There’s nothing quite like the taste of home grown vegetables; the supermarket stuff just can’t compare! But if you think you need a big plot of land to cultivate a great veggie garden, you’re mistaken.
What follows is a brief outline of how to grow your own vegetables and herbs in your apartment space. In no time, you’ll literally be enjoying the fruits (well, veggies!) of your labour.
Step 1 – consider sunlight, space and vegetable needs
This article covers all the essentials of growing a garden in a smaller area. It’s a good starting point to help you determine your garden’s unique needs when it comes to sunlight hours and available space.
As for vegetable choice, you have a wide variety. Some suggestions:
- Herbs & micro greens
- Salad greens
- Root vegetables (radishes, carrots etc.)
- Spring onions
If you’re just starting out, seedlings are a good way to go, as growing from seed takes longer and requires some trial and error.
Step 2 – choose the right planting vessel
Think about what type of container you’d like to grow your vegetables in. Space could be the deciding factor here, but so might the vegetables you choose to grow. For example, those with very deep roots may not have enough space to thrive in a smaller container.
- Container planting: You can choose from an infinite variety of containers to plant in, both in size, shape and material. Just remember to match the depth of the container to the vegetable’s growing requirements. The big bonus with containers is their portability. If you move out, you can take your vegetable garden with you.
- Wooden or plastic planters: These are ideal for a balcony. You can purchase pre-made wooden or plastic planters, but you can also go the DIY route. Make your own using wooden pallets that you can often get for free, or upcycle empty plastic containers, such as a large vegetable oil bottle.
- Terracotta and ceramic pots: these are also great for a balcony space and look lovely, but the downside is they can get quite heavy, especially once filled with soil.
- Tins: old metal tins are an excellent option when it comes to growing herbs and smaller lettuce leaves. If you’re into the retro look, hunt out an eclectic mix of old tin cans at garage sales or markets.
Step 3 – the right soil, fertiliser and water
All plants need the right amount of soil, water and fertiliser to grow. This is even more important when growing vegetables in containers as many of the nutrients can get washed away when watering.
Opt for a good potting mix and fertiliser combo relevant to the vegetables you choose. As for watering, pay close attention to the plant labelling and adhere to that schedule, as vegetables rely on a consistent amount of water to grow to their full potential.