Northbridge / Castlecrag

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Sustainable living was an important issue in Australia long before going green became a political talking point and international fad. Australia’s one-of-a-kind ecosystem and unique flora and fauna make this a place worth preserving. 

This day in age, when the vast majority of Australia’s population resides in urban areas, living sustainably often comes down to using public transportation, favouring renewable energy and recycling. But even if you don’t live in the countryside, you may very well still be able to maintain a connection with the natural world that you’re working so hard to protect.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at urban gardening – specifically as it applies to apartment dwellers. As you’ll soon see, sustainable gardening isn’t only for those who live in the suburbs or countryside. 

Finding a Sustainable Water Source

One of the first things you’ll want to do if you’re interested in setting up a sustainable garden in your apartment is to find a water source. Sure, you have the tap with municipal water at your disposal – but why not look for a more sustainable solution? 
Accomplish this by collecting rain water in buckets along your terrace or balcony. Or better yet, try to get a line on a drainage pipe for runoff from the roof. If you have roof access, you may even be able to set up tarps and a collection tank. Of course, you’ll need to obtain the property manager’s permission to do this. 
You can also look into capturing grey water that can be repurposed into water for your plants. Here are a few tips for reusing grey water in a home garden. 

Composting for Apartment Gardening

Nature’s original recycling programme, composting turns everyday waste into nutrient-rich food for your garden. That’s great if you’re country gardener with plenty of space to work with. If, on the other hand, you’re developing your green thumb in an urban environment, cultivating your own compost is more of a challenge. 
An extraordinary amount of food waste goes into landfills each year. Composting is a simple and straightforward way to minimise your contribution to this problem. Of course, it’s only going to work in your apartment if you can keep bad odours and pests at bay. You can purchase a composting bin that’s especially designed for indoor use. Beyond that, have a look at this guide to composting in an apartment (complete with a handy infographic) for more information.  

Finding Space for an Apartment Garden

Sustainable gardening in any setting is a challenge – but it’s particularly difficult when you’re dealing with limited space. In an apartment setting, it’s challenging enough just finding places to grow food. 
One of the most obvious places to set potted plants is on your balcony; another is in windowsill planters. What you may not realise is how much of a hit vertical gardening is becoming in Australia’s metropolitan centres. You can hang mason-jar herb planters on doorframes, mount planters on walls and hang baskets of creeping phlox like chandeliers. The key is to get creative and think vertically. 

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