Did you know that 52% of Australian households are growing some of their own food?
When the Australia Institute conducted a study in 2014 they found that 4.7 million households (52 per cent) across Australia reported growing at least some of their own food in their backyard.
Of course, the amount produced in each backyard garden varies greatly, from a few herbs and tomatoes up to almost commercial quantities of fruit and vegetables.
The number of households producing all they need is estimated to be quite small, but more and more people, particularly in urban areas, are becoming interested in growing at least some of their own food at home.
Reasons people grow their own include saving on grocery bills, for the physical exercise and the mental health benefits gardening provides, and because fresh fruit and vegetables simply taste better - it is difficult to argue that a tomato fresh from the vine or a cob of sweet corn straight from the plant doesn't taste far better that from the supermarket.
Fruit and vegies from your own garden will also be higher in nutrients such as anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate, than those that have been picked maybe several weeks ago and which have had to travel to get to the supermarket.
Growing your own also gives you an opportunity to reduce the amount of pesticides that you use or to use natural pesticides.
And most of all, think of the satisfaction of harvesting and eating food you have produced yourself!
In the vegie patch
When preparing beds for spring planting be sure to dig in plenty of compost and manure / fertiliser and ensure good drainage.
Keep up with successional sowings, directly into the ground, of vegies such as lettuce, radish, beetroot, silver beet, spring onions and carrots. Sowing little and often will help avoid a glut of produce all at one time.
Seeds of tomatoes, cucumber, Chinese cabbage, capsicum, melons, pumpkin, squash, sweet corn, zucchini and eggplant can be sown into seed trays in preparation for planting out after the danger of frosts has passed.
This will give these vegies a head start and you an earlier harvest.
The really keen tomato growers have already sown their tomato seeds with the aim of eating home-grown, full-of-flavour tomatoes in November!
Compost any weeds that will also be enjoying your precious shower water.