Big bean sprouts are actually the sprouts of soybeans. They are less common than the standard bean sprouts, which are actually the sprouts of mung beans. They are slightly larger than the usual bean sprouts and the bean part of the sprout is considerably larger and harder than those of the more common bean sprouts. They have a high protein content and have a very nutty flavor. They are usually stir fried with some shallots and chili. They also make a great, healthy and inexpensive addition to salads and taste equally great when eaten raw. Try to get organic soybeans as they produce the best results as commercial soybeans may have been treated to prevent sprouting.
Sprouting beans is very easy and does not require much gardening work as it is done indoors. All that is needed is a paper towel and a plate to keep moisture in. Soak the beans in water overnight before planting. Spread the seeds evenly on the paper towel and put them in a sunny spot. Add adequate water to the paper towel to keep the beans nice and moist. The beans should start sprouting after a week or so. When the sprouts reach around 4 inches, they are ready to be harvested.
Although not very popular with kids, broccoli happens to be one of the most nutritious vegetables around. It is packed with many different vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants and contain cancer-fighting compounds. They taste great when stir fried with oyster sauce, or even steamed on its own with some salt and pepper. Broccoli grows from seeds, which can be bought from the local gardening supply store.
Broccoli requires full sunlight. They also need lots of nutrition as well. The soil should be prepared with lots of compost and manure 2 weeks before the actual planting date. The soil should also be free from weeds. It should also be loose to encourage the plant to grow. Plant the seeds around 18 inches apart to give adequate space for growth. Broccoli needs a lot of water so they need to be watered regularly, about once a week. Broccoli will mature approximately 3 months after sowing.
One of the most iconic fruits in the world, strawberries have a fruity, tart flavor that reminds everyone of summer and happy times. It is the 3rd most popular flavor after vanilla and chocolate. Strawberries taste good fresh or chilled, and can be made into cakes, jam and even pies. Strawberries can grow from seeds, but the chances of it actually growing are pretty low which is why most growers usually buy their starter plants from the nursery as opposed to planting them from the seed.
Strawberries need lots of sunlight and loose soil to grow properly. They also need well-drained soil, as they tend to rot when there is too much water. They do very well in raised beds as the raised beds give them enough moisture but prevent too much water from accumulating. Prepare the soil by adding in compost, removing the weeds and loosening the soil. They should be planted at around 18 inches apart from one another. Water the plants once a week near the roots as water may cause the leaves to rot. Strawberries take a year or so before they mature and bear fruit. The berries can be picked as soon as they turn bright red and should be picked before they rot on the plant.
Bell peppers add a very distinctive taste and texture to salads, or to stews. They have a very greenish and earthy taste that gives dimension to vegetables when stir fried with them. Bell peppers are also roasted on an open fire to increase their sweetness and to soften its crunchy texture. Bell peppers grow from seeds.
Bell peppers prefer hot climates and lots of sunlight for optimal growth. The soil should be prepared with plenty of compost and manure. It should also be free of weeds and have loose soil with good drainage. Plant 2-3 seeds in one spot, around 24 inches apart. Water the plants daily as too little water will cause the peppers to be bitter. Bell pepper plants take about 3 months to mature and bear fruit.
Creamy and buttery, avocado adds an interesting dimension to salads. It has a distinct, almost butter-like taste and is savory and not sweet. Avocados are famous for their high nutritional value. They are also very filling as well. Usually one fruit would be more than enough to satisfy a person’s appetite. Avocados grow from its seed, which grows into a tree before it can bear fruit. However, trees grown from the seed may not bear fruits. Grafted saplings bought from nurseries are more likely to produce fruit when they mature.
Avocado trees require a lot of sunlight as well as soil with proper drainage. As it grows into a tree, it is important to make sure that there is adequate space for that. De-weed the soil and mix in compost to prepare the soil for planting. Plant either the seed or sapling deep into the soil. When planting from seed, soak the seed for 30 minutes in hot water to disinfect it and cut a thin slice from the top. This will speed up germination, which will take around a month. Avocado trees do not like to be too wet so allow the soil to dry between watering sessions. Only light feeding is needed for the avocado tree, so only feed twice – once every 6 months. Avocado trees only bear fruit after 5-7 years.
