Delicious Produce Trees & vines for homegrown abundance

fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

January’s topic: Eat your heart out healthily
Theme: Delicious produce-producing trees and vines 
Industry expert: Charles Oosthuizen
Grower: Tuberflora Nursery based in Muldersdrift, Gauteng: https://www.tuberflora.co.za/  

Life is a Garden met with expert grower, Tuberflora, to find out about the latest edible hybrids and delicious fruit tree varieties available this summer at your GCA Garden Centre. With serious water restrictions experienced across the country recently, are you equally mulch-serious yet? Come get some professional growing advice and choose the perfect produce-producing tree for gardens and patios of all sizes. 

fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

1. Your website lists such a juicy, crunchy, and zesty variety of produce-producing trees. Please give us your top 5 summer must-have fruit trees that our gardeners can look out for at their GCA Garden Centre this season. 

  • Pomegranates (King of fruits)
  • Figs (Queen of fruits)
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Citrus
fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,
fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

2. We love your selection of the more uncommon nut, berry, and fruit tree/plant varieties. For our gardeners looking to grow something special, which trees/plants would you recommend and are there any growing tips to be aware of? 

We are introducing wine grape varieties this year, and although they are small and seeded, they are edible. Grapes are water-wise and thrive in hot, dry weather conditions.

We also sell special heirloom varieties of figs and pomegranates. In fact, Giving Trees grow the biggest selection of figs and pomegranates in the country and their aim is to preserve the huge gene pool of varieties for future generations. Figs and pomegranates are special spiritual plants as they bring good energy to your garden. Figs and pomegranates are tolerant of hot, dry weather conditions as well once they are established. Persimmons are tough, easy to grow and very rewarding.

fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,
fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

3. We recently experienced water restrictions across the country. Are there any water-wise growing/watering methods and practices you could recommend that allow consumers to sustainably grow food?

WOW your watermelon DIY

Wow your watermelon, recipe, fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

The exciting thrill of a successful watermelon harvest doesn’t end at picking your prized fruit at just the right time. Have you ever wondered how to hero this bootylicious edible even further? These creative carving ideas and mouth-watering recipes from Life is a Garden are sure to help you get all the WOW’s from your watermelon this summer (with no added sugar and vegan friendliness)! 

Frozen coco-melon lollies 

Ingredients: Fresh watermelon and any other soft ripe fruit of your choice (try berries, kiwi or banana) and a can of coconut milk.

Equipment: A blender and ice lolly moulds for the freezer.

Method: First, blend your second fruit choice, such as blackberries, and fill a quarter of the lolly mould. Pop in the freezer to set. Then, blend your watermelon (remove as many seeds as possible) together with the coconut milk and pour the mix into the mould (on top of your frozen berries) and freeze immediately. Enjoy your double-coloured, homemade lollies! 

 

Try this: Add a handful of fresh garden herbs when blending your bottom fruit mix for a pop of surprise flavour at the end. 

Wow your watermelon, recipe, fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,
Wow your watermelon, recipe, fruits, summer, wow, waermelon, blueberries, Kids, fun, tasty, tasty summer, heat, chop, blend, lollies, colour, cool, cold spring, greenery, life is a garden,

Fancy-pants punch bowl 

Ingredients: A whole fresh watermelon, a bottle of soda water, lemon/lime slices, crushed ice, and mint leaves.

Equipment: A sharp knife, large spoon, blender, and ladle for serving

Method: Cut your watermelon in half so that you have two halves that can stand on their own. Hollow out the inside flesh and pop all the goodness into the blender, give it a whizz. Then, pour your watermelon blend back into its shell, slowly add the soda water followed by the lemon/lime slices, and then the crushed ice. Give it a gentle stir and add mint leaves to garnish – voila! 

Try this: Add a splash of gin or rum to the punch and a tot of passionfruit cordial as an adult’s only option. 

Garden Day

Garden Day is a chance for people across the country to down tools and celebrate their gardens. Everyone can take part, regardless of the size of their gardens – rolling lawns, potted window sills, urban rooftops and patio planters – all are welcome.

What you do on Sunday, 9 October 2022 is completely up to you – the most important thing is to head outdoors, wear a flower crown, and welcome Spring with a garden celebration.

Marktfees Botanics

Marktfees is hosting a BOTANICS market aimed at the home gardener, the avid plant collector, and everyone who shares a desire for botanical inspiration in all its dynamic facets. From botanical décor, houseplants, specimen plants, gins, teas and beer to name a few, join us for the first of its kind market for Port Elizabeth.

Plant Transpiration Experiment DIY

water vapour photosynthesis transpiration plastic garden kids fun
Garden, Transpiration, nutrients, water, pores, garden, experiment, kids, DIY, Fun.

Did you know? Just like we release water vapour through our mouths as we breathe, so do plants through their stomata - tiny, pore-like structures on the surfaces of leaves. Plants use their roots to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, drawing it upwards into their stems and leaves. Some of this water is then returned to the atmosphere by the process known as transpiration.

 Why do plants need to transpire?

The loss of water (or transpiration) plays a vital role in maintaining healthy plant growth, water balance, and overall longevity. More specifically, plants transpire for 3 main reasons:

  1. Nutrient uptake – the rate of transpiration actually determines your edibles’ yield. Turgor pressure keeps the plant cells full and turgid, owing to the transpiration stream of water from roots to shoots. In agriculture, transpiration is essential in producing healthy crops.
  2. Cooling – to manage heat and drought stress, transpiration rates are crucial as this process brings down the temperature of leaves, the largest plant organ. However, losing too much water can leave plants dehydrated.
  3. Photosynthesis – water flow efficiency is intricately connected with photosynthesis through the stomata. A lot of the water absorbed from the soil is used for photosynthesis, cell expansion, and growth. A single tree reaching 20 meters high can take up between 10 litres to 200 litres a day!

Clearly, transpiration is a big deal. Get the kids involved and let’s bring this invisible miracle to light.

water vapour photosynthesis transpiration plastic garden kids fun
transpiration fun kids vapour water experiment garden plastic photosynthesis

 

Experiment time

You will need

  • A ziplock bag
  • String
  • A leafy branch of a tree

Try this: Compare transpiration rates and see how the environment affects plants by conducting separate experiments on both sunny and cloudy days.

 

Step 1: Find a plant in the garden with a nice leafy branch where your bag will fit over.

Step 2: Cover the section of the branch with the ziplock bag and then seal it tightly with some string around the stem.