Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs can be one of the most rewarding tasks. While it may seem like a challenge, anyone can become a gardener with some forward planning and TLC.

What you can grow is highly dependent on the time of year, the type of soil you have, and the space in your garden.

Planning a garden in the Cape can be tricky because of our weather patterns and soil quality. Here are a few veggies that grow well in the summer months to get your garden started.

Strawberries:

Rich in vitamins A and C and low in calories, strawberries make the perfect addition to your fruit salad or smoothie. They are also rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may help improve heart health and blood sugar control.

The best time to plant this berry is from January to April in regions with a temperate climate. They grow well with morning sun only but will taste sweeter if they get full sun all day.

Beans:

This affordable source of protein, fibre, iron, and vitamins and offers many health benefits, like reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Bush beans, which grow on bushes and don’t need poles for support, are easy to grow. They also grow relatively quickly, which will bring joy to first-time gardeners. April is a good month to start planting, as the soil is still warm enough. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, and will¬†germinate in six to 10 days.

Carrots:

Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They are weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

This vegetable loves sandy, well-drained soil. Make sure to only lift your carrots when they are fully mature to ensure a better taste and longer shelf life. Remove the leafy tops immediately after harvesting to prolong the quality.

Tomatoes:

Who doesn’t love a fresh tomato? Packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, this fruit has many many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

The best time to plant these babies is from July to October when the weather is slightly cooler. Remember to give seedlings plenty of space to branch out, and transplant them to their own pots once they start growing true leaves. They also love direct sunlight.

Cucumbers:

This fruit is high in nutrients like vitamins C and K, potassium and magnesium, and is low in calories. It also contains a good amount of water and soluble fibre, which aims in promoting hydration and weight loss.

Plant your seedlings in rich soil with direct sunlight and water them weekly. Give them plenty of space to grow and include a trellis if you choose a vine cucumber. Bush varietals can easily grow in a pot.

Picture: Pixabay

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