Whether you live in a house or an apartment sustainable gardening for food consumption results in the slashing of food bills (potentially some health bills) greater freshness and quality. People should also not feel restricted by their physical ability normally associated with gardening, as there are several No Dig gardening designs available (one of which is displayed).
The Australian garden, in terms of climate, is split into three zones: warm, temperament, and cold. The temperament zone is the one that concerns us in the Hunter region.
The widest flexibility extends to a house with any size garden and exposure to sun for most of the day, anything is possible given the seed is sown appropriate to the season and the plant has the required room to grow.
Apartment/flat dwellers are a little more restricted to what they can plant due to restricted space and sun exposure; planting herbs (which don’t usually require as much space and sun) and salad vegetables (such as lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes) are usually more practical; essentially anything that can be grown in a pot or polystyrene box and has some exposure to the sun (excluding mushrooms which need a damp and dark environment).
Both types of living arrangements have the ability to keep a compost bin which significantly reduces household waste.
Most plants can be sown in spring, in a temperament climate, but some plants can be only be planted in the colder seasons such as beans and cabbages
The above setup is appropriate for kids, the eldery and anyone else restricted by their physical ability normally associated with preparing a bed of soil for sowing seeds.
Selection of easy to grow edibles:
Rocket Silverbeet (NSW Spinach)
Bok Choy (Chinese spinach) Herbs (Rosemary, Basil, Sage, Mint, Parsley)
Here are a couple of essentials in regards to growing any sort of plant:
Composting/Worm Farm; Also considered the factories of fertilisers, is a great way to provide a big supply of highly contained nutrients for the garden. This has a double purpose, one is to produce overall household waste (vegetable scraps accounting for up to 80% and secondly providing a highly nutritious fertiliser for plants) cutting costs of fertilisers such as manure and potting mix. There are many techniques and set ups available regarding composting but the essential principle to remember is the Carbon (‘Brown waste’, such as leaf mulch) to Nitrogen (‘Green’ waste; such as vegetable scraps) ratio is 20:1.
A worm farm is another great way to reuse vegetable scraps, working on much the same mechanism as composting the worms provide the turning of the pile commonly associated with the proper use of a compost. Worms usually take longer to produce a useful substance for fertilising but also provide a liquid fertiliser that could save money on commercial liquid fertilisers such as Aquasol, a seaweed extract.
Crop rotation/Plant placement, as a side note it is important to practice the changing the crops that are used in one area, for example if you had been planting tomatoes (a fruiting plant) in one area you would plant another unrelated plant such as lettuce or beans. This is done to avoid disease buildup and so the souil has time to rebuild nutrients for subsequent sowing of other edible plants.
Fertilising Important to any plants (whether edible or inedible) and some requiring more frequency and strenght than others. Closely tied in with composting and worm farm. Each plant has it’s own frequency and need for nutrients such as lettuce which usually needs a fetiliser high in ntrogen and fortnightly dressings.
Watering/Mulching Australia is well known for being an relatively arid country where water is used with the utmost caution. The best way to conserving water in a vegetable garden is to sow seeds as closely as each individual plant allows. Additionally, the use of mulch around the plants drip line (foliage edge of plant) allows for the reduced water use as it prevents unneccessary evaporation of water from the soil.