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First at the Party: 5 plants to grow outside in Berlin right now

Spring is a party that there is no shame in being the first to arrive at.

Though these early guests don't need to play it cool they thrive in early Spring cool temperatures. These plants are always welcome at any party because they grow easily, taste great and are fast to grow.

5 tasty plants available right now that you can plant outside. They are great for regular balcony boxes because they have shallow roots so you don't need anything fancy to grow them in. These plants only need about 13cm of depth to flourish if you keep them watered and grow in good quality Torf-Frei (peat free) compost. You can buy good Torf-Frei compost online from Bauhaus.

Make sure any container you use has plenty of drainage holes because as much as they need regular water they also prefer not to sit in a pool of water and they hate having wet feet.

These are great plants for the beginning of the Spring when the weather is still too cold to plant out favourites like basil and tomatoes. My tomatoes are still 2 cm tall right now and live in my lounge until at least the 15th of May after the last frosts (Eis Heiligen) have passed.

1 Radish. These are yellow radishes. Variety: Zlata. Super easy to grow from seed. Harvest in 3 weeks from sowing. These seeds are satisfying to grow because they sprout so fast. Eat the radishes when they are small for best fresh flavour or pickle larger ones. I make mine into Kimchi using THIS RECIPE.

Buy the seeds in any big garden centre or buy online- I get mine in Mc Geiz for 60 cents. Any radish will do great, these Zlata radishes have a clean flavour and crunchy texture. You can also eat the leaves in stir-fries.

2 Strawberry. Any type of strawberry is great to grow outside in shallow containers as long as they are watered regularly. You can buy plants now and expect first fruits in June (they take awhile to bulk up and fruit) Pictured here are Wild Strawberries that produce tiny fruits with a magical strong sweet flavour that is a huge flavour for such a tiny fruit.

3 Violets. Pictured here are the native Sweet Violets of Europe Viola Oderata. Relative of the big blousy pansy flowers you see for sale outside Lidl. German name for Pansies: stiefmütterchen. Violets have a beautiful fragrance and are 100 percent delicious as an edible flower in drinks and deserts.

You can buy them now in Der Hollander along with their vulgar Pansy cousins who are

also edible.

4 Ball carrots (thats not the name of the variety but any variety of carrot with this ball shaped root is easy to grow in shallow boxes) water sparingly and watch the weird carrots flourish ! how do you cook ball shaped carrots? I'm not sure so you tell me but I do know you should grow them from seed. Named variety: Parisien

5 Thyme. Hardy herb to plant out now. Water when the soil feels very dry. Buy as a small plant as seed takes a very long time to grow. You can also grow it from cuttings. Details on how to do that HERE .

Thyme has diverse kitchen uses and is also a powerful disinfectant. Bees love the flowers. Plant next to your fruiting plants to ensure good pollination by attracting the bees to pollinate your flowers so that you get fruit.

So that's it- an easy start to a party that can only get hotter!

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