Psaros / News

Leading The Way In The Edible Balcony Revolution

A balcony that produces over 70kg of fruit and vegetables every year has won the Greening Vincent Competition for Best Balcony Garden.

Joe Malik, the owner of the apartment at Sellenger by Psaros on Beaufort Street, has been cultivating his balcony garden for 3 years and is now quite literally seeing the fruits of his labour.

“Growing your own herbs and vegies is great! It makes us feel like we are doing our part for sustainability & saves us money each week. We can share with family and friends and above all else it’s just good fun! We’re lucky enough that our Psaros apartment balcony is well designed with built in drainage with no water run off over the sides as this provides a lot more options for watering and pots”.

The City’s annual Greening Vincent Garden Competition has been held since 1995 and encourages residents to not just cultivate attractive gardens, but commit to environmental sustainability and waterwise principles - all entries were judged against waterwise criteria such as use of native plants, mulch, water saving measures and demonstrated controlled use of fertilisers and pesticides. 

With the rise of apartment living, and in conjunction with a trend towards individuals growing their own food, the balcony garden or the ‘edible balcony’ is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout Perth.

However the concept is not new, renowned author Indira Naidoo has published two books, The Edible Balcony and The Edible City, and herself as a 20sqm balcony on the 13th floor of an apartment building which produces 70kg of produce every year. See her tips at the end of the article on how to get started.

Leading sustainable apartment developer Psaros is the first in Perth to accommodate edible balconies within their building designs in an effort to encourage residents to grow their own food from small spaces.

"Growing fruit and vegetables from balconies and small spaces may seem like a novel idea but Psaros would like to turn this into a reality for their apartment buildings,” commented Psaros Head of Sustainability, Chiara Pacifici.

Specially designed planter boxes are provided for most apartments in many new buildings. The types of plants that can be grown include herbs such as Basil and Rosemary, as well as lettuce, tomatoes and carrots. Psaros has also introduced a Green Apartment Living programme in conjunction with Green Gurus™, where residents of all Psaros apartments can make the most of the initiative and learn how to grow food from small spaces. More about the City of Vincent’s Garden Competition and Awards here

Here are some of Indira's tips on getting your edible balcony started:

  • 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