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...so we can pay off the
mortgage and help Sal.
They give us the
money we need now.
Yeah, but what do they take?
Just an agreed
share of what we sell
the house for.
Yes and it’s not a
MMW 0014_Homesafe_210x275_BLUCPL.indd 1
6/03/2015 1:43 pm
HOW TO CREATE A
You don’t need a big backyard to grow
luscious plants. Here, gardening expert and
well-loved TV presenter Indira Naidoo shares
how you can create your own edible balcony.
“ Before you put in your
plants, look at whether your
balcony has a drain, whether it
has a tap and which way it faces.
Where does the light come from?
And what wind conditions do you
have? All of that will determine
what you can grow.”
“ I’m lucky that my balcony is
north facing, which is ideal in the
southern hemisphere. I get eight
to 10 hours of direct sunlight
on my balcony. If you face west,
you’ll get late west afternoon sun
but nothing in the morning. In
the south, you’ll be mainly in the
shade. All of that affects what you
can grow, but it doesn’t mean you
can’t grow anything.”
“Having a drain means you won’t
upset your neighbours by flowing
the water over the side and you
won’t have to cart water around the
balcony. I’ve helped people set up
gardens where I’ve had a big bucket
and cup on the balcony and used
that as a hose mechanism and put
cups of water on their plants.”
“Look at the weight your balcony
can take. My balcony is built into
my building, but some people have
balconies that are attached to the
outside facade, which means it may
not be able to take heavy pots or
2Choose the best plants
for your space
“ The best plants for balconies
are herbs and all the greens like
lettuce and spinach. Silverbeet is
really hardy and grows quickly. It’s
important to look for compact plants
you can grow in small spaces that
don’t sprawl and spread. Tomatoes
are another great plant as well. They
can grow quite easily in a pot. You
can get up to 10 kilos of tomatoes
just from an 80-centimetre-high pot,
so you get good productivity if it’s in
a sunny part of the balcony.”
3Show some TLC
“Maintenance depends on
how big your garden is.
If your garden is just a small
20-metre-balcony, your main job
will be mostly watering, either with
a hose or watering can. The other
job is mixing a fortnightly liquid
fertilizer, like seaweed or a fish
emulsion, so that will give your
plants extra nutrients as they grow.”
4Check for pests
“ Then obviously check for
pests, like little caterpillars
eggs under the leaves, or if you
notice moths flying around,
squash them so they don’t lay
eggs. Obviously at the end of every
season, some of that soil and the
plant has to be pulled out.
“I have a compost bin on my
balcony, so I can put my old plant
materials straight into the worm
farm, then use that on my plants.”
“Then you’ll need to do some
pruning when old stems and leaves
dry out. Make sure you tie up
your vines and tomatoes so they’re
growing up the stakes, too.”
“There will be little jobs to do all
the time in the garden. But because
it’s a small garden, it will be easy to
take care of and low-maintenance.
I only spend 10 minutes a day in
my garden!” ••
10/03/15 11:36 AM
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