By Stephanie Williams for The Listing, October issue
Imagine creating a garden you can draw your dinner from, use as waste disposal and enjoy just being in. Costa Georgiadis. Australia’s much-loved garden guru, landscape architect and champion of sustainability, shares his expert advice on creating an edible garden with The Listing, even if you only have a small space.
In his role as host of ABC’s Gardening Australia, Costa brings together his two loves – plants and people. A chat with Costa is never dull and his holistic approach to gardening is based on a deep appreciation of ‘Mother Nature’ and nurturing balance across the cycles and season.
For Costa, planning is key to making your edible garden a success. “Create a vision and break it down into the elements that make it look the way it looks: materials, textures, scale.” When you’re ready to plant, he says to simply choose a corner and get started. “Start with one container or pot and put a few more around it with plants you like and then watch it grow from there. Take photos of the space as you transform it, to be encouraged by your progress.”
It’s important to be realistic about sunlight. “Sometimes small courtyards just don’t get enough sun to be able to grow vegetables. It’s important to get at least five hours of sunlight a day and plenty of reflected light so that the veggies don’t struggle,” Costa shares.
Don’t be shy about using containers and going vertical – you double your growing area. “Salad greens and cherry tomatoes, peas and cucumbers will bring results that spur on and feed the gardening interest,” according to Costa.
Costas suggests tapping in to your local community garden to get to know what else does well in your area – chat with the locals and follow gardeners in your area who may have a blog. “There are things like local crop-swaps where you can not only share produce, but growing tips and techniques too,” Costa shares.
“Set up a benchtop composting container in your kitchen”, Costa says, “it must have a lid to prevent vinegar flies from setting up shop.” As you become more efficient, it’s good to have two bins. Costa explains, “so one can go to a worm farm and the second lot can go to the compost, or in my case to the chickens too!”
Gardening Australia airs on ABC at 6:30pm Saturdays. Follow Costa at costasworld.org.
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Featured image: reindeer hose by Beautiful Things