In the middle of last year I was looking for tips on how to grow stuff because previously I just had three or four pots with coriander, chilli and rosemary. I found My Smart Garden online, then later saw the program in the Moonee Valley newsletter as well. I signed up and I’ve been to about seven or eight events so far. I’ve enjoyed the program – it’s been really, really good.
I want to make the most of my small space
When I moved house I was looking for a place with a bit of space to grow. Now I have an opportunity with pots and some small planters. I wanted to start growing stuff that I could eat, especially herbs because I didn’t want to spend $10 buying them and then chuck the rest because I couldn’t use all of it. But now I can just go and pick whatever herbs I need from the garden. I think I have most herbs sorted and they’ve definitely paid for themselves. I use coriander, parsley, mint and basil all the time. We make a particular kind of tea that uses mint and lemongrass – it’s an Iranian speciality. I also use the aloe vera plant on my skin for scratches and sunburn. It started off tiny but the plant is huge now! It’s really rewarding seeing what you can get out of a small space, and I keep wanting to try more and more. I find it therapeutic when I sit and garden, so now I’m enjoying the process not just the results!
The workshops have helped me avoid any kind of pesticide and I try to do everything as naturally as possible. I’ve learnt a few things, like how to grow rosemary from cuttings, how to grow from seeds which is much more economical, and how you can use flowers to attract predators of common vegetable pests. I’ve been putting mulch on to stop my pots from drying out. Last year I had to water twice every day, but this year I only need to water once. So I find the plants need less water and they’re not suffering during the heat.