One of the staple foods of the world, corn is a versatile and delicious crop that can be eaten from straight from the cob, or prepared in many different ways. They have a sweet taste with a crunchy texture that makes them a favorite with gardeners. Corn are planted via its kernels that can be bought from any gardening store.
Corn requires full sunlight and rich soil with good drainage to grow optimally. Clear the soil of weeds, mix in compost and loosen the soil prior to planting. Plant the kernels 4-6 inches apart as planting them close will assist with pollination. When the plants are 3-4 inches tall, then them out to around a foot from each other. Water them once a week but close to the soil so that it will not wash the pollen away from the plant. Feed the plants with a balanced liquid organic fertilizer three times: when they reach 10 inches, then 18 inches, and when tassels start appearing. Corn takes around 2-3 months to mature before they produce corncobs that are ready for harvesting.
Zucchini is a flexible vegetable that can be used either raw or cooked. It can also be used in baked goods, like bread or muffins. In Asian countries, they are usually stir fried, in stews or in soups. They also contain a lot of nutrition. Zucchini is grown from seeds. One zucchini plant can produce up to 16 fruits, which is why there is no need to plant many zucchini plants
Zucchini prefers sunny and hot weather to grow optimally, as well as soil with good drainage. Clear the soil of weeds and prepare the soil by mixing in aged compost as well as loosening the soil up. Plant the seeds at around 3 feet apart. Cover the seeds with compost and give them adequate water after sowing. They will grow to have big leaves so it is necessary to provide adequate spacing between each plant. Alternatively, a fence can be used to encourage them to grow vertically. Zucchini plants require a lot of water and must be watered once every few days, when the soil gets dry. Care must be taken to not water the leaves as mildew may develop. Zucchini takes up to 2 months to mature and will produce fruit continuously once it matures. It is best to harvest zucchini when it reaches around 8 inches in length, as it will get tasteless if it grows any bigger.
Purple cabbage is a variety of cabbage that has an intense deep purple color as opposed to the whitish green hue of a regular cabbage. They taste slightly more bitter than the regular variety but provide more nutrition. They can be eaten stewed or raw as an addition to salads. Purple cabbages grow from seeds, which can be bought from any gardening store.
Cabbages in general are not a big fan of heat and should be planted in the shade, as they tend to bolt (producing stems and flowers instead of leaves) in the heat. Prepare the soil by de-weeding it, and add compost to make it fertile. Sow the seeds 12 to 24 inches apart from each other. Add fertilizer once a week, as cabbages require a lot of fertilizer. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet. Cabbages are ready to harvest at around 2 months from the time of sowing, where cabbage heads will appear.
Spring onions are the leafy part of the onion plant. They add a fresh, pungent flavor to any dish or can be chopped up fresh from the garden and added as a delightful topping for any dish. As spring onions grow from onion bulbs, you’ll need to grow onions in order to get spring onions.
To plant onions, prepare the soil by weeding and adding fertilizer or compost several months before planting as they do not need much nitrogen. Onions grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. They also prefer sunny or partially shaded spots. Onions can be planted through 2 ways: either with the sprouting bulbs (also known as sets) or through the seed. However it is easier to grow onions from sets as it has already sprouted and they also require less work and maintenance, not to mention that you get your harvest sooner. Plant the sets into the ground by digging a little hole, with only the green sprout exposed. They should be planted approximately 30cm apart. Onions do not require much watering as too much water may cause them to rot.
Spring onions can be harvested 2-3 months from the date of planting. Harvest spring onions by cutting them from the base. They will grow back in another 2-3 months.
Petai, also known as the stink bean, is a bitter and pungent bean that is popular in Malaysia and its surrounding countries. It is also known as stink bean, twisted cluster bean and bitter bean elsewhere. These beans are a delicacy – you’ll either love it or hate it. It is usually cooked with chili paste and shallots as a fiery companion for rice. Petais usually grows from the seed and they will grow into a huge tree that is around 30-40 meters tall, making it a very unpopular choice for gardens.
Petai trees can grow at almost any condition and are very hardy plants. However for best results, the seeds must be germinated separately before they can be planted to the ground. Petai plants need very little maintenance and can survive and grow almost anywhere, although a huge space will be needed as will grow into a full-fledged tree. Petai trees will take around 5-7 years from the time of planting to mature and produce petai pods.