Patio Produce book review

How to Cultivate a Lot of Home-grown Vegetables from the Smallest Possible Space.

A recent survey suggested that five million people wanted to ‘live the good life’ and keep chickens, grow some of their own food and somehow achieve a level of self sufficiency, writes the books author Paul Peacock. He sets about showing the reader in simple practical terms just how much is possible in the smallest space.

In the first chapter called ‘The environment of the patio’ Paul Peacock writes about the basics of growing in pots and containers. He tells us that containers should provide all the requirements for a plant to grow well with the added bonus of being able to move them around to suit your needs. As a plant grows too large for a space you can move it elsewhere, or you can rotate your pots so that the plants might get their turn of good sunlight.

There is some useful advice about watering. Rain that falls on the open garden will be soaked up by the soil like a giant sponge; where as much of the water falling on the patio will not benefit the pots and containers. For this reason they need more watering. Unfortunately any excess water tends to wash out the nutrients in the soil. For this reason they need feeding more. The suggestion is to water with a weak solution of fertiliser.

Carrot growbag.

In a section on grow bags there is a useful tip for growing carrots; put the bag on its side and open the upper edge. We are told that carrots grown this way are long, thick and fantastically tasty. You can also grow potatoes this way.

The ordinary plastic bags from the supermarket are also useful to the patio gardener, writes Paul Peacock. You can hang them up by their handles and use them as impromptu hanging baskets. They are also good for lining wooden tubs and planters.

The gardening suggestions are easy to follow and clearly presented by an enthusiastic author. This is a great book for anybody growing their own vegetables no matter how much space they have.

Illustrations copyright Patio Produce.