Co-founder of Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise pioneering urban farming in Hong Kong, Pol Fàbrega gives us tips on how to grow our own food:

Start small

Begin by planting herbs. They don’t need as much space and are easy to integrate into your cooking. Leafy greens are also relatively easy to grow. Also, make sure to water every day or every other day, depending on the season. 

Get the right planters. It’s a big mistake to grow edibles in containers that are too small. The bigger your planters, the more flexibility you’ll have when it comes to rotating crops and growing healthy veggies. Larger pots allow more space for the roots to expand, which in turn means the plant itself will have better access to nutrients.

See also: How Not To Die: The Power Of Plant-Based Diets

Stay with the seasons

Make sure you’re growing what’s in season. Hong Kong has two seasons. The cool one lasts from September to April and the warm one is the rest of the year. Kale, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, radish and spinach thrive in the cool season.

Cucumber, squash, eggplant, sweet potato and chilli are warm-season crops. If you plant at the wrong time, you’ll fail. Rooftop Republic puts a lot of effort into educating people. Seasonality is the way to go, even though we can get fruit and vegetables all year round from all over the world. Seasonal is good.

Here comes the sun

Sunlight is key. Most plants need a minimum of three to four hours of direct light a day, so make sure your space gets that. Soil is also vital. It’s an ecosystem that needs lots of attention. Get the right type and keep it healthy. Compost is great to do that, as are other organic fertilisers.

Try, try again

Growing plants is about experimentation. It’s okay to not get it right immediately, and it’s alright to fail. Don’t get discouraged.

Find out more about Pol Fàbrega's urban farming movement at rooftoprepublic.com

See also: 6 Vegan Spots To Try In Hong Kong