What to grow on your balcony
If you have a balcony or small space and have always wanted to grow your own herbs and veggies, but thought it was impossible, there are options that can make your small space just as (if not more!) powerful as a backyard.
The article breaks down the what and how of maximising growing produce in your small space, enabling you to grow 30% more, in 90% less space.
What can you grow
Having a small space doesn't mean you are restricted in what you can grow. There are 150 different types of fruits, veggies, herbs and leafy greens you can grow using aeroponics in an Airgarden.
Plants like tomatoes, chilies and capsicums have small bush type varieties that don’t vine, and thrive in a compact form and produce an abundance of fruit. Types like Patio Roma, Pot Tomatoes or Tumbler Red & Yellows are fantastic and grow very quickly in an Airgarden - think 8 weeks.
Herbs and leafy greens will grow with far less sunlight, and re-grow so quickly that they can be used in a “cut and come again” fashion. This means you can leave herbs like mint, coriander, dill and basil in your Airgarden for 3-6 months before you need to re-plant.
Lettuces like Rocket, Cos and Loose-leafs can be harvested from the outside in and produce for 6-8 weeks.
How do you grow it?
A north-facing location is the best for all day sun. This is critical to grow things like tomatoes and capsicums – you’ll need at least 6-9 hours of sunlight to grow fruiting plants. However, if you only get 3-4 hours of direct sun, you can still grow herb and leafy green staples like mint, rocket and basil.
Check out how the Airgarden actually works here.
Growing in pots versus aeroponics
When growing in pots, plants need to be watered more regularly than if they were planted in the ground. Growing with aeroponics means watering is automated - all you need to do is check your water twice per week and add nutrients every second time you top up your water reservoir.
So how much time does it take? 10 minutes, twice per week = 20 minutes per week! Compared to growing in pots, watering 30 x individual pots takes around 30 mins per day and at least 2-3 times per week.
Furthermore, when growing in pots, soil quality is ever more important because the plants can’t search for what they need like they can if they are planted in the ground.
Growing using aeroponics eliminates this risk, with seedlings being grown in small coco coir disks. These roots are suspended in a pot in air, and are periodically watered with a nutrient-rich solution. The watering process is automated and the nutrients contain everything your plants need to thrive.
Because the roots are suspended in air, high levels of oxygen around them create a supercharged growing environment that causes plants to grow 3 x faster than if they were in soil based pots.