1) Avos: Good news –the avo season in South Africa runs from June through to October – so now is the perfect time to plant your own, although avoid low lying frost areas as they don’t survive in frost.
Avocado seeds can be used to grow your own delicious edible garden. Wash the seed and use toothpicks to suspend it over water in a bowl or jar. The water should come up enough to cover the bottom inch of the seed. Keep the container in a warm place but not in direct sunlight and remember to check the water every day and add more as needed. It can take up to six weeks for the stem and roots to appear. Once the stem reaches 3 cm, cut it down to 1cm. When leaves begin appearing, plant the seed in soil, remembering to leave about half of it above the ground. The key here is that avo plants will not survive in soils with poor drainage and the tree is only productive in full sun. So, for good soil permeability, optimum nutrient levels and seed germination, prepare your well exposed garden bed with Farmyard Organics’ premium compost.
2) Pineapple: Just because you don’t live in the tropics, doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own pineapples. If you prepare the roots now they will be ready for planting in July – the ideal time of year to grow these tasty fruits.
Just cut the top off a good pineapple and insert a few toothpicks to hold it above a container filled with water. Keep the container in direct sunlight. If it is warm outside, place it on the porch or deck during the day and bring it in at night. Remember to change the water every other day and keep the container filled so that it reaches to just about the base of the plant. You will notice roots in about a week. Once they are formed, transplant the plant into potting soil. If you live in a cooler area, it is best to grow your pineapple indoors.
3) Leeks: are a great vegetable to add to soups in winter, and even better yet they are easy to grow at home as they can grow in winter, both in a container of water as well as in your garden.
Leeks are frost tolerant and thrive in cool weather, ideal for our KZN winter. To grow your own, take the base of a few leeks, cover them in water root side down, and leave them on the windowsill in some sun for a few days. You should start seeing them sprout right away, and within a week or so you’ll be able to trim off parts to use in recipes. You can also transplant them to a garden bed when they are about 20cm high and the thickness of a pencil.
To do so, make 15cm deep holes in the soil and drop a plant into each hole. Fill the hole with water to settle the roots. Remember to plant them in a sunny spot, in soil that is fertile and well-drained. Leeks thrive in soil with lots of nitrogen and good soil moisture. With its good nutrient content, Farmyard Organics compost is the ideal growing medium for leeks. Don’t forget to use the best companions for vegetable when planting. Planting leeks near apple trees, carrots, celery and onions will improve their growth.
Use your home-grown leeks in delicious heart-warming leek and potato soup or try them simply steamed (as you would asparagus) as a side dish, oven-roasted in a quiche, or wrapped in ham and baked.