Psaros / News

Apartment living and the green thumb

Do you wish you could grow your own herbs, plants or even vegetables but just don’t have the space to do it?

Well think again… It turns out you needn’t have acres of land to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Sustainable city living is increasingly popular, with vibrant urban gardens sprouting everywhere. No matter how much (or little) space you have, you too can bring a little bit of nature back into your life by using your indoor and outdoor space creatively.

We’re offering top tips on getting started - what to do before you don your gardening gloves; what to grow; how to help your balcony garden thrive; plus some some quirky design ideas to save your wallet - and the planet.

The basics

Getting started means doing your research first to save heartache later. Plan ahead; use suitable pots and soil; angle for maximum sun - and you’ll soon have your own private Eden.

  • Know your loads – Some pots are heavier than others, so check your balcony’s loading limits before you get started. (Your building or strata manager should be able to advise you on this).

 

  • Use quality soil and top dressings – A simple layer of pebbles, wood chips or even mulch will help prevent water from evaporating and your soil from blowing away.

 

  • Windbreaks – The higher you live - the windier it gets, so invest in good windbreaks and it might just save your spinach!

 

  • Fun in the sun – Most herbs will need at least a few hours of sun each day so before you get started gauge your sunlight and where it falls on your courtyard or balcony.

 

  • Keep it low maintenance – Water-wise solutions are readily available and range from water-saving granules and water balls, to sophisticated drip irrigation systems. Choose the product that best meets your needs and you’ll have more time to spend admiring the view.

What to grow

You may be pleasantly surprised to discover just how productive small outdoor spaces can actually be. Balcony food gardens are a great way to save money, eat fresh and they can look great too. The possibilities for what you can grow are endless.

Herb gardens

For obvious reasons, vertical and ‘stacked’ herb gardens are hugely popular. They’re great space savers, they look fantastic and there are endless styles and materials to choose from (ranging from recycled jars, wine barrels and recycled ice cream tubs to stacked wooden pallets).

When it comes to choosing your herbs, typically mint, chives, rosemary and coriander all grow well. But why stop outside – bring some basil inside onto a sunny windowsill and pluck away while you cook.

Just because you have a small balcony, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big when it comes to produce. Why not grow runner beans up a trellis? Or potatoes, beetroot and carrots in sacks? Just remember to water and fertilise your veggies regularly.

Reduce, re-use, and recycle – sustainable design ideas

You needn’t spend lots to create attractive and productive urban gardens. In fact, recycling things you already have around your apartment can look quite rustic and function really well. The key is being creative - and most importantly, getting started.

Read more here about how sustainable lifestyles are heading to Perth. If you want to be a part of this trend, check out our current projects or give us a call.