I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. - David Hobson
Last night I attended another City of Sydney Green Village workshop - learning how to grow your own fruit and veggies in small city spaces. Most of it I already know to some degree, but I learnt one or two new things.
The basics of growing your own food comes down a couple of key things - where your garden is and what you like to eat. With a bit of research you can find out if your favorite veggies will grow in the conditions of your garden. Generally though, you can grow just about anything with a little creative thinking.
Look around your patio or balcony and assess your available space. Can you hang planter pots over the edge of the balcony? Can you make use of a wall to grow up? As you already know, I've got an old pallet up against a wall which I hang old tin cans from - which I grow a variety of herbs in. I've also used two hanging pots to plant some veggies and strawberries.
One of the main things I took away from the workshop is that you can throw just about any plants together in a box/container and as long as the soil is good your plants will grow happily. In fact, a variety of plants provides natural diversity to your garden, which will make happier plants and also keep pests at bay. Marigold flowers are also great for attracting the good bugs - they'll eat the baddies.
I took some perpetual spinach, common mint and strawberry plants and put them all together in a hanging planter that was hanging around the garden. I'm excited to see how they go all together. I also layered my bigger pots with mulch, and will add some worm castings once that's going properly (sorry there was no how-to post on that one, it was set up for me before I took pics, woops!). But I'm super excited to see that my first tiny little tomato has started to grow - woohoo! I did it!
To make sure your soil is in good condition - make sure you layer it with some compost and mulch. You can grab a bag of compost from the hardware store or nursery, but better still use castings from your worm farm (definitely worth investing in!). Layer it with some lucerne or sugar cane mulch, check the moisture and keep an eye out for caterpillars/aphids. That's basically it!