Turn your balcony or patio into a homegrown haven.
VEGGIES ON DEMAND
Store-bought vegetables may be convenient, but there’s nothing like fresh produce from your own garden. A lack of garden space shouldn’t stop you: use your patio or balcony to grow veggies in containers. Cauliflower and rhubarb are perfect for sowing in autumn, as both prefer cooler temperatures and look striking in a pot. Space out harvest times by staggering the planting schedule to keep your dinner table continually stocked with delicious goodness…
Soil prep: Cauliflower needs very fertile soil enriched with plenty of compost. A granular fertiliser like 2:3:2 can also be added. Use a heavy soil to retain the nutrients. Add lime if the soil is slightly acidic.
Sowing: Use big, deep containers, and sow the seeds one centimetre deep. Plant at intervals of two weeks to a month, depending on the amount of cauliflower you want, to stagger the harvest. Once the heads are 10cm in diameter, fold some of the outer leaves over the head to avoid discolouration (keep them in place with string).
Watering: Never let your cauliflowers dry out; they will stop growing if they wilt. They need lots of water but ensure they never have ‘wet feet’.
Feeding: Fertilise every two weeks, with a side-dressing of either granular or liquid fertiliser.
Harvesting: Cauliflower takes 16 weeks to harvest. The head should be fully developed and round. Cut the head off and remove the rest of the plant.
Soil prep: The soil must be rich in nutrients. Add compost, rotted manure or anything high in organic matter. Don’t use chemical fertiliser when planting or in the first year of growth. Direct contact with nitrates will kill the plant.
Sowing: Rhubarb needs a large pot for its vast root system. Place two to three seeds in each container.
Watering: Water rhubarb well – they like well-draining soil.
Harvesting: Avoid harvesting in the first growing season in order for the stalks to become established. Harvest stalks when they’re 30-45cm long by twisting or cutting at the base. The leaves are poisonous – DO NOT CONSUME!