1. GREEN BEANS
Green beans are by far the easiest vegetables to grow even in limited space and they are incredibly generous. They grow either as bushes which do not require much support or vines which need to be trained up a trellis or other support to keep them upright. Plant seeds 1 cm deep and about 15 cm apart in an area with full sun and loose well-drained soil. Be sure to keep to soil moist until germination. Water the mature plants about once a week in dry weather.
Tip: Sow the seeds directly in the ground.
Our summer garden is never complete without the incredibly rewarding zucchini. You just need two or three plants to keep you going all summer long. Zucchinis are members of the squash family, so they need to be planted in full sun. We have learned that they are hungry feeders and so we add plenty of garden compost or mature kraal manure to the soil before planting. Plant the seeds directly in the ground about 1 cm deep. Space plants 2 to 4 feet apart to provide air circulation and to discourage disease. Keep your zucchini well -watered and top up mulches regularly to help lock in soil moisture.
Tip: Plant together with marigolds, beans and nasturtiums.
3. SALAD LEAVES
It is super easy to grow your own salad leaves, even those exotic ones you see in stores. You can plant anything from lettuce, sorrel, mizuna, rocket, the list is long, it is really up to you. The beauty about them is that the more you pick the leaves, the more they grow. Grow salad leaves in full sun, making sure that the soil drains well. You can also grow them in pots, growbags or even salad bowls. Just make sure that whatever you use has drainage holes.
Tip: Keep the soil moist and cool and don’t be shy about composting.
Nasturtiums with their bright green leaves and cheerful, vibrant flowers will brighten any dull corner in your garden. They are edible, great for companion planting and are a fantastic trap for pests. Plant the seeds 1 cm deep and about 20 cm apart. Plant them in well-drained soil in full sun and water them regularly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to over-water.
Tip: Cut off the faded/dead flowers to encourage blooming.
Tomatoes can be planted directly in the ground or you can plant a tomato bush in a large 20 litre pot and train it up a trellis. Grow your tomatoes in rich fertile soil in a sunny location and water regularly. Remember to remove the leaves right at the foot of the stem. These bottom leaves get the least sunlight and air circulation. They are also closest to the ground and can easily pick up disease. Inter-plant with basil , amaranth, garlic, chives, marigolds and onions.
Tip: Don’t overcrowd tomatoes, give the seedlings plenty of room to branch out.
Happy Gardening, Manti