As many of us remain cooped up at home, it’s no surprise to see a growing number of people cultivating their green thumb. Anyone and everyone from first-time gardeners to budding enthusiasts are turning their attention to their gardens in order to grow their own, and by own, we mean superfoods
A term that’s continued to increase in popularity for some years, superfoods are clusters of foods that boast more healthy nutrients than just your average fruit and veg. Think quinoa, asparagus, kale and blackberries, each packed with a nutritional punch that aids in boosting our immune systems, as well as keeping us looking and feeling younger for longer.
Growing your own superfoods at home is actually quite simple, and the good news is that city dwellers can join in on the green-fingered action too. By adapting to a few simple changes, those with an urban garden such as a balcony, can enjoy home grown, straight-from-the-pot superfoods anytime.
Growing From Your Balcony
Anyone with access to an apartment balcony can easily grow their own superfoods, all you have to do is take into consideration the amount of sunlight, average temperature and amount of wind and rainfall before you start planning what to grow.
Superfood berries such as goji berries, blackberries and blueberries are prone to withstanding harsh elements, making them perfect for a second, third or fourth story balcony. Blueberries also revel in acidic soil, which means managing the pH levels from within their own pots proves much more effective than in a large garden as this won’t disturb the soil for your other fruits and vegetables.
Utilising Your Vertical Space
Keep in mind that a balcony’s vertical space can be just as valuable as any full-sized garden, so make use of yours by adding vertical planters and hanging baskets. Strawberries are exceptional candidates for hanging baskets, alongside grapes, pole beans, peas and any other vining superfoods that prefer to grow upwards.
Growing Superfoods Indoors
In addition to your urban garden, why not try your hand at growing certain superfoods indoors, such as a tomato plant. Start by planting your tomato seeds in a smaller plant pot and then around 5-6 weeks later, moving them into a larger pot and placing in an area that receives more sunlight.
Sprouts, although not the first superfood on everybody’s list, require very few resources to grow to their full potential. Simply pop your sprout seeds into a jar, add a couple of inches of water, cover with cheesecloth and allow them to soak for up to 12 hours. After their hours of soaking are up, drain the seeds, rinse and repeat. Do this a few times a day before yours are ready for harvesting.
A Little Artificial Help
Superfood herbs such as basil require at least 10 hours of sunlight per day – not great news taking into consideration the UK’s lack of clear skies. Opting to use an artificial light such as a fluorescent light will ensure that your basil plant flourishes no matter the conditions.
To conclude, growing your own superfoods is by no means impossible, especially where space is limited. Start saving money, eating fresh and getting the most out of your urban garden with home-grown superfoods today.
For more ideas, check out the infographics below!