growing veges in raised beds
When space is short, a raised garden on the patio is perfect for growing a few vegetables.
Fill vases with proteas, sweet peas, daffodils, jonquils and tulips, but beware of heavily scented flowers, in case family or friends are allergic.
You don’t need a big backyard to have a garden. If your home has a patch of concrete with at least three hours of sunlight a day, you can create an aboveground garden. Most vegetables have short roots and grow happily in shallow soil. If you put your garden on a balcony, though, make sure the decking can take the weight of it when the soil is wet. Beds can be homemade, ready made or constructed from ready-to-assemble kits.
PATIO OR ROOFTOP BED Most balcony or rooftop gardens grow herbs, vegetables and flowers, but they are also perfect for patio roses, strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit to twine along the railings, blueberries, goji berries and dwarf fruit trees like peaches, nectarines, apples, lemonade tree or finger limes. You’ll even find your patio bed easier to look after than a backyard one: there will be a lot fewer weeds, often fewer pests and less bending, plus extra sunlight and heat reflected from walls and floor.
TAILOR IT TO YOUR HOME A raised bed can hide an ugly wall. Or use it to complement your home by constructing it in a building material such as Colorsteel. Attach sheets to stakes and fill the bed with compost or good soil. Once your plants start spilling over the edges, it will look beautiful. Add tall stakes at the back for climbing beans and peas, while sweet peas or passionfruit can cover the wall behind.
SELF-WATERING SOLUTION In a wicking bed (a self-watering raised garden), the soil sits above a pool of water. As the soil dries out, water is drawn up and the plant roots head down. Plants like lettuce and tomatoes grow more quickly, as they have a constant supply of moisture, providing they have heat and food.