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Easy edible plants to grow at home during the winter

As South Africa’s lockdown continues, more and more people are considering new ways to be more self-sufficient at home and kill time while they’re at it. If you’re looking to do the same, one of the best ways is by growing your own vegetables and fruits.

While this may seem like a daunting task for some, there are a variety of plants that are not only easy to grow at home but also yield enough to actually use in your meals frequently.

1. Lettuce

This humble plant is often underestimated. It is not only cold resistant but also offers a healthy yield that can be used in salads, on burgers and in a number of other dishes once harvested.

Lettuce is best grown from a seed rather than a planted seedling and only a small amount needs to be planted at a time for the yield to continue for a number of months after planting.

This plant needs well-drained soil with compost to grow properly and is best harvested in the morning.

2. Garlic

Garlic is a great addition to any meal and has many benefits including boosting your immune system.

Surprise, surprise, it is also easy to grow. Garlic can be grown indoors in a pot or outside in the garden.

All you need is a few cloves, soil and a place to plant. Plant your cloves five centimetres or two inches below the rim of your pot, make sure the pointy side of your cloves are facing upward.

Water often and ensure your soil stays moist. In a short while you will have garlic greens to snip off and use in soups and other dishes.

3. Spinach

Spinach is high in iron and easy to grow, even during the winter months. Spinach needs well-drained soil with compost to grow and can be picked continuously once its leaves show fully to encourage new growth.

Be sure not to plant your seeds too deep in your soil and to remove any clusters of the plant once they develop.

4. Radishes

Radish is a root vegetable that has a reputation for being particularly easy to grow.

They can be grown in the garden or even in a container on your balcony.

The seeds for radishes need to be planted in loose dirt and clusters that form once they start growing need to be thinned for optimal growth.

Using compost and fertiliser will help the growth come along nicely.

5. Green Beans

Green beans are simple to grow and offer a huge harvest. The only challenge here is needing a structure for your beans to grow along. You can create such a structure with almost anything you have around the house, from old dowel rods to thin pieces of wood.

Essentially, green beans grow like vines so they will need a structure nearby where they are growing.

They take a few weeks to grow. Simply plant the seeds in healthy soil and wait.

6. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a versatile fruit that can be used in a number of dishes at home, they are also a breeze to grow.

It is better to plant these indoors for the first four to six weeks and only move them outdoors once the worst of the winter is over.

They grow best in constant direct sun, but take between 60 and 80 days to grow although they don’t require a huge amount of effort along the way.

Simply pop some seeds in some potting soil and water them regularly with a monthly fertiliser for best results.

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