African winters are pretty mild on a scale from one to snowed in and in fact, winter is one of the best times to start a veggie garden in South Africa. For those looking forward to warm meals cooked at home with fresh ingredients from the garden or on your balcony, here are some ideas for seeds that thrive in cooler temperatures.

Broccoli:

Gone are the days when boiled broccoli was just a side-thought to add some green to the plate. Grilled with olive oil and sea-salt, sautéed in an Asian style stir-fry or the anchor ingredient to a four cheese gratin, this vegetable has certainly undergone gotten a boost in the trend department. Consider growing Purple Sprouting broccoli (a staple for many Asian dishes, you can use it raw in salads or cooked as a side to your main attraction) which is best sown in temps between 10 – 20 degrees.

winter vegetables

Radishes:

This edible root vegetable is most commonly eaten raw and the seeds germinate quickly, grow rapidly and thrive in cooler temperatures. While most of us are most comfortable eating it raw in a salad, these guys are pretty delicious on the braai with a nice layer of butter or oil and some salt and pepper too. Radish is also useful as a companion plant to other veggies in the patch because of its pungent odour that deters pests and insects. Radish Watermelon thrives in temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius as the cooler temperatures sweeten the fruit.

Kale:

From kale chips to shakes and juices, the health benefits of kale include a good dose of vitamins A, C and K as well as helping to lower cholesterol. A single raw cup contains almost 7 times the daily recommended intake of Vitamin K, essential in helping the body with blood clotting.

All these seeds are available from Raw Living at selected garden centres nationwide. For more information and tricks on planting your at-home vegetable garden visit the Raw Living SA Facebook page.