The last few weeks have been about re-starting my balcony garden. When I moved house a few years ago, I got caught up in other priorities and never got a proper balcony gardening happening. The main obstacle for me was that buying all the components from a hardware mega-store  (potting soil, mulch, compost, etc) seemed to counteract the goodness of growing food. When I learnt about a great way to make compost and got a good recipe for potting soil, thanks to a workshop by Anne Gibson of Green Journey, I had the info that I needed to balcony garden more sustainably. I started composting on Christmas Day, waited a few months, bought the few extra things I needed from a local garden store, and balcony gardening has begun again.

My initial list of basics is: mint, Italian parsley, sage, basil, chives, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, marigolds, comfrey. Next came sweet potatoes that had sprouted in the back of the pantry (the leaves are delicious, and were ready for eating within 2 short weeks). Then heirloom lettuces, basil, tomatoes, rainbow chard and more parsley. And lemongrass. I picked up some sprouting potatoes at food co-op so they’re planted too.



  1. Robin Stabler

    i’d love the recipe for potting soil! – I really don’t like buying the mix in bags.

  2. So what are the composting and potting soil secrets? I am trying to get my balcony garden going for spring, but have been dreading the search for potting soil.

  3. My potting soil and compost tips came from Anne Gibson. You can check out her wonderful advice at: For the compost component I’ve used (depending what I have on hand) home-made compost, work castings or bought mushroom compost, always sieved.

    I can’t find Anne’s composting method on her blog, but there’s a video of someone else espousing the same method at: The only thing I do differently is to sit them right on the ground, to encourage earthworm activity.

    Thanks for reading, and let me know how you go! T xo

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