Are you thinking about eating healthier and about being closer to nature this spring? Those of us with gardens can consider growing a variety of plants outdoors. Putting your back into it will help you appreciate food and be more mindful of everything we consume.
Most people aren’t farmers or gardeners – and don’t have the room in our busy lives to spend hours in the garden weeding and planting and fertilizing. Just thinking about what a gardener needs to do to tend a successful plot makes our heads spin.
If you have a small patio or a balcony, and just a little free time to tend some gardening pots, then consider how great it would be to have a salad with something you grew – or even a little snack. Of course, the more nutrition-packed your plants are the better!
All you’re going to need are some containers, creative gardening equipment like a tiny balcony-friendly greenhouse and self-watering bottles, pruning scissors, and you’re ready! Here is a short list of balcony-friendly superfoods.
Growing spinach in a pot can be easily done from seed. You don’t even need deep pots – it’s better to get shallower, wider ones for more leaf coverage. Old, upcycled baking pans will be great for this.
Spinach loves sunny spots and can be grown spring to late fall. When the weather gets above 4 C (40 F) you can start sowing. Make sure your soil is well drained. Watering your greens regularly will ensure a good harvest – no special treatment needed here!
You can harvest your spinach in a month. This superfood has folate, vitamin C, riboflavin, and potassium. If you saute it or cook it, spinach will help your body absorb other vitamins and minerals like protein, fiber, calcium, and iron.
Mushrooms are a newcomer to the gardening world, at least for amateurs. In recent years, mushroom kits have started to become popular, and you can buy your own mycological starter pack anywhere you live.
This adds a bit of eccentric spice to your balcony – and you can make it a part of your landscaping. Mushrooms can grow on vertical logs or tree stumps, and you can make your mushroom kits stack in a vertical garden that can attach to your wall.
All you have to do is set up space where you want to install your mushroom garden and start your mini plantation. Mushrooms pack a ton of vitamin D and other nutrients, depending on their type.
Kale is a winter favorite because it can withstand temperatures well below freezing. It actually helps the leafy plant become more palatable and sweet. Kale hates comforting warm weather and actually become bitter if the sun treats it too nicely.
If you are looking to green up your balcony in the winter, Kale is a great solution both visually and nutritionally.
It’s been considered a superfood for quite some time. Kale is high in fiber, contains vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin K, as well as Calcium, Magnesium, and Pottasium.
So please your eyes with some green leaves in the wintertime and plant kale in every available balcony pot!
Aah, broccoli – where to begin? You might remember this cruciferous delight being force-fed to you in your younger days. If your parents insisted that it’s good for you, they might have been absolutely correct. In fact, they were right for sure.
This is a superfood that can fight cancer. It contains the compound known as sulforaphane that makes your body release cancer-fighting enzymes. It also combats arthritis, helps your liver, and aids in fighting allergic reactions and inflammations. If that wasn’t enough, studies have shown that it helps to maintain cardiovascular health.
This powerful antioxidant can be grown in pots. Don’t expect to have a mini forest full of broccolis – each individual plant can grow very wide and need a lot of space. Think more of a curious gigantic cabage crowned with a broccoli flower for people to come and admire. Broccoli likes moist but well-drained water, so remember it on warm days!
The Pot is the Limit
If you think your gardening aspirations have to be put on hold because of lack of space – don’t worry. Even a small balcony can become a mini garden and a place to tend to veggies that can actually make a difference to your health. Even if you won’t solve all your veggie needs, remember that planting and tending to some green friends can make you destress and feel better about yourself too!