Can't Kill This!

Calling all Black Thumbs.  These are the the plants for you.  These are my top picks for plants that anyone can grow, and great for beginners.

1. Parsley

It may sound boring to start with parsley but this will give you the confidence boost you need to get your garden started. Trust me! And even if you don't enjoy the taste it's a great garnish to brighten your plate.

Parsley is a deliciously fresh herb and it's so much better to have herbs "on tap" at home than to buy them from the supermarket and have them go mushy in the fridge.

Parsley comes in a number of varieties but the most common (and two I'd recommend) are "curly leaf" or "traditional" and "continental" or "flat leaf".
They grow really well from seed but you just don't need that much parsley in your life. Therefore I would recommend buying a single plant in a pot.

Choose your location wisely because parsley is an perennial plant meaning it will live for years. So plant it somewhere where you're happy to have it stay. Close to the kitchen is always a good idea.

Parsley can grow in shade but a partly shaded spot or full sun will see the best growth. It's not a thirsty plant but the more you water the more it will grow. It will survive frosts so is a great herb to plant in your garden now.


2. Rhubarb

Rhubarb would have to be one of the most cost effective vegetables you can grow. At $5 - $7 a bunch at the supermarket and only $20 for a plant, it's a really simple crop to have in your back yard.

Rhubarb will grow in full shade but you will get the best growth in full sun. In saying that though, you don't want to "waste" a full sun spot on #rhubarb if you're short on sunny patches so choose a partly shaded place for it.

It will happily grow in a pot or in the ground which makes it easy to find a place for it in your backyard. It also makes it a great balcony plant or one for a small townhouse.

Rhubarb is frost tolerant and will grow all winter long once established and happy.

It's very important when you harvest not to cut the stem but instead to twist and pull it off. This prevents diseases.

Rhubarb is a "crown" (like #asparagus and #strawberries) which means it doesn't grow from "roots" like a broccoli or a "bulb" like an onion but a circular disc under the surface. They can go dormant in winter but I found this past season that mine grew happily the whole winter through.

It's very simple to get started. Just purchase a rhubarb plant from your local nursery and plant it straight into a pot or the ground. It's best to let your plant grow and get established for a whole year before harvesting. So get yourself a rhubarb plant and invest in delicious crumbles next year.


3. Spring Onions

Following on from my two previous posts, here is another crop that you'll find hard to kill.

You can start this crop two ways: seeds or cuttings. Seeds are cheap to buy and you get good bang for your buck. Sow directly into the soil. I border my garden beds with spring onions because they not only look great but they are a pest deterrent.
The second option is cuttings which you can do by cutting the roots and about 2cm of white stem off store bought spring onions. You can pop these in a glass of water to sprout but I generally pop them straight in the ground.
They are ready to harvest whenever there are green stems big enough to eat. I recommend cutting off just what you need instead of pulling the plant out. That way it will just reshoot and you will have a continuous crop.
However each time it regrows it does grow back thicker and after a few regrows becomes tough. At this point I pull it out and use it in stock (or compost). Remember worms don't like to eat spring onions or it's relatives like onions and garlic. I then replace it with another seed or cutting.
Spring onions are frost tolerant and can be planted all year round. They will of course grow slower in winter.
Spring onions don't really have any issues being planted with another crops. They are a fast crop reaching maturity in a few months. They make a great intercropping plant which means they can be planted between other crops like lettuce or root vegetables because they are tall and narrow.
Try alternating them with radish between rows of lettuce for a great salad garden.
Perfect for container planting because they have small root systems and are small plants.
Pack them in! If you use seeds and they grow too closely then when it comes to harvest pull the whole plant instead of cutting. You can then chop these roots off and plant them elsewhere. 3cm apart is fine but don't worry about it too much.
Plant them after fruits (tomatoes/pumpkin) or roots (carrots/beetroot) and follow with legumes (beans/peas).

Can't Kill This!