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If you have green hands, then this season might be the right time to put your talents to good use. Depending on the size of your space, you can have a mini farm or a medium sized one at the back of your house where you can plant varieties of fruits and vegetables. A garden can be a small space in one area of the home where there is fresh soil that can be used for planting. It might not necessarily be big but it must be open so that plants can have enough space to breathe and grow. There are different things you can plant in your garden depending on your choice, however, in Nigeria, these are the top five ones you should always have:

1. Bitter leaf plant: bitterleaf A real African knows the benefit of a bitter leaf plant. These come in handy whenever you need to cook bitterleaf soup or stew. It can even be used as a vegetable in preparing egusi In some cases, the bark of the plant is used as toothbrushes in the mornings and evenings as it is believed to wipe away dirt and stains from the teeth.

2. Tomatoes and peppers: tomatoes These always serve their purpose of preparing the red stew. Whether you need a little amount to complement your cooking or you harvest a large amount of them every week, tomatoes and peppers are a must have in your garden.

3. Mint leaf plant: mint Called efirin by the Yorubas, nchanwu by the Igbos and dai doya by the Hausas, this plant is a necessity for every garden. It effectively serves as a great spice in cooking delicacies such as pepper soup and yam porridge. Instead of dashing out to the market to get old or dried ones, it is better to have fresh leaves you can use from your garden anytime.

4. Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu): ugu leaves Now, the importance of having these leaves fresh cannot be overemphasised. In most Nigerian homes, the leaves are a necessary ingredient on the list, either to prepare vegetable soup/stew or to beef up an already cooked dish. In order to get the maximum benefit out of vegetables, research has shown that they must be cooked and eaten fresh. The longer the vegetable stays harvested, the more compromised its nutrients will be. Besides, fresh vegetables taste better than the old ones and that is why you must always have them in your garden.

5. Flowers: flowers A garden is incomplete without flowers. They are the colourful plants that lighten up the appearance of the place. From your garden, you can select beautiful flowers and use them to decorate various areas in your home. Flowers will greatly contribute to the beauty of your garden.

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This article was first published on 29th July 2016


Opoola Jelifat is a young and passionate writer. She holds a B.Sc degree in Microbiology and enjoys reading, cooking and writing on real life issues. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at the University of Ibadan. Contact her on, and via Twitter and facebook by clicking the icons below.

Comments (1)

One thought on “Five Types of Plants to Have In Your Garden”

  • Nice! I suggest Moringa plant to also be added to the list.

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