WOW your watermelonJanuary 1, 2023
January in the GardenJanuary 1, 2023
5 Top crops that keep giving
We’re not ready to let go of the festive vibes and generous spirit of the holidays just yet! Life is a Garden would like to extend these good feels with the below list of summer crops that keep on, keep on giving. Plant them once but harvest many times – that’s the way to eat your heart out healthily this new year.
Your 5 top crops that keep giving and how to harvest them correctly:
- Spinach: Harvest only 1/3 of the plant at a time by cutting your chosen leaves at their base, above the crown (where all stems meet). You don’t have to work your way from outside in, so long as you harvest a mix of new and mature leaves.
- Fancy lettuce: Apply the same technique as with spinach and remember to mulch around the plants very well. Adequate water and moisture will discourage bolting, which is when the plants go to seed – so perhaps you’d even like to experiment.
- Tomatoes: If it looks ripe and smells good, pick that bad boy! For a repeated lush harvest, prune back low-lying branches that touch the ground and pinch out smaller suckers that appear below the first cluster of flowers. Also remove any yellow leaves.
- Green peppers: Here’s a bit of a Catch-22. On the one hand, the more you pick, the more produce you’ll get. However, the longer you leave the peppers on the plant, the sweeter they will be and the higher the Vitamin C content – choice is yours!
- Strawberries: No catch of picking in plenty here! The secret lies in an organic fertiliser that will increase flowering, resulting in more fruit, faster. When picking, be aware to harvest the entire fruit (with its hat still on) and a little stem above it.
Thank you to Andries Botha from 3Bushketeers for insights on the best summer crops. You can find all the above generous edibles in seed packets and/or seedling treys from one of our-top rated GCA Garden Centres around the country. Access Life is a Garden’s store locator here: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/category/garden-centres/