GONE are the days when people used to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits. These days, most people go to the grocery store or the market to buy them. Growing their own produce does not even come to mind anymore because it requires a lot of time and effort.
However, some vegetables, fruits and herbs are really easy-to-grow and maintain. All you need is water, soil, sunlight and fertilisers.
Most of them are are common ingredients found in dishes.
Here are 10 easy-to-grow vegetables, fruits and herb.
Mint is one of the easiest herb to grow. If you have mint at home, cut off the top stems with some leaves still intact and place it in the soil. For four days, it would need to be indoors, away from sunlight. Then, after you have noticed some growth, you can start putting it outdoors. Remember to water it daily.
2. Basil (top pic)
Craving for Italian meals? Start planting some basil today as it is commonly used in Italian recipes like tomato and basil bruschetta, spaghetti bolognese, and pesto. You could even just pluck and eat it straight away. The method for growing basil is similar to mint. Just like mint, cut the top stems off and place them in soil. They only need moderate sunlight, so avoid placing them under direct sunlight and water them twice daily.
Garlic is aromatic and tasty. Growing garlic is as simple as pie. All you need is one clove. Bury the clove upright in the soil at a sunny spot. Make sure the pot or container you use to plantit has good drainage. Then, water it generously everyday for a couple of months. The garlic would be perfect to harvest when the leaves starts turning yellow. Voila, there’s fresh garlic ready to be used.
4. Curry leaves
Curry leaves are widely used in Indian dishes. Without them, there would be no curries. First, you will need some curry leaf seedlings. You can buy these seedlings from the plant nursery. Plant the seedlings in a pot with good drainage and water them daily. After a few weeks, the curry leaf plant will start to grow. To maintain it, all you have to do is pluck out or trim off any bad branches or leaves.
Chilli is the most common ingredient used in dishes, especially in Malaysian dishes. It is used in curries, sauces, laksa, and so much more. It is very easy to grow them at home. Don’t throw away precious chilli seeds after deseeding them. Just put them in a pot with soil. Water it once everyday and remember to add fertilisers. After a few weeks, you will have fresh chillies in your own garden.
Pandan or screwpine leaves adds aroma to a dish. It can be used in desserts and also in main courses. To plant, get pandan leaves with the roots still intact from the grocery store. Put it in a container of water for a few days until the roots grow a bit more. Then, place them in a pot with soil and water them once in awhile. If the weather seems hot and dry, water them more.
Lemongrass is very easy to grow in Malaysia because of our subtropical climate. It is also known as “serai” in Bahasa Malaysia. Lemongrass is usually found in Asian dishes like tom yum, satay sauce, and laksa. You could even make lemongrass tea with it! It gives a very fragrant aroma to your dish. If you have some lemongrass stalks at home, just plant them in soil. However, just like pandan, if the lemongrass stalks that you have at home has little or no roots, then place them in a container with water first to allow more roots to grow before planting them in soil.
Banana grows perfectly in warm and humid environment. To plant them, you will need a small shoot from the base of a banana plant. Dig a one foot deep hole and place the small banana plant shoot in it. Plant it at the sunniest spot in your garden. Banana plants require plenty of water so make sure to water them more often. Also, make sure to remove any pesky plants and weeds surrounding the spot where you planted your banana plant. After a few months to a year, you can start seeing bright yellow bananas in your own garden.
Papaya trees are easy to grow. Ripe papayas are sweet and tasty.You can even make pickles out of papayas that hasn’t ripen. If you have papayas at home, save the seeds and plant them into the soil. Choose the seeds that are in the centre of the papaya. Remember to water them daily. After a few weeks, you can start seeing small leaves and shoots.
Lime trees are common in Malaysia, especially in Chinese households. The lime tree is said to be an auspicious plant that brings wealth and prosperity. When it comes to cooking, lime helps enhance flavours to a dish. Buying them from the nursery can be expensive. All you need is lime seeds. Plant them at the spot in your garden that receives plenty of sunlight. It is important to make sure your soil has good drainage. Lime trees require a tad more attention when it comes to watering and fertilising. So, water them consistently and fertilise them everyday.