Even if you live in the heart of the city, the possibilities for growing your own vegetables and fruit are still endless.
Forget needing acres, if you pick the right crops and follow a few simple growing tips your edible balcony, roof top or window boxes can flourish, even if you’re a complete beginner.
Urban-gardener Alex Mitchell offers expert tips and growing advice for making the most of your own little patch of outside, whatever your space, balcony weight-allowance and whatever the weather.
Window box winners
Why fill up window boxes with geraniums when you could be picking your own mint for your mojitos? Everything from fig trees to climbing beans will grow quite happily in containers. Create your own wonderland of shoots and fruits, pick your own strawberries when they’re properly ripe and enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own salad leaves or the delights of crops unavailable in the shops such as stripy tomatoes and blue potatoes.
Learn to be a city farmer
Discover what grows quickly for an extra harvest, what needs the least attention and be inspired by the stories of those who’ve managed to create their own little plots in the heart of town.
Salvage and reclaim…
After all, one person’s useless dented kitchen colander is another’s extremely practical hanging basket. Why spend money on expensive pots at the garden centre when, with a little imagination, you can create ingenious planters out of old olive oil tins, wooden fruit-picking boxes and fishmongers polystyrene crates – particularly perfect for balconies as they’re so light.
You may not be able to become completely self sufficient but you can enjoy delicious fresh food and know exactly where it was grown. The average salad usually has to travel 1400 miles around the world to get to your table. What’s more, growing your own produce will improve the air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions and releasing oxygen.
Packed full of advice, weekend projects and bursting with inspiration, The Edible Balcony contains all you need to create your own miniature Eden and make the dream of growing your own fresh produce a reality.
The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell is published by Kyle Cathie Ltd, priced at £16.99