Small Space gardens
Living in the city, suburbs or in a unit often means that while you’d like to grow some of your own food, you don’t have much space in which to do it. I often hear ‘Yes but Linda I only have a townhouse and the back yard is too small to grow anything.’
Well, as a nice surprise for you, I’d like to share that if journalist and author Indira Nadoo can grow all her herbs and many of her vegies on a 13th floor balcony, then I reckon you have a fighting chance.
We had a very small backyard in Wishart and I’d also like to say that we grew almost every vegie we needed out there and still had plenty to sell to Food Connect and share with neighbours and family. So, it’s not so daunting is it? Mind you, we did make good use of vertical space, the side of steps, trellises and walls to grow our lovely food plants, and if we didn’t like it we didn’t waste space growing it.
My favourite plants over summer that enjoyed a small space more than the big vegie patch included lettuces, carrots, kohl rabi, asparagus and spring onions. I’ve successfully grown tomatoes in hanging baskets, herbs in cane baskets and cabbages in pots. When I worked at Hawkins nursery many, many moons ago, we often made up troughs and pots of vegies and herbs for customers who had small spots.
You do need to choose the right container, a good organic mix, plant, eat then replant with a bit of fertiliser, but it’s that easy. The combinations and how close to plant are the thing that needs a bit of nutting out, but I can help get you started with that.
Square foot gardens
Square metre (or square foot) gardening is also a popular planting method, especially in cooler climates. I’ve found that this intensive form of vegetable production can work well for those little 1 metre square raised beds you purchase from Bunnings. Not all plants are suitable for growing in these, but once you get the soil right, it’s a matter of dividing the bed into a grid pattern and planting a certain number of seeds or seedlings into each square. The number of plants per square depends upon the size and spread of each plant. The 1 metre becomes full, lush and extremely productive.
If this has inspired a little tingle in you to get started, you can go it alone or you can join the Gardening in Small spaces Workshop. Check the workshops page for the next workshop.