued outside and we received many orders. The people were at home and had time to do urban gardening. Even now urban gardening is still very much in trend. 

What are other advantages of urban gardening apart from the aspect that you know it is healthy?

You know where the product comes from and you have planted it yourself. You had to take responsibility and you also lived cheaper, because you had to buy seeds once. This is especially true for perennial plants. You know that the product contains no chemicals.

What do customers appreciate about your shop?

Customers appreciate the good advice and the wide range of products. We take a lot of time for our customers and support and advise them from the beginning to the end. We explain the products to the customers and also sell and inform them about additional products. We show the the advantages of urband gardening.


International survey

In the next part of our project, we launched an international survey. A total of 106 people, 50 were women and 56 were men have participated. The following age groups have emerged:

Number Age
10 under 16
56 16 – 20
12 21 – 30
13 31 – 40
8 41 – 50
7 51 – 60

They were from three different continents and many various countries. More precisely, they were from the following countries: Switzerland, Germany, India, the Netherlands, France, Sri Lanka, England, the United States, and Swaziland.

We asked many different questions and received the following answers:

Do you know what urban gardening is?

The majority knew what urban gardening was before our survey, some did not know and very few were not sure.

Survey result; Do you know what urban gardening is?

What do you understand by urban gardening personally?

Most people understand urban gardening to mean exactly the right thing, namely the use of small areas for growing plants and large green spaces. For many, it means gardening and caring for plants. It is also understood as bringing nature to life in the city. Many are firmly convinced that it is a good, healthy, and personal project.

Some think it is a new strategy for gardening or something completely new and futuristic.

Others could not associate urban gardening with anything.

How do you think urban gardening is already being realized?

Most people think that urban gardening has been implemented okay so far. A few think it is very bad but none think it is very good. From this, we can conclude that urban gardening has a great potential to grow.

Survey result how do you think urban gardening is already being realized?
Survey result; How do you think urban gardening is already being realized?

How could urban gardening be better realized? What are your tips?

We have received many different tips and we would like to present the best ones to you:

    • I think urban gardening can be implemented better through students. They can become the source of inspiration for adults in improving the condition of our nature by practicing methods like urban gardening.
    • Maybe more shops for suitable material near the urban areas. I think the cities should launch a project, and then the inhabitants can further expand it.
    • Open public spaces for gardening
    • Give the locals more information about this
    • I think the main problem with urban gardening is that many people would like to do it, but it is not easy to do. There are big bureaucratic hurdles to build a garden on your flat roof, it is very costly to build a garden on your own flat roof. I also think that those who would like to start such a project are not well connected, an app might help (it might already exist but I don’t know). Something like this could bring people together, show areas where there are gardens, and as a group face bureaucratic hurdles.
    • More people should be aware of it. I don’t think enough people know about it.
    • To inform more people on the matter, motivate people to do gardening at home.
    • Many small gardens in our community can make a huge difference. Use non-toxic fertilizers and pesticides with no harmful chemicals.


Collaboration with India

We contacted our friends in the USA and in Germany for a collaboration, but because of our and their busy time schedule, it didn’t really work out. Our friends helped us to spread our survey and shared it with their friends. 

In class, we had a chance to meet an Indian team online. We wanted to connect our subjects and support each other with feedback and comments. 

We had another online meeting with our Indian team and are working on a video. We compared the situations from Switzerland and India on the topic of urban gardening and bio pot. The video shows a cycle of how our food is getting prepared, bought, and thrown away. 

We hope you enjoy the contribution and videos from our Indian collaboration partners Reshma Rajesh and Ashish P John: Biopods: Affordable and efficient method to dispose waste


Experience and reflection

Our researches went quite well and we informed ourselves quickly. It was interesting to find all these interesting facts about urban gardening and how it already is in progress, so we made up a few ideas on how we all can improve and increase urban gardening, especially for cities. 

It was a bit harder to make the survey and collaboration. We had a little while to figure out the survey tool, but we handled it quite fast. The hardest part of the survey was to motivate the people to fill it up and share it. 

The collaboration was great we had interesting ideas and tried to realize them. Time differences made it hard to communicate with our team in India and with a full and stressful timetable it seemed to be impossible to not miss the deadlines, but with chatting instead of video calls we solved our problem. 

We made a working hypothesis, which was hard to prove. We couldn’t find any information, so we only assumed. 

The good thing is we planned an interview. In the beginning, we were a bit scared, that it wouldn’t work, because of the Corona situation and that maybe the garden shop owner wouldn’t be so open about it. We still went for it. We prepared our questions and went spontaneously to a gardening shop. To our surprise, they were totally open to our questions and we also proved our working hypothesis. 

With a lot of planning and good communication and preparations, it all went really well.


“Be a gardener and stay healthy”


Debora Röthlin and Melane Mariathas


Vocabulary list

  • working hypothesis = A working hypothesis is a hypothesis that is provisionally accepted as a basis for further research in the hope that a tenable theory will be produced, even if the hypothesis ultimately fails.
  • apprentice = It’s a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.
  • canton = It’s a subdivision of a country established for political or administrative purposes.
  • exhibition = It’s a public display of works of art or items of interest, held in an art gallery or museum or at a trade fair.



Raschle garden center (raschle.info)
Garden shop (mygardenshop.ch)
Knowledge urban gardening (reset.org)
Urban gardening in the city (saemereien.ch)


Plant containers (diybook.ch)
Urban gardening on house walls (blog.car2go.com)
Urban gardening shop (urbangardeningshop.ch)
Plants on the balcony (hausinfo.ch)
Urban gardening pictures (unsplash.com)

Other posts on don’t waste my energy: 

Biopods: Affordable and efficient method to dispose waste (Indian collaboration partners)
Organic Farming in Kerala
The apple, more than “just” a local product
Green walls for a green City!
Cultivable parking spaces in Zurich
Izmir sustainable Food Project

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

One thought on “Urban gardening

  1. Very well written! I really liked the video you created. It is very imformative. I also liked the fact that you collaborated with India. I will definitly consider to start urban gardening. You can see that a lot of work has been put into this project. 🙂

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