4 Healthy, Edible Plants You Can Grow at Home!

Are you keen on gardening? Or maybe looking at trying your hand at it? Did you know that you can grow lemons and oranges in pots? Did you know that you can find healthy plants to grow at home?

Growing plants at home will be rewarding — mentally and physically. Taking the time to tend to your garden every morning or evening is a great way to augment an exercise regimen, although gardening only combines low impact exercise that benefits your body without exerting it too much. Being in touch with nature has its own benefits on your health.

The natural surroundings can also help lower blood pressure, reduce stress and help improve concentration. You can also take gardening as a skill to learn. Planting, watering and harvesting vegetables or fruits at the right time can be fulfilling.

Why are we, at Zizira, talking of home gardening?

Well, we are a food products company operating from the heart of Meghalaya, one of the 8 states that make the pristine region of Northeast of India. Our state is in one of the 4 biodiversity hotspots of India and is blessed with a variety of healthy plants, herbs and spices. That potential of the land is what we are working to bring to the fore in such a way that farmers benefit.

As to why we are talking about gardening, well, all of us are locals and we see the love our families have for home gardening. Right from vegetables to herbs are lovingly grown. You will see home gardens even in the smallest piece of area. Most of us use homegrown medicinal plants as remedies for minor ailments. So, we are sharing with you what we have seen and learnt.

Tips on Healthy Plants to Grow at Home

Before you get started, here are a few tips that will be handy to know.
  • All of these plants require well-drained soil. So, you will either need to use a pot with holes in the bottom or pile up some stones in the bottom before adding soil. This will allow the water to drain through the stones. If you choose to use a pot with holes in the bottom, be sure to put a shallow drainage container under the pot. This will stop the water from draining onto the floor, shelf, or windowsill.
  • For each of these plants, purchase a potting mix at a garden center or make your own. Each plant grows in a slightly different soil environment. Here is a general potting mix recipe to help get you started.

Plants grow best in areas that receive lots of sunlight and remain warm throughout the day.

Grab your copy of the 54 plants & herbal remedies of Meghalaya.

4 Healthy Plants to Cultivate at Home

Here are 4 healthy edible plants to cultivate at home — and how to get them growing!

Carrots from Meghalaya

1. Carrots

Eaten fresh or cooked carrots are a rich source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Potassium. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, and Manganese. Carrots also supply beta-carotene that helps improve eyesight, boosts the immune system, maintains good digestive health and prevents macular degeneration.

How to Grow:

Take a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the pot to within an inch of the top with a humus-rich potting mix. Water the soil before planting the seeds. Plant the carrot seeds one inch apart in rows from each other, pressing the seeds gently into the soil and covering them with a thin layer of soil. Water it. Now place the container in an area that receives tons of light. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked. To help preserve moisture, soak some peat moss in water overnight and then spread it on top of the seeds. Expect the seeds to sprout in about two weeks.

How to Harvest:

The carrots are ready to harvest when they’ve grown to about ¾ of an inch across the top (just below the green stem). If you can’t see the carrot itself, gently brush aside some soil around the stem.

To pick the carrots, grab them firmly at the root and wiggle them around a bit, then pull straight up. If you find that the soil is quite hard, water it and then harvest. Once the carrots have been pulled from the soil, remove the greens immediately, wipe off any excess dirt, and let them dry before storing them in the fridge.

2. Lemons

Lemons from Meghalaya

Lemons are full of flavours with zero calories and rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Lemons also help stimulate the liver to dissolve uric acid and keeps it healthy. The citric acid of lemon juice helps in treating scurvy. Indeed, lemon is healthy and easy to grow at home.

How to Grow:

Take a clay or plastic pot. It must be slightly larger than the roots of the lemon tree. Make sure it has several holes in the bottom. Fill the pot with stones to allow air to circulate. Then use a potting soil mix specifically formulated for citrus trees. Place the plant in an area that receives 8 to 12 hours of sunlight each day. This will ideally maintain the temperature for the lemon plant. Water it regularly, be sure to keep it moist and not too wet.

How to Harvest:

Lemons are ready to be picked as soon as they turn yellow or yellow-green in appearance and the size is about 2 to 3 inches. You can also gently squeeze the rind and if it appears to be firm, it is ready to be picked. You can refrigerate the lemons to keep them fresh.

3. Mandarin

Mandarins are evergreen shrubs that first originated in the forests of China. Mandarins resemble the common orange in shape but is smaller in size and has a thinner peel. Mandarins are sweet, juicy and pleasant to taste. The antioxidants present in mandarin help boost immunity, while the magnesium content helps lower blood pressure. It also helps promotes weight loss!

How to Grow:

Take a dwarf mandarin orange for growing in a pot. The trees will grow best in spacious pots with drainage at the bottom, and in rich soil. They also require a sunny location, make sure to rotate the plant regularly to ensure that it receives sufficient light on all sides. Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. As the tree grows, their roots can, at times, grow through the drainage holes. If that happens then re-pot the plant to a pot that is 2 inches larger in diameter.

How to Harvest:

Mandarins takes 2-3 years to yield fruits. It should be harvested as soon as they turn orange. When the fruits turn orange in color, clip or carefully twist and pull the fruit from the tree. Make sure that the button at the top of the fruit remains intact.

4. Ginger

Ginger from MeghalayaGinger is widely used for its flavour-enhancing properties, it is a spicy superfood with innumerable medicinal benefits. It helps in calming nausea, motion sickness and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a natural fat burner, as it enhances heat production in the body, burning excess fat, thus, assisting weight loss.

How to Grow:

Planting ginger is easy. Simply take a chunk of ginger from your kitchen and cover it with soil in a container. Make sure to keep the fresh-looking part of the ginger bud face up. Place the container in an area that receives indirect sunlight and waits for new growth to sprout out of the soil. You’ll notice the roots start to grow into the soil. Keep the soil consistently moist so that it is never dried out.

How to Harvest:

Pull the entire plant out of the soil, cut off as much as you need, and then replant the ginger using the same process described above.

These are 4 healthy plants to grow at home.

Do you have any tips to cultivate edible plants?

Share it with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you. 

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