Spring is a fantastic time in the garden, as the warm weather causes plants to wake from their winter slumber and burst forth with new growth.
It’s also the perfect time for growing a range of edible fruits, vegetables, herbs and even flowers that prefer the warm weather.
When the weather starts to warm up, get these plants in the ground now to enjoy a fantastic harvest over the warmer months.
One of the most versatile home-grown foods used in the kitchen, tomatoes can be found in salads, pasta, pizza, curies, risotto, soups and sauces.
To grow tomatoes, raise them from seedlings for a quick start, or from seeds to get a wide range of varieties.
They’re best grown in a sunny position, and successive plantings will ensure a healthy harvest all season long.
This fragrant herb pairs well with tomatoes, not only in the kitchen, but also in the garden, as it repels white flies and other pests.
Grow basil in a sunny, sheltered position and cut off the flower spikes as soon as they appear to ensure constant leaf production.
3. Capsicum and Chillies
These South American plants love a sunny position and can be grown either in a pot or in the ground.
They can be harvested in summer at any stage from green to fully coloured, although if left to ripen for longer, capsicum is sweeter and chillies are hotter.
Mint grows almost anywhere, but prefers deep, moist soil in a semi-shaded position. It’s ideal as a garnish, in salads, or for making delicious mint tea.
Half the battle with growing mint can be containing its invasive nature, as it sends out long, underground runners. Unless you want it to spread throughout your entire garden, grow it in a pot.
With a sturdy trellis, pergola or fence as a support, as well as a sunny position and rich, well-drained soil, growing passionfruit is simple as it’s a very vigorous vine.
Black varieties are ready to harvest when they change colour from green to purple and can be eaten straight away, although are ideal when they are slightly wrinkled.
This healthy vegetable is easy to grow, with one plant providing a plentiful harvest in full sun.
They’re best harvested when they are about 10cm long, and if left for too long on the plant they will grow to massive proportions but have less flavour.
Although cucumbers have a climbing habit, they’re best grown along the ground as the fruit is less water stressed and remains crisp and juicy.
Use them fresh in a salad or whip up a tzatziki using grated cucumber, crushed garlic, lemon juice and natural yoghurt.
The peppery flowers and leaves of this pretty plant are often found in salads or as garnishes at high-end restaurants. They are surprisingly easy to grow, especially for kids, as the seeds are large and they germinate and grow quickly.
They form a rambling, bushy plant and self seed readily, so take care where you plant them if you don’t want an unexpected crop. They also repel a number of pests, making them great companion plants in the vegetable garden.
9. Citrus trees
No backyard is complete without a lemon tree, but oranges, limes and mandarins are just as easy to grow. Their attractive glossy foliage and fragrant flowers make them an ideal fruit tree for any yard.
Get these sun-loving fruit trees in the ground in early spring so they have time to establish before the warm weather arrives.