More and more Australians are choosing to embrace the apartment lifestyle, and with freestanding homes shrinking to the smallest size they have been in 20 years, it’s more important than ever to make smart and creative decisions around utilising our living spaces.
Not only are we wanting to reduce the frequency that we're going to the supermarket at the moment, but Australians are embracing sustainability as quickly as they are apartment living. Being able to grow some of your food at home is a great place to start on your journey to a more conscious, sustainable way of life.
You don’t need a large outdoor space in order to create an edible garden, and apartment permaculture is becoming extremely popular amongst those who want to incorporate some homegrown goodness into their lives.
When it comes to growing herbs or vegetables, small spaces can still be extremely productive, often we just need to know where to start.
How to prepare
In order to make sure your apartment garden has the best chance at a fruitful life, you need to first assess your space and determine the best location.
Considerations need to be made regarding shade, sun and wind. Windows and balconies that receive the most sunlight are always a great place to start when planning your garden location. North facing aspects usually get longer sun exposure, which allows plants that require full sun to thrive.
If you have a wall, you have the beginnings of the perfect vertical garden. This can be a fantastic use of usually unutilised space, as well as another way to capture a good amount of sunlight and wind protection.
Investing in moveable pots or planter boxes allows for plants to be easily arranged and rearranged around your home, as well as to ensure your edible garden can move with you.
What to grow
Herbs are a great place to start, and ones that grow easily like coriander, rosemary and mint are a good first choice if you’re hoping to increase your confidence and develop your green thumb. Herbs also work well in a vertical garden, as they require minimal soil and can grow well in close proximity to other plants.
Tomato plants and leafy green vegetables can also grow successfully in small spaces like apartments or balcony gardens, while broccoli, cauliflower and beans grow well in smaller pots and containers.
How to care for them
You will receive care instructions when you purchase your herbs, vegetables and plants, which outline where they should be positioned in relation to light, how often to water them and when it’s time to harvest. If cared for according to the instructions, your plants should thrive in your apartment or balcony garden.
Apartment and balcony gardens are the gift that keep on giving, providing you continued nourishment as well as a lovely garden to admire and take pride in.