Interview and review of Fionna Hill’s latest book!

How to Grow Edibles in Containers by Fionna Hil

Bateman, RRP $29.99.

From the author of the internationally successful How to Grow Microgreens, this companion volume is a practical guide to growing edible plants in limited spaces. Fionna grows a huge range of plants on her apartment balcony and writes candidly about which ones crop well, and which don’t. With over 45 edible plants described,including more unusual varieties such as water chestnut, ginger and tatsoi, there is something for all seasons.


Included is a chapter which highlights Fionna’s enthusiasm for encouraging children to grow container edibles – children enjoy eating vegetables so much more when they have grown them themselves. Well illustrated with over 100 photographs, the book contains advice on troubleshooting issues with your container plants, easy instructions on watering and plant nutrition, and also features delicious recipes to use the produce that you grow.

Do you think container gardening is a good thing for the elderly?

Yes most definitely. Gardening is a popular leisure-time activity for many older adults anyway and container gardening can provide a worthwhile substitute for folks who may have sacrificed a typical kiwi garden and yearn for the sensory stimulation of getting their hands in soil again, not to mention the joy of successful crops.  

People of any age, exposed to plants and involved in planning, planting, growing, and tending plants show therapeutic benefits – physical, emotional, social. Gardening reduces stress too, gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine, it gets your blood moving and involves physical tasks that provide low-impact exercise, especially for people who find more vigorous exercise difficult, such as those who are older, have disabilities, or suffer from chronic pain.

How do you think container gardening could be of benefit to people in rest homes ?

Containers are a way of imitating on a small scale the gardening people may have enjoyed before. Maintenance of life satisfaction brings many benefits.

Containers can be as small or large as space allows and can be portable. Pots can be placed at levels that make access easier than ground level. Raised beds are also a type of container gardening and can be designed with paths to accommodate wheelchairs. If growing edibles is not appropriate, many flowers and decorative herbs grow well in pots and provide visual pleasure.


Is container gardening something we can do on a budget?

Yes it is. Growing from seed is low cost and some former gardeners will be skilled at seed saving as my parents were. Seeds are less costly to buy than seedlings too.

Containers like buckets are low cost and perfectly suitable. You can grow a wonderful crop of cherry tomatoes in nothing more than a household bucket with holes punched in the bottom.

If space allows, making one’s own compost and fertiliser and adopting pest control choices that don’t involve buying any – or much – product is another budget thought and can have the benefit of being organic too.



Review by Kaynine: This is a great informative book, well laid out in a step by step format with great pics. I will definitely be trying some of the crops in pots and the great recipes that are also included! Well done Fionna!


If you would like to win your very own copy of Fionna’s book, CLICK HERE and then make sure to comment below with a reason why you want to win this great book!

Competion closes 4/5/15 and is open to NZ residents only.

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