Don’t let a lack of space deter you from growing your own veggies. Noticing the trend for growing vegetables and the rapidly decreasing space in which to do it, vegetable breeders got busy. The result is a range of miniature veggies that can be grown in pots or in hanging baskets on the patio.
This sweet golden or red mini pepper looks rather like a bright, shiny apple. The 8cm-long fruit might be bite sized, but the plant yields up to three times more than normal peppers.
Growing tips: Plant in a 45–60cm diameter pot, making sure it receives at least six hours of sun a day. Add compost or humus to the potting soil to enhance moisture retention. The soil must drain well but not dry out completely. Water daily in summer. Don’t over-fertilise, as plants develop lush foliage at the expense of fruit production. For the best flavour, let the fruit ripen fully and snip off with scissors.
2.Capsicum ‘La Bomba’
A jalapeño-type pepper, it grows into an attractive upright plant (56cm high and 46cm wide) with a strong, sturdy main stem and glossy green leaves.
Growing tips: It needs a large, deep container to accommodate its roots. Plant it in full sun and water daily in summer. Feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser. The large dark-green fruit has a thick skin and can be picked when green. Cut, rather than pull the fruit from the plant.
3. Butternut ‘Honeynut’
The first widely available compact butternut (10–13cm long), ‘Honeynut’ has a sweet, nutty taste and deep orange flesh. The fruit is a more manageable size and so is the vine with a limited spread of up to 3m. It produces higher yields than traditional butternut and the leaves are resistant to powdery mildew.
Growing tips: Plant in a large pot in full sun and train it up and along a trellis. Water plants daily and fertilise twice a month to maintain its high production rate.
FIND OUT: What else you can grow: www.gardenandhome.co.za
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