Like millions of people, I live in a city apartment with limited access to land. Fortunately, like millions of people again, I have an outdoor balcony, and it’s a growing opportunity not to be missed.
This weekend I really took the time to clean my balcony, take stock of what pots I have, and decide what I want to grow this summer. My main objective is to produce the most food possible, but also to create a beautiful sanctuary, where I can enjoy my morning tea or read a book.
It’s beginning of winter in Sydney, but planting in the garden continues. Below is a list of cool-season vegetables that can be planed June. I received this list in a newsletter from Gardenate and then enhanced it by adding photos and my own tips.
When we think of food gardens, we often envision neat rows of tomato and cucumber plants waiting to be harvested. While those plants are definitely rightful citizens of kitchen gardens, growing food plants in isolation from other natural inhabitants is inefficient. When we plant a single kind of crop over large areas (called monoculture), we make the plants and soil vulnerable to pest invasions, drought and depletion. Instead, the goal is to create eco-systems in which each plant fulfils multiple functions and supports the other plants. These functions include attracting beneficial insects, deterring pests, enriching the soils and keeping moisture in.
Many of the plants below are found in the wild and are even considered to be “weeds”! Actually, weeds are really just plants that are “unwanted” in a particular area, rather than placed there by design. The key is to learn the different functions of plants and to create synergistic relationships between them. Whatever needs are fulfilled by the plants themselves, that’s the work that the gardener does not have to do. Continue reading The Missing Link: 15 Multifunctional Plants Missing From Conventional Gardens
Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.
If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.)
We are a group of around 40 gardeners who live in the City of Sydney and share a garden of native plants, flowers and vegetables.
Coming from all walks of life, we share an interest in sustainable living, cherish open space and city parks, follow organic and biodynamic principles and most of all – we don’t mind getting our hands dirty! The Gardens consist of 25 individual plots, with common garden beds and a sunny, grassy lawn on the beautiful grounds of the Life & Balance Centre in Glebe. We don’t use pesticides or herbicides, we feed crops from our compost bin and water everything from our rainwater tank. We enjoy our garden as a community and view sustainability as essential, not a nice to have.