If you’ve been Googling for more ways to cut your daily expenses, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the advice of “grow your own food!”. Though raising chickens or cows is a little much, what if we told you that it’s absolutely possible to grow your own veggies, herbs and fruits at home?
Here are a few easy ones that you can start with:
1. Kangkung: The most fuss-free vege to grow
There’s a reason why kangkung (water spinach) is so cheap: because it’s stupendously easy to grow them! Not only will they survive if you don’t water them for days (do water anyway ah), but you can continuously grow them by propagating their cuttings (snipping about 40cm off a young kangkung shoot) and replanting – don’t have to buy any new seeds!
2. Lettuce: Garden fresh salad any time~
With these in your balcony or gardening space, you’ll never have to worry about spoiled lettuce (a.k.a. salad greens) in the fridge again! Simply plant the seeds in rows (no need to germinate, so easy!), water regularly under direct sunlight, and you can enjoy them in three to five months’ time. Don’t forget to scatter crushed eggshells around them to fend off lettuce-loving snails!
You can even Google “hydroponic lettuce” as another planting method, and it’s supposedly a lot easier if you’re willing to experiment!
3. Garlic: The foundation of great cuisines
A must-have in every Asian and Western dish, it’s a Godsend that this versatile vegetable is also easy to plant. All you need to do is plant one garlic clove in an upright position in a Vitamin-D-rich area (in English, somewhere sunny) and water it frequently for a few months before it’s ready to harvest (when the leaves are yellow)! The more garlic cloves you plant, the more bulbs you’ll be able to harvest!
4. Chilli: Spice it all up!
If you’re one of many Malaysians who MUST have cili padi with their food, then planting chilli is important lah! Start your spicy journey by planting a few chilli seeds together in a single pot (make sure the soil is moist!), then weed out the weaker seedlings and keep only the strongest ones for the best result.
Make sure to start planting your chilis earlier during the dry season (November to March), as the younglings NEED warmth to thrive, not to mention they hate being overwatered during monsoon season.
5. Rosemary / Oregano / Mint / Dill: Essentials for your ang moh dishes
Sometimes it feels a little pricey buying these herbs at the supermarket. Fortunately, it’s actually quite senang to plant them! For starters, mint, rosemary and oregano LOVE our tropical climate, but be sure to give them only indirect or some sunlight every day and avoid overwatering them.
Dill, on the other hand, needs to be handled a little differently. Not only do they need sticks to support their delicate structure (they can grow up to 60cm!), but they also require an abundance of sunlight and water. Plus, they’re easy to propagate too!
6. Coriander: An easy-to-grow flavour enhancer for
aliens foodie connoisseurs
If you’re the “rare” Malaysian who loves this tropical herb, then good news for you – it’s SUPER easy to grow them! To begin, submerge a small cutting of coriander in water first to grow, before moving it to a pot once you see roots. Make sure your soil and pot have good drainage and give it plenty of sunlight to grow – don’t forget the fertiliser!
You can even use coriander SEEDS for your cooking to introduce interesting flavours too, even better when you roast/fry them a little.
7. Lime: Spike your water or teh o ais with extra Vitamin C
Limau nipis, kaffir lime – can both be planted with little issue! It’s best to plant them in a bigger pot, like two feet wide as they grow quite tall, up to 20 feet. Like most fruiting trees, they need plenty of sunlight, as well as consistent watering and fertilisation.
However, the downside of planting lime trees, especially from seedlings, is that it can take between three and six YEARS before it bears fruit. Fortunately, once it starts doing so, you’ll be treated with endless supplies of lime twice a year in the long run.
8. Pandan: Versatile Malaysian favourite
From cooking delicious food and desserts to household use like deodorising cabinets or as an insect repellant, pandan’s adaptability makes it a useful AND tasty herb to plant at home. You don’t even need seeds to plant them – just submerge a pandan leaf cutting with the roots attached in water for a few days to grow its roots.
Later, pot them with soil and water from time to time under direct sunlight. That’s all there is to it!
9. Pineapple: Sweet AND forgiving, just like my ah ma
This sweet-as-you-are fruit looks as sunny as its requirements – needing LOTS of sunlight! Better still, they’re one of the rare fruit plants that are suitable for pot growths (rarely growing past 120cm tall, so cute!) and are more resilient to under-watering albeit with slower growth speed.
On top of that, you can simply buy your favourite pineapple from the market and plant it right away! Just slice off the top leafy head with about two inches of “meat” attached before planting them, and you’re good to go~
Wah, didn’t know can plant so many ourselves!
Even we were surprised by the number of options we actually have – to think that there are actually quite a few more that we didn’t get to list down is mind-boggling! Good lah, can save more money and adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle~
Do you think you’ll try your hand at planting these edibles (not that kind!)? Let us know in the comments!