Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pot-luck gardening will help beat those escalating food prices

We have been warned.
Floods, famine, heatwaves and an ice-age type winter in the Northern Hemisphere are likely to have a big impact on the price of food in our supermarkets.
Add to that apocalyptic visions of birds falling from the skies and fish floating belly-up on to our beaches, and the year is off to a disturbing start.
Never fear, there is one thing we can rely on to combat the perils before us, and that's to indulge in a little bit of the good life in our own quarter-acre plot.
Before you venture into chooks, beehives and a humble house cow, it may be best to start with a kitchen garden.
Some people will get excited, start up the rotary hoe and turn the kids' cricket pitch into a corn patch.
Others will adopt the precautionary principle and start more modestly - perhaps with a patio garden. And that's a lot simpler than you may think - all you need is a container, growing mix and plants.
In fact, you could be into backyard gardening within a matter of hours and be dining on delicious and free home-grown produce within weeks.
Here are some simple tips for a patio garden:
Almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden will also do well in a container - and almost any container with drainage holes will do.
One reader says they use 10-litre paint pails (which they have collected free, of course) as planters. They drill drainage holes in the bottom, place about 25mm of coarse gravel in the bottom to prevent the holes from blocking, then fill with nutrient-rich soil. Others use flowerpots, wire baskets, wooden boxes, bathtubs, plastic bags and sacks.

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