Durban06072016Gardening Guru Tanya Visser at House and Garden Exibition.Picture:Marilyn Bernard

Dueban - As hard times continue to bite, more and more cash-strapped people are growing their own vegetables to save money, says gardening guru Tanya Visser.

“An increasing number of people are saying they want to give growing veggies a bash,” said Visser in Durban yeson Thursdayterday, adding that it was something she had encouraged for years.

Visser, who certainly knows her onions when it comes to gardening, is the editor of The Gardener magazine and has appeared on gardening TV shows, passing on advice and seasonal tips.

Visser and the magazine have a pop-up shop at the ECR House and Garden Show at the Durban Exhibition Centre, which runs until Sunday, where she has seen countless visitors buying seedlings to grow their own vegetables.

They are also buying boxes of vegetables for balconies, courtyards and small homes, making the most of what space they have.

“A cauliflower costs between R17 and R20 at the moment, but for R16, you can get a tray of six seedlings,” she said, suggesting that people who are watching their budgets should buy seedling trays rather than “be heroes and buy seeds”.

Spinach seedlings could be harvested in just two weeks because they only needed five hours of sunlight a day, she said.

Instead of buying a lettuce from a supermarket which might end up being thrown away if it is not all used straight away, she suggests people buy Perpetual Lettuce for their vegetable boxes.

“You can break off a leaf from the outside to eat and the more you harvest from the outside, the more the lettuce grows,” Visser explained.

“You don’t have to plant all veggies either.

“There are so many edible flowers available. You can pick leaves from the vegetables and the flowers and you have a salad,” she said.

Her advice comes as municipal utility bills shoot up this month; petrol, diesel and taxi fare increases kick in; and rising prices of maize meal, cake flour, sugar beans and chicken pieces drive up inflation.