When I’m planning what to grow in my garden there’s a few things to consider, like the current season - cool or warm, how much growing space I currently have, how much time do I have to care for my garden and what food my family and I are enjoying at the time.
There’s also a few plants that we love to eat regularly, so I always ensure we have a good supply of these.
Here’s my top 5 foods to grow!
- Parsley…My favourite and most used plant in the garden. Parsley is packed with nutrients, easy to grow and pick and I garnish everything with it…much to my boys moans! GROW - Parsley grows well in full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil. Being a biennial, it will flower and go to seed in the second season of growing. Save seeds for future sowing or scatter seed heads around the garden to germinate all around.
- Spring Onions and Chives. These are really useful plants if you want to add an onion flavour to foods or if you don’t have any onion or garlic available try substituting them with these tasty little greens.
When harvesting Spring Onions, Shallots or Chives trim stems off at ground level and keep the remainder of the plant growing for next time it’s needed. Spring onions will re-shoot into multiple stems and provide new plants.
- Leafy Greens – Kale, Silverbeet, Baby Spinach, Brazilian Spinach, Tatsoi, Rocket and Lettuce…always have fresh greens growing! I use these in morning smoothies, our lunches and meals every night. They’re important foods for good energy, vibrant skin and overall health and well-being and are packed with nutrients. They’re also great to add to any meal for extra crunch!
HARVEST - Pick outside leaves of greens and allow plants to continue growing for next harvest. Fresh greens have their highest nutrient content when freshly picked, so harvest as needed for maximum freshness, flavour and nutrients!
- Citrus Trees - I really couldn’t do without the daily freshness of freshly squeezed Lemon or Lime juice. I grow Meyer Lemons , Tahitian Limes, Blood Oranges, Tangello and Mandarins and enjoy ripe fruit year-round here in Queensland. My beautiful citrus trees produce the sweetest and juiciest fruit I’ve tasted.
GROW - I feed my trees 4 times per year and add extra liquid fertiliser as needed. I also keep an eye out for pests or diseases on the trees. More info here – soiltosupper.com/growing-gorgeous-citrus-trees-1/
- Perennial crops – Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Arrowroot, etc are fabulous foods to have in the garden, they just continue to grow and harvest as needed…except Pumpkins are harvested as ripe. These foods are always a hit at mealtimes. We love roasted pumpkin, sweet potato and arrowroot and they’re delicious with salads and a bbq in summer. Being perennials they grow most of the year here and all are low maintenance plants.
GROW these plants in a rich, friable soil with loads of added compost. A handful of blood and bone or slow release fertiliser will help with strong growth and good crops.
There’s many more plants that I love to grow, but I can recommend these ones if you have limited time or space and to ensure plenty of delicious food on the table for your family and friends…
Isn’t that one of the reasons we love to grow food?
Growing with you,
© cath manuel 2014