Spring is one of the busiest times of the year, calendars are jam packed with the Spring Racing Carnival and VCE Examinations. It is especially one of the busiest times of the year for our gardens.
The comfortable spring weather is the perfect time to plant a whole range of things that simply cannot survive that winter frost nor cope with that summer fever.
The cost of everything seems to increase more and more these days, especially at the grocery store! So why not grow your own food?
While this concept can seem overwhelming and time-consuming to some, it is much more simplistic than you think. You don’t even need a garden! Just a water source, some light, a bit of space and a little time.
Not only does homegrown food save you money, it also improves your general wellbeing, encourages you to eat more fresh fruit and veg, reducing your food wastage's and lowering your environmental impact!
Living in an apartment or a small space does not have to limit you from growing plants and vegetables. Most vegetables can be cultivated in smaller areas! All you have to do is maximise the space you have and get planting!
Legumes that grow well in a small space, either outside on a balcony or in a container include:
- Runner Beans
- Broad Beans
- French Beans
If you don’t have a balcony, there are a variety of edible fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow in containers on your bench, such as: strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, herbs and peppers.
Firstly, when choosing what to grow, you must:
Be Yourself! Grow what you want and what you love to eat
Be smart about it! Grow vegetables that are expensive at the market
Mix It up! Grow something different, have some variety in your kitchen
Take advantage of the vegetables! Certain beans and peas will keep producing the more you pick them and thus last longer
Not only are groceries cheaper when they’re homegrown, but they taste better too. Legumes, for example, contain high sugar content, thus they taste best when eaten within an hour of being picked from the garden. However, following that hour this sugar turns to starch, leaving them bland and insipid. Moreover, legumes are often quite expensive, so it only seems logical to grow your own.
Since Melbourne weather is quite unpredictable, the best vegetables to grow in September in a limited space include:
- Bok Choy
While tomatoes are perfect to grow in containers or small areas, they are best to grow late November. It is also suggested to avoid growing asparagus, brussels sprouts, celery, and squashes in smaller areas as they take up and require too much space to grow to their full potential.
Who doesn’t love a good leafy green salad?
Salad leaves such as rocket or baby spinach leaves are also expensive and have the potential to lose their taste not long after they are placed on the supermarket shelf. Again, they are easy to grow and leafy vegetables like this can harvest a few leaves off while you pick them.
After you have chosen your fruit and veg wisely, its time to get gardening and enjoy the foods of spring!