Sustainable urban horticulture: Managing soils for nutritional crops

Grantham Scholar Tanya Wilson’s project explores how the nutrient content of crops grown in soil based urban horticulture can be improved. 

The project

As the populations of cities continue to rise there is increasing concern for urban sustainability and food security. Urban horticulture (UH) which is the production of fruits, vegetables and plants for medicinal and ornamental purposes within and around cities is becoming increasingly recognised as a way of ensuring food security. UH has the potential to feed a large number of the population within urban areas. Urban allotment plots are one of the main sources of UH in Europe in terms of area.

Even though UH has great potential there are still limitations. This project will explore how the nutrient content of crops in soil based UH could be improved. Focusing on how soil properties (soil texture, pH and carbon content), land management techniques and mycorrhizal associations could be altered to ensure the high nutrient content of crops. This will be achieved through a mixture of field and lab studies as well as surveys to enable greater understanding of the land management techniques being used at allotment sites.

More soil research at the Grantham Centre

Soil research at the Grantham Centre. Grantham Centre soil researchers come from across disciplines at the University of Sheffield to work on soil. From chemistry to social sciences, working all around the world, we have a diverse group of soil experts.



Dr Sam Caton

School of Health and Related Research