If the lockdown means you’re running short on new Netflix series to binge, and you’ve mastered your sourdough bread making skills, then bear in mind that they’re not the only COVID-19 lockdown pastimes.

Masses of people in both urban and rural areas have had the urge to grow vegetables, and even if space is limited, there are options for growing healthy veg in a container on a balcony.

For anyone looking at a tiny patio and wondering if it is even possible, the good news is that it’s easier than you think. Vegetables are essentially the weeds of the plant world. They are annual plants; they occur in the wild, they’re opportunistic, and they will germinate in disturbed soil.

They grow fast and easy. They don’t have much time and most grow for just one season—and for that reason, they grow fast.

When you get into it, you think about the amount of labour and space to get that food to your home, and that becomes very apparent when you have limited space. You learn about your limitations, and I think everyone will gain a deeper understanding of the people that do produce food.


Container prep

You just need a container with a hole at the bottom, with a reservoir dish underneath. But it’s important to elevate the pot from the reservoir dish, otherwise, your pot can stick and the hole is essentially plugged.



When you’re setting up your container, just use general-purpose potting soil. It’s engineered to work in a container. Don’t use garden soil or straight compost. A pot is like a bathtub and it will get saturated.



When people water plants in containers, they often make the mistake of dribble watering, putting in a little bit every day. What you need to do is water until the water comes right out of the pot, and then let it dry right out. So let it soak and dry down.

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