Eat your heart out healthily Become a Botanical Boss this January

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New Year’s resolutions and gardening go hand in hand, especially considering the amount of healthy food we are able to grow in virtually any space. Whether you’re going for low-calorie, low-carb meals, or high fat intake and intermittent fasting, raw and purely organic or vegan – the harvest is on your side! Fuel your body for less with this mostly summer edible selection and grow guide from Life is a Garden. 

Top tip: If you missed last month’s article, click here for expert advice on how to set up a vertical hydroponic system for all-space produce growing: 

 

Calorie-conscious, nutrient-dense crops to grow

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Your farming responsibility 

As gardeners, we have a direct impact on our environment, which comes as a sweet blessing because this means we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Sustainable water practices are an essential part of gardening and we cannot ignore how precious and finite this resource is. We saw the huge impact of day 0 in the Western Cape, and the rest of the country is not immune to this possibility either. Here are some simple and effective practices from our industry expert, Charles Oosthuizen from Tuberflora Nursery.

  • “MULCH, MULCH, MULCH - why are South Africans so hesitant about this practice? We see this in so many gardens - barren, hard-baked soil raked neatly clean on a weekly basis. This is not the way forward in terms of sustainable watering practices at all.
  • Drip irrigation is the future as it is cost-effective, low maintenance and saves a lot of water.
  • Water only in the late afternoon or early in the morning.
  • Water very well only once or twice a week instead of a little bit every day.
  • Add water-retaining gel to your pots and containers.
  • The more compost and other organic material in and on top of the soil the more water retention the soil will have.
  • Plant windbreaks around your property as wind can dry out an exposed garden very quickly.
  • Stop cutting down trees everywhere (no matter if they are exotic or not). Trees help to cool down the environment and increase air humidity.
  • Combine plants with the same watering needs together (hydro zoning). ”

Top tip: Invest in a rainwater collection tank and set up your greywater catchment system, which will be especially beneficial during droughts.

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Best produce-producing trees and vines this summer 

These delicious fruit trees are available at GCA Garden Centres now. Plant them in well-dug, composted soil and remember to stake younger trees for support. For an abundant harvest, grab some fertiliser for your edibles. Garden Centre staff will be able to assist you in choosing the best products for your specific tree. 

  1. Pomegranates (king of fruits)
  2. Figs (queen of fruits)
  3. Grapes
  4. Peaches
  5. Citrus
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Eat in and revel in your home-grown goodness. Enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, showing off your harvest, and feeling revitalised for the New Year. Seedling trays and seed packets are widely available at Garden Centres so there’s sure to be a fruit and veg that fits in perfectly with your dietary needs and taste buds. Life is a Garden – eat from it!

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