Discover the plentiful benefits of homegrown produce
You saved hard to buy your first home, so it makes sense to get a little something extra back from the place.
No matter whether your home is a 15th floor apartment or a house on a generous block, it’s easy to grow your own organic produce packed with nutrition, flavour and an extra serve of savings.
First up, herbs
It’s estimated that around 52 per cent of Australian households grow some of their own food, and if you’re a newcomer to the trend, herbs are a great way to start.
Fresh herbs have it all over the dried, sprinkle-on variety when it comes to flavour, and many herbs are exceptionally easy to grow. All you need is a sunny, sheltered spot – a balcony, kitchen windowsill or purpose-built veggie garden; some high quality potting mix, and presto, you’re on your way to super fresh herbs.
Some of the easiest herbs to grow are also the most versatile. Think parsley, coriander, sage and thyme – pantry staples that blend with so many recipes but taste much better when sourced from a living plant.
Head off to your local nursery, grab a few seedlings and for just a few dollars you’ll have a herb garden to add flavour and freshness to your cooking. Protect your plants from winter cold and they will happily grow through the colder months too.
Add some vegelicious vitamins
Even the most novice gardener can achieve success with foolproof vegetables like spinach, silverbeet, lettuce, bok choy, capsicum and tomatoes. Here too, the trick is to look for a sheltered area with lots of sunlight and frost protection. Tubs on a balcony or deck will be just fine for these veggies; just leave room for growth by planting seedlings a reasonable distance apart.
Allow a week or two for the seedlings to establish and you can start cutting leaves for your daily dinner. Pick outer leaves or those at the base of the plant to allow fresh growth to come through.
If you have more space in your gardens, fruits like rock melon are among the easiest to grow. But even if you’re limited to a townhouse courtyard or apartment balcony, it’s possible to grow fruit in pots and planter boxes.
Citrus plants are especially adaptable to large pots, or look for petite cumquats that can be made into jams, marinades for poultry or added to fish dishes for extra bite.
You can also boost your plant’s health and vitality by composting food scraps to make your own fertiliser.
What fruits, veggies or herbs are you growing? Tell us in the comments below.
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