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Range of herbs on a wooden windowsill.
You don't need a huge backyard to grow your own food. View our tips on how to grow vegetables and herbs in small home spaces today.

What can I grow in a small space?

If you only have a windowsill to work with, herbs are your best bet. Things like mint, rosemary, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme and basil don't need very much room to grow herbs indoors and you can keep them small by trimming them (and using the cuttings in your cooking!). Floriana has a range of yummy herbs worth checking out if you're wanting to grow some of your own. 

If you have a little more room like a balcony, there are a huge range of vegetables to grow available to you! Want to grow tomatoes? Don't worry, you don't need to grow a vining plant several metres tall. Try bush tomato varieties like Tomato Tumbler or Sweetheart from Floriana. Bush tomatoes don't vine, but grow in a compact form. They fruit all at once so you can pick all the fruit when it's ripe and then make room for your next crop.

Almost all vegies can thrive in a pot. Plant your favourite seedlings in a pot and get growing! Or if you can't wait to be eating your own produce, try our cut and cook range! Avoid really large growing vegetables like cabbage and pumpkins and aim for smaller plants and compact varieties. 

How do I grow it?

Sun

Vegies and herbs need plenty of sun to thrive. Ideally your windowsill or balcony should get 68 hours of sun a day. A north-facing aspect is the best for all day sun. This is critical to grow things like tomatoes and capsicums. If you're growing on a windowsill, make sure the window is open regularly as airflow is very important to the overall health of your plants.

If you get less than 6 hours of sun, consider plants like mint, lettuce, beetroots, carrots, leeks and kale. These can grow in lower light, although you'll have to be a little more patient for your harvest.

Water

When you are growing in pots, your plants will need to be watered more regularly than if they were planted in the ground. A good rule of thumb for most plants is to stick your finger into the soil up to your knuckle and if it feels dry, it's time to water your plants. Make sure you don't fall into a habit on only watering on a certain day because your plants watering needs change depending on season, growth, temperature and a whole load of other factors. Always check the soil dryness before watering.

Another factor to consider is water drainage. Don't be tempted by any planters without drainage. Even with rocks in the bottom, you won't be able to give your plants the good soak and drain that they need and they'll likely die. If you tend to forget to water your plants, opt for plastic or non-porous pots. These will hold water and keep your plants moist for longer. If you like to water your plants more often, they love the breathability of terracotta pots. 

Soil

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. Opt for a high-quality potting mix that meets the Australian standards (look for the red ticks on the packaging!) or even better, consider starting your own worm farm. Worm farms allow you to compost scraps in a small space and the soil is perfect for growing vegies. If the soil is very dense, consider adding pearlite or sand to a ratio of 1:3 to improve drainage and avoid root rot. Fertilise your plants regularly, about once every two weeks with your preferred fertiliser to ensure the best growth and fruiting.

Herb plant being cut.

Things to consider

Need to save space? Think vertically! You can fit a lot more plants if you have some shelves, climbing plants or hanging pots and create your very own vertical garden.

Make your garden close to your kitchen and close to a water source. This means you'll be more likely to dash out to grab some of your fresh greens to add to dinner and you'll never forget to water them!

Get growing in your small space

Time to get growing! Head into your local Bunnings to pick up everything you need to start growing your small space edibles.

 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.