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Tag: spring

10 great plants to grow for Spring

There is something magical about Spring, isn’t there? The chill in the air starts easing off just enough to start enjoying sitting outside again in the evenings; with the sun rising earlier and setting later, it feels as though you have more hours in the day, and of course the green leaf shoots and blossoms that start to liven up trees that have looked sad and bare all winter.

It’s also a great time to get out into your garden and start planting. We’ve put together a list of plants that can be easily grown, or even regrown, and that will help cut down on your food costs!

Carrots

These awesome veggies are packed full of vitamins and can be planted to create an attractive border in your garden. You can even regrow carrot plants, not the actual root veggie, from kitchen scraps to make attractive houseplants! All you need to do is chop off the top and place some toothpicks into it, balance it over a glass of water and make sure the water is just touching the bottom. If you place the glass in a high light area, not direct sun, and top up the water regularly, you’ll soon start to see roots forming. You can them plant them into containers and watch your pretty fern like carrot plants grow and flower.

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes are great plants to grow from kitchen scraps! They’re a bit sensitive when they’re babies, but with enough light and lots of water, they will be a gift that keeps on giving. You can plant slices of tomato directly into good potting soil and within a few weeks, you’ll start to see little shoots forming, it’s that easy. Consider training your tomato plants up a trellis and keep pruning the bottom leaves to make your tomato plants happy. If you want to pretty up your beds, you can plant companion plants like marigolds or nasturtium with your tomatoes. Once you’ve harvested your tomatoes, you can replant the seeds to make more plants for your garden, or as a gift for someone who wants to start their own veggie garden!

Beans

If you’re growing pole beans, it’s best to start training them to climb early on. They like lots of sun and water, so you should choose a spot that will give them plenty of both. Straw, grass clippings and composted leaves will help you retain moisture. They are prone to insects so be on the lookout and get rid of pests with soapy water. Don’t wait too long to harvest, as the bean pod will dry out and become tough, and the bean will taste bitter. You can also freeze them for later! Good companion plants for beans are peas and carrots.

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Peas

Peas are fantastic to pick and eat raw from the garden, added to salads, or steamed slightly. The plants should be planted straight into your garden, and in slightly cooler temperatures, with good quality fertilizer. They’ll need some support early on until they start to form tendrils that will help them climb, a trellis would be a good idea to plant peas against. You’ll need to keep the soil moist. When you pea pods are swollen, the peas inside are nice and ripe and ready for harvesting. You should pick pods frequently to increase production, and keep fertilizing after harvesting.

Chillies

Chillies are a great addition to any garden, and make great indoor plants too, provided they get lots of light and water. There are so many varieties of chilli plants to choose from and your nearest nursery should be able to give you information on which one is best for you. Best of all, you can grow more chilli plants just by replanting the seeds from the chillies! These plants grow relatively fast so you’ll have chillies in next to no time to add amazing flavour to your favourite dishes! They are easy to care for and grow well with tomatoes and carrots.

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Basil

Basil is great herb to grow, and regrow! It adds amazing flavour to chicken dishes and is easy to care for. To regrow new basil plants, all you need to do is pick a stem about 6cm in length, trim off the leaves until you’re just left with a few at the top, and place the stem in a glass of water. Place the container in a well lit area, but not direct sunlight. Very soon you’ll start to see roots growing from the stem and you can replant your new basil when the roots are a few centimeters longer! If you’re planting your basil into the garden, they will grow well with your tomato plants.

Lemons

You can grow your very own lemon tree by replanting seeds from a store bought lemon! It will take a lot of time before your efforts are rewarded, but you’ll be able to enjoy this beautiful plant indoors or outdoors while you wait! When the trees start to blossom they have a beautiful citrus scent as well. To get started you’ll need to plant a lemon seed straight from the lemon into good potting soil that is not completely soaked but moist. Keep your growing lemon plant in a sunny area and keep watering, not too much though. The soil just needs to stay moist.

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Cilantro

Cilantro and flat leaf parsley can sometimes be confused as the same plant, however their flavour and smell are very different (cilantro is on the left, parley on the right). Cilantro and coriander are technically the same plant, so if a recipe calls for coriander leaves, you can just as well use cilantro in its place. Cilantro, just like basil, can be regrown by cutting a stem and placing in water until root growth is achieved. Then you simply replant and you have more cilantro to enjoy in your cooking! You can plant cilantro with basil and mint in your herb garden.

Lettuce

You can regrow lettuce, as well as cabbage and bok choy, easily from your kitchen scraps. After you’re done with your lettuce, cut above the stem until you have about 4cm of the leaves. You can place this stem in a dish of water in a sunny area and keep misting a few times a week. You’ll see the leaves and roots start to regrow fairly quickly and you can replant and carry on enjoying your own home grown lettuce!  In the garden, lettuce grows nicely with carrots.

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Mint

Mint is a great addition to drinks and desserts for hot summer days!  Not to mention the mint jelly for the lamb spit braai! Best of all, it’s easy to grow and regrow from cuttings. Take a sprig of mint and trim the leaves, leave in a container of water on a sunny windowsill and you’ll have a new mint plant ready to grow in a few weeks. They do well on patios in containers, and can be planted straight into your garden. Take care with mint though, their root system can be very invasive and they can soon take over a whole bed! If you’re planting mint into your garden, prevent mint from taking over by first planting it into a container and then into the garden. This will help contain the roots.

Happy gardening this Spring!

The Voetsy DIY Blog Team