Six top tips for an edible garden
You don’t need a big backyard to grow a veggie garden, a balcony is all the space you need. Let’s face it, gardening is way more fun when we can eat what we’ve grown. You can also investigate if your apartment complex has a community garden, as it’s a great way of bonding with people in your community! To grow a lush edible garden in your own home:
1. Start smallIf you don’t have a green thumb, do yourself a favour and keep it simple (at least to begin with). Herbs are a great starting point for any beginner. Learn the necessary skills first before going the full hog and delving into the complexities of growing vegetable crops.
2. Use your space wiselyAn edible garden doesn’t need to be on the ground. Make more space for yourself and take your garden vertical. Go online to find nifty ways of hanging your herbs for optimum results.
3. Choose wisely
Save yourself money and energy by choosing herbs and veggies that grow quickly, are relatively low maintenance, have longer yields and produce multiple crops. Consider your climate and pay attention to the labels when you buy the seeds / seedlings.
4. Be set up for success
Invest in good soil which is free-draining, rich in organic matter and has a neutral pH or slight acidity. Position the plants in a sunny spot as edible gardens need at least six hours a day of sunlight and remember to water regularly.
5. Get on top of pest control
Stay away from harmful chemicals, and choose organic pest control methods. Growing basil near your other plants can act as a natural repellent because of its overpowering scent which repels aphids. If that doesn’t work, mix chopped onions, garlic and chillies together and cover with warm, soapy water and leave it to stand overnight. Strain off the liquid and add it to water to create an all-round insecticide.
6. Rotate crops regularly
Every season or at least every year, it is the recommended time to rotate crops to help the soil retain its nutrients and minimise the risk of diseases.