Psaros / News

Balcony Gardens by Indira Naidoo

Indira Naidoo, Author of the Edible Balcony and The Edible City, presented at the Perth Eco Fair on how easy it is to grow your own food – she has a 20m2 balcony on the 13th floor of an apartment block and produced 70kg of produce in the first year.

Here are some of Indira's tips:

  • Start small – just a few pots of herbs – something hardy like rosemary
  • Plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day so make sure pots are positioned accordingly – you may need to raise them to maximise sunlight
  • Once you have a feel for how much sunlight there is available and how much water is required move to vegetables such as lettuce and spinach – tomatoes are pretty resilient so a good vegetable to try out
  • When you’re really confident you can move onto root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots
  • Pots – drainage is important so free draining bottoms are essential and put some pebbles at the bottom before the soil. Weight is also important so I recommend fibre glass pots – they’re strong but very light, ideal for balconies
  • Watering – some apartments have an optional upgrade for an outside tap but depending on the size of your garden, a watering can may suffice
  • Nutrients – on top of watering, vegetables and herbs require a lot of nutrients so start with a good quality organic potting mix and good manure or compost as fertiliser