Starting a veggie patch in your apartment

There’s something quite special about growing and eating your own produce. Watching the seeds sprout and seedlings flourish until you can pick their produce comes with a real sense of achievement. And, contrary to what you might think, you can grow things in even the smallest of spaces – providing you do your research.

This is fantastic news for those of us who live in an apartment in or around the Potts Point area. If you have a balcony, fantastic, if you don’t then that’s ok too. The most important thing to start is making sure you choose the best veggies or fruit for the growing conditions, and you start them off in the right container.

Which vegetables are best for apartment living?

Thankfully, we live in a beautifully sunny city. So, if you live in an apartment that has great natural sunlight streaming in throughout the day, you can definitely grow something to eat. Herbs, tomatoes, climbing beans and peas, lettuce, spinach, kale or other leafy greens, capsicums and chillies, carrots, and other root vegetables can all be grown in pots. The key is picking the right pot so that the foods you’ve chosen have enough space to flourish.

How to pick the perfect container

When you don’t have a rooftop garden or a big space to fit planters in, then container planting is a perfect solution. In fact, once you start, you’ll be amazed at what can grow in a pot. Plus, they’re portable which is especially handy if you’re renting or planning to move at some point. You can just pick them up and take them with you without causing much disruption. 

There are a few different styles of pots or containers to choose from:

Wooden planters

If you’re handy with the tools then you could consider making some out of wooden pallets. You can find these for free if you visit local industrial areas or we even found one outside our local pet store. If you’d rather buy something that’s already been made, then there are plenty of options online. 

Recycled plastic

You can make your own out of old plastic bottles or the containers from other plants that you’ve repotted. This will all go towards helping to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastic that is already out there. 

Terracotta and ceramic pots

These look beautiful and can be found in varying sizes so are perfect for growing a lot of things. You can even plant citrus or olive trees. However, they do get heavy which makes them harder to move around.

Seeds or seedlings?

Now, it is easy to purchase seedlings from your local garden store or even Bunnings. But growing from seeds is really not that hard and sometimes even more rewarding. Plus, you’ll pay a premium for seedlings, so if budget is an issue, we would suggest starting with seeds. 

Top tips for growing your apartment veggie patch

So, you’ve got your pot or containers sorted, now what do you need? 

  1. Purchase some good quality potting mix that’s specialised for seeds, seedlings and cuttings. Even though this isn’t a necessity, it can help to give them the best start as it will have the perfect mix of nutrients for them to grow. It also means that you can be sure there’s no bacteria in there which may hinder them. 
  2. Fill your pot or container with the potting mix or compost, leaving some space at the top.
  3. Scatter the seeds across the top and then scatter a layer of compost or potting mix to lightly cover them.
  4. Choose a sunny spot in your apartment. The sunnier the better with at least a few hours of sun each day. If you can find a place that gets sun all day, even better.
  5. Water them every day, especially when they are seeds. Seeds need water more than sunshine in the early stages to help them germinate. Once they have, make sure you feel the soil to check you aren’t over watering them. A handy tip is to stick your finger into the soil up to your knuckle. If the soil is moist all the way to that point, the soil has enough water. 
  6. Make sure you aerate the soil by mixing it up every now and then. Be careful not to harm the roots. 
  7. Enjoy

If you’re still unsure, there are lots of interesting videos and articles online. Our favourite is Self Sufficient Me

If you’re thinking about buying, selling, or are looking for a rental property, please contact us today.