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every plant a garden must have

 
                                
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I am hoping to get a list going of the "must have plants" that will grow in my area, i stay in cape town south africa. I am especially keen on plants with multiple uses and plants with high yield.
Some that spring to mind:
Garlic - food / pest repelant / medicine
Comfry- bring up nutrients / catch snails under leaves / super charge compost.
Aloe vera - medicine / juice


Anyone feel like adding to this list?


I am also looking for a vine that will provide as much food as posible for my quale. Any ideas?

Keep well keep growing
 
Saskia Symens
Posts: 122
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books forest garden trees
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I look upon South Africa as one of the most blessed climates on earth. I think you can grow anything you fancy except things that need an annual frost to bear?
 
                            
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im on other side of planet but anyway i would for sure ad those (if ever possible):
- netles (great source of minerals also good as starter fertilizer for young vegetables). if you dont have them around you can transplant piece of soil with roots and put in shady place in garden, not near vegetables because it spreads slowly...
- nasturtium (tropaeolum maius) good pest repellant
- tobacco also
- horseradish (good vitamin source also best way to preserve food is with smashed horseradish roots, reppels some pests)
- basillycum, lemon grass, mint, origano and other spices
for vines i guess grapes would be good, just try to pick right sort, theres hundreds of them, depending do you want to eat them, make vine or something else. in mediterranean region theres wild asparagus growing, im eating lots of it if i can find in march and april, doesnt need any maintenace if climate is suitable....
 
                                
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Great advice hvela, i am definately going to use grapes, horseraddish  and mint. Tobacco isnt going to be used though (i cant think of a plant man should stop using more than tobacco)
I am also looking for a nice wind resistent legume that has a nice yield that will live near my apple tree. Any sugestions?
 
                            
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i have never used tobacco in any form but since very soon im going to move to place in mountains, for sure i will start planting it if climate allaws. by accident for a moment i live in area where tobacco is traditionaly grown for a while, theres even village named after it. and i dont see anything wrong with plant itself, otherwise nature woudnt create it anyways. i would just adwise you to take some unprocessed dry tobacco and burn it, than compare the smell of it will smell of cigarettes. you will notice difference for sure. we live in world of all kind of deceptions, and i also untill recently strongly believed in this one of biggest lies ever, that tobacco itself is bad. now i dont think this way.
for legumes - you have to be more precise, do you need legume tree or legume greens? legume trees usualy dont provide much food, at least i dont know any. here is full of pseudoacacia that has lot of benefitial sides (good wind barier, nitrogen-fixing, grows fast and can be good for establishing food forest, also good lumber source), but is not native plant and in many areas destroyed natural biodiversity. im planing to use it but after some years i will cut it all down.....
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Flat-leaf parsley and dandelion for nutrition. 
 
                                
Posts: 62
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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Calendula.  I never have enough each year, and so next year I am giving a large space over to this simple little flower with many uses.

Tami 
 
Leila Rich
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Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Broad beans, aka fava beans. They might well not like your cimate, as they enjoy cool weather. Nitrogen fixing, provide really early bumblebee forage, fresh and dried beans, high-carbon mature stalks  for mulch and compost.
I assume there's a  legume with similar properties that likes it warmer.
 
Charlie Michaels
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Lovage is something I think every garden should have. Medicinal and highly useful in the kitchen.
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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French sorrel. Sorrel soup is really tasty, and the sorrel sure does thrive 
 
                                
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Is calendula for bites and skin problems, or does it have other uses?
Do you use dandelion all in one space or spread it around the garden?
 
Hugh Hawk
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
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So climate in Cape Town is "Subtropical Mediterranean" according to Wikipedia.

As Leila Rich suggests, broad beans are a good winter crop for this climate, which I share.  But they are hardly wind resistant.

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a good productive summer nitrogen fixer.  I grew this last summer and it showed good growth with little to no irrigation, despite some over 40 degree weather.  They will blow over in the wind but tend to sprawl anyway so this doesn't pose any problem.

Borage is a must-have plant for generating high amounts of biomass, pollination and accumulating Silicon & Potassium[1].

For wind resistant tree legumes you might want to look at acacias.  The seed can be harvested by you or poultry[2].

Sunflowers are a must-have in my garden for insects and seed production.  Maximilian sunflower is a perennial species which also has edible seeds but I don't think they have been bred to produce as well as the annual kind (yet...).

1. http://oregonbd.org/Class/accum.htm
2. http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd21/7/simo21105.htm
 
                            
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i would for sure grow lots of chickpeas and peanuts in your place, maybe even lentills, they have very small plant so i guess it wouldnt be problem for wind.... if irrigation is problem you can still have some leguminose crops but non-edable, like lotus corniculatus, which is 100% drout tolerant...  i dont eat soy and i dont recommand it but also good nitrogen fixer and pretty much drout tollerant also....
 
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