Taking care of a vegetable garden, whether in the garden or on the balcony, brings joy. Seeing the seedlings grow and enjoying their beauty and their fruits is therapeutic, it frees the mind from anxieties and worries and brings out talents and resources that we never imagined we would have. Not only that, garden plants are also valuable sources of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that we can have available even without leaving home! So let's see growing tips, properties and uses of three very special seedlings, chives, parsley and raspberry.
Don't be deceived by pure appearances! Chives may not be among the most beautiful and ornamental aromatic plants to grow, but their long stems are a true concentrate of health and taste making chives an essential choice for the vegetable garden or balcony. Chopped and added raw on the dishes, chives give a special note to vegetable dishes, salads and sauces. In the healthy food section you can find the delicious eggplant recipe with ginger and chives, don’t miss it! Chives are antimicrobial, proving capable of inhibiting Escherichia coli, but they are also antioxidant, therefore useful to counteract aging processes, and anti-inflammatory (Rattanachaikunsopon et al, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2008 - Parvu et al, J Physiol Pharmacol, 2014). Counteracting the chronic inflammatory processes taking place in the body is really essential to keep the immune system healthy and to prevent it from weakening! As for cultivation, chives are perennial. It means that they should not be replaced every year but grow again after the winter stasis. Chives live well both in the sun and in shady areas, they should be watered a lot especially on hot days to keep the soil moist but stagnation should be avoided. This plant, generally, is not affected by particular pests but also removes those of other plants so it is useful to keep it among other more delicate plants.
Parsley is a very versatile seedling, widely used in cooking to flavor pasta, fish and vegetables. Parsley is also a very simple plant to grow and also very generous. Once cut the needed twigs, others will grow very soon. The soil should not be dried but irrigated frequently to keep it humid, however stagnation should be avoided. This aromatic seedling is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic and counteracts kidney stones (Al-Yousofy et al, Am J Clin Exp Urol, 2017).
There is nothing better in the summer to go out in the garden or balcony as soon as you wake up in the morning and collect fresh raspberries for breakfast! So, let's not miss this special plant. The raspberry takes up little space but requires water to grow well and in a healthy way, in addition, since the seedling rises in height and fears the strong wind it is good to place some tutors. The raspberry is then pruned by removing the branches that have produced fruit. Finally, as regards the harvesting, there are two types of raspberry. The re-flowering raspberry, which begins to bear fruit in June, then stops and starts again in August until October, and the non-re-flowering raspberry, which instead bears fruit for a limited period of time, generally a month, but is characterized by a very abundant harvesting. In fact, this latter species of raspberry is perfect if you want to prepare jams. As for the properties, raspberries are not only tasty but also healthy. They are in fact antioxidants and anticancer (God et al, Nutr Res, 2010), counteract chronic inflammation and can contribute, within a healthy diet and lifestyle, to keeping blood sugar under control (Schell et al, Ann Nutr Metab, 2019).