First, don't panic. There's no shortage of food
As alarming as it has been to see bare shelves in the supermarket, food producers and reports confirm there’s plenty of food to go around. Unfortunately, news of the coronavirus has scared us into panic-buying and hoarding. Sometimes we can’t find the basic foods we want, such as pantry staples like flour and rice. Then again, some of us are avoiding going into the stores at all, unsure how to protect ourselves from this invisible enemy.
All this has led to a bump in buying seeds and plants and searching for gardening tips online, so we can grow our own foods at home. The good news is that many fruits and veggies are easy to grow, even for beginners, and they’ll thrive whether you’re gardening in a backyard plot or in containers on your patio, porch or apartment balcony.
Grow beans in a snap
You might be surprised to know you don’t need a big garden to grow green beans. Bush beans are space-savers, but you can also grow beans vertically, by choosing pole varieties and training their vines onto a trellis, fence, or other support. Full sun, regular waterings and moderately rich soil will pay off in a plentiful harvest, and beans don’t need much fertiliser, although they’ll benefit from a side-dressing of compost in mid-season if you didn’t work a lot of compost into the soil before you planted. Check your seed packet to know approximately when your variety will be ready to harvest, and keep the plants picked so they’ll keep producing. Freeze your green beans to enjoy them all year long.
Plant prolific zucchinis
Zucchinis have a reputation for being so easy to grow, and so prolific, gardeners joke about having to leave their extras on a neighbour’s doorstep, ring the bell, and run away. Just one plant can yield 2.5-4.5kg of zucchinis in a single growing season. Plant their seeds directly in your garden or a large container. They need full sun and moist, easily-draining soil amended with compost. Give them a couple of centimetres of water each week, if there’s no rain, and harvest when the fruits are small (botanically speaking, zucchinis are fruits) and the skins are tender. You can freeze zucchinis or bake them into breads, slice them into strips for pasta, grate them for fritters or chop them into vegetable chillis. They’re also delicious when you know how to roast vegetables until they’re crispy and caramelised.