Melville News readers have been following Jane Griffiths’s easy food-gardening guidelines since the newsletter began. This issue she adds a bit of colour…
Even if you only have a small space – why not try growing some vegetables and herbs on your patio? Most vegetables and herbs grow really well in containers. Even though I have a fair-sizedvegetable garden, I still grow plenty of herbs and leafy greens in containers just outside my kitchen door. It is a sunny, north-facing area, ideal for all the Mediterranean herbs. Plus it means I can just nip out the back door if I want to quickly add some flavour to a meal.
· If the container is large and you plan to move it, put wheels underneath it before filling;
· Adding an obelisk or tripod to a large container makes the most of the vertical space and you can still plant around the base;
· Create varying heights with different size containers or by raising them up on bricks or blocks of wood;
· Adding stones or gravel to the bottom of containers doesn’t increase drainage – it just makes them heavier and reduces the amount of growing medium. Rather add a layer of recycled sponges over gaps or the drainage holes;
· Choose good quality potting soil.
The most recent containers I am using are The Urban Boxes. With these space savers, an abundant harvest can be gained from a relatively small area. They are a stylish yet practical option as they can be personalised to match and enhance the existing decor of any indoor or outdoor space. Plus I love that they are made using recycled wood from strong shipping pallets and are painted with non-toxic, lead free paints. Their unique and innovative design allows for numerous variations of colour, size and height. I am using one of the large boxes, with three tiers, to grow a lemon tree with plenty of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers around its base. I also have one tier of the small size box, which I am using as a seedling bed – it is so easy to protect from birds and snails and it means I now have a dedicated area to continually grow seeds that prefer not to be directly sown in the garden.
Jane Griffiths is the author of the best-selling Jane’s Delicious Garden, Jane’s Delicious Kitchen and Jane’s Delicious Herbs (published by Sunbird Publishers). Photographs by Jane Griffiths and Keith Knowlton.