Getting started with your own form of urban agriculture needn’t be stressful and can actually be a lot of fun. The most comprehensive, step-by-step guide to starting one’s own kitchen garden was put together by the team at Urban Leaves of India, and they have kindly allowed us to reproduce their content here:
1. Choose a spot that receives at least 3-4 hrs of sunlight. Balconies, window sills, open passageways.
2. Choose small containers at home that can be recycled to plant small herbs. Use what is readily available. Old plastic tubs, containers, buckets or oil cans should do the trick.
3. Source a mixture of compost and red earth in the ratio 1:1. Ask a friend to share, collect the top layer of soil under trees from a park, borrow from friends, buy from nursery (Last resort, purchase from the nursery, remember this is just to get you started, and should not be resorted to every time), start your own compost pot.
4. Select seeds/saplings. Start with something that you need in your kitchen and is simple to grow. Select seeds from your kitchen cupboard for example: Fenugreek. Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight, allow them to sprout and then sprinkle them over the cocopeat in the container you have readied to plant.Fenugreek can be harvested 40 days later. Use saplings which propagate with cuttings or rhizhomes.ie: Pudina, lemon grass, mint.
5. Use mulch. Dry leaves (collect from garden). Sugarcane bagass (collect from juice vendor). Coco peat (buy from nursery).
CommonFloor has a handy guide to starting up one's own community garden in apartment complexes. Check this link for the details.