Meet the tiny London balcony and windowsills that vertical gardener Mark Ridsdill-Smith grows an abundant harvest on.
There are allotments that yield smaller harvests than the one Mark Ridsdill-Smith scooped up from his 9 x 6 foot north-facing balcony, five south-facing windowsills,three north-facing windowsills and a small concrete front garden.
Frustrated with waiting for an allotment in London, where the waiting list yawns on for 40 years in some places, Mark started growing on his balcony in 2009. He was surprised by the amount of food he could harvest.
Mark then set himself a challenge in 2010 to grow £500 worth of food without a garden. By cramming in as many vegetables as he possibly can – and see below for what really constitutes cramming in as many vegetables as possible – he managed to beat that target seven months early, and wound up growing £899.99 worth of food.
You can read his growing diaries, including how much each harvest was worth, here.
Mark built his own self-watering containers and supported his tomatoes using string supports. He also learnt intelligent ways of using his space, by using fast-growing crops that produce a harvest quickly, interplanting fast-growing crops between slower-growing plants, and planning container combinations such as early potatoes followed by a later crop in June in the same pot.