Oh, how COVID-19 changed the way Pinoys live their lives. Aside from shifting to work from home arrangements, meeting friends online, and going cashless with our purchases, another common culture transformation experienced in the Philippines since the pandemic is the plantito/plantita craze. Somehow, being in for a long-term quarantine phase suddenly drove hundreds into the gardening business while holed up in their own homes. Soon, more realized the many benefits of plants and just how easy it is to get into a worthwhile endeavor that turns green leaves into green paper.
For those who don’t have a green thumb or are still clueless about how to grow plants in their own backyard, fear not as we’ve come up with some of the easiest plants and vegetables to grow that will get you started on your own gardening business.
1. Lemon Balm
Let’s start off with an easy one. Lemon Balm is one favorite homegrown plant that emits the scents of lemon and mint in its green leaves which is perfect if you want to ward off those pesky bugs and mosquitoes that invade your household or brew some delicious afternoon herbal tea. This variety can grow upto 24 to 36 inches in height and grows easily in your backyard garden or on container pots.
Plant your lemon balms during the summer rather than on colder weather and space them at around two feet apart in your garden area that has partial shade from the sun. You may use some organic compost (a good and sustainable way to get rid of your organic household waste) or native soil so you can check the moisture every few days. Be sure to never leave the top inch of the soil dry and feed your lemon plants soluble plant food mixed with your water. By the time your plants reach 8 inches you can harvest a third of its leaves which you can either sell to other enthusiasts or use for food.
2. Bay Leaf
Who doesn’t want plants and herbs that are readily available when they get an itch to create those gourmet dishes in the kitchen? Part of why the plant craze swept the nation is how many found convenience in growing a variety of herbs and veggies in their own backyard. Grow a higher yield and you get to sell some as well! For both purposes of selling in demand spices and having them around the house, the Bay Leaf is definitely one of the best ones to grow in your garden.
Some of the goodness Bay Leaves can give growers include great essences and aroma to soups and stews, plus good doses of Vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium among many other minerals. Did you know you can brew them as delicious tea as well?
Some also think they can only grow Bay Leaves on trees but you can actually grow them indoors as well. They can also withstand both cold and warm climates (but thrive more in warmer weather) which makes them easier to grow than others.
To grow Bay Leaves indoors, simply plant them in a pot with well-drained soil and some compost and water them regularly. Be sure to prune the shrub from time to time as they can quickly grow taller and propagate them via cuttings during the summer season when they can most thrive, and set them in a container without soil. Bay trees grow quicker than most and produce a good amount of leaves you can both sell to other enthusiasts, probably quicker than you can cook that delicious caldereta!
Another perennial plant that belongs to the mint family and perfect for a gardening business is sage. It’s famous not only for its use in poultry dishes but for its medicinal values as well. This herb is a good antioxidant, soothes common aches and pains, and effectively fights infection, making it a good household remedy in a jiffy! No wonder many have suddenly propagated and sell sage for a few extra bucks. They are easy to grow in weeks, can either grow on garden soil or container pots, and have numerous valuable properties for common ailments.
It’s always good to grow sage under the full rays of the sun because it thrives in dry soil rather than sit on wet ground. To make things easier, buy starter plants and set them two feet apart in soil with a temperature of not more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can plant them near other veggies except cucumbers because sage can stunt its growth. Sage can grow upto a feet tall so if you are growing them indoors, be sure to prune the heavier stems first and water the younger plants regularly.
4. Tropical Veggies
Way before the plantito/plantita fad many of us, particularly those in rural areas, have already been planting vegetables in our own backyards for a more sustainable way of growing produce and cutting down on food costs. When some of our favorite celebrities like Mylene Mendoza, Cheska Kramer, and even Zsa Zsa Padilla resorted to planting veggies in their homes during the health crisis, many followed suit and soon– our markets are awash with those plump, fresh, and colorful veggies that are sure to make you say ‘yum’!
For such common Pinoy favorites like Pechay, Ampalaya, Talong, and Kamatis, there isn’t much hassle entailed in their planting, caring, growing, and harvesting. Pechay germinates on a seedbox which you will then transplant after it grows some height, and when watered regularly will yield a good harvest in a month. Ampalaya seeds can also be planted on a seedbox or directly beneath the soil, and when properly watered and fertilized, will be ready for harvest in three months. The same goes with talong and kamatis— you first grow them on seedboxes, transfer them to a soil garden when they are large enough to plant, and harvest their produce after three to four months.
One essential way to ensure that your vegetables grow without hitch and are safe from external factors like bugs, wind, and the sun is by securing your garden or greenhouse with shade nets like the ones available at Philippine Ranging Nets. That way you can control your backyard’s temperature and regulate how much sunlight your veggies receive daily.
While there are certainly more plant species out there you can grow in your own backyard, these ones are some of the easiest for those who are just starting out with their own gardening business. With today’s many resources on growing even the more complicated types, anyone can develop a green thumb and do more good for other enthusiasts, the environment, and their own pockets just by putting your heart into it!
Check out quality gardening essentials and tips from Philippine Ranging Nets! Send them an email at [email protected] or call +63977 007 0228 to know more.
Check out Philippine Range Nets and our line of greenhouse shade net products by sending us an email at [email protected] or by calling +63977 007 0228 for orders and more information!