Sustainable Gardening from your Scraps
It's amazing that more and more of us are exploring our green fingers during the Coronavirus lockdown, and starting to grow some herbs, fruit and vegetables at home.
However, with some garden centres closed and some with long queues, it can be difficult to get hold of the seeds or seedlings that you need. Fear not - here are five things you can grow at home by using scraps from your own cooking. Some will have you replenishing your fridge as quickly as a week or two, whilst others are for the longer term.
1. Spring onions - you need to submerge the root ends into a glass of warm water. Within a few days, you'll witness some new growth. Plant them in in a pot (a few cm apart) and enjoy watching your new batch of spring onions grow. Quick, easy and they'll be ready for next week's meals!
2. Celery - not everyone's favourite veggie, but we know it's good for us so we persevere! Cut the stems of celery to leave 'the butt' (the wider bottom bit!). Place the celery butt in a deep plate / shallow bowl with some warm water in it. You'll see roots start to emerge in about a week, at which point you can transfer it into soil (with the only the new leaves sitting above the soil level).
3. Pak Choi (or Bok Choi for our North American friends) - you use exactly the same method as the celery for this one. It may take slightly longer for roots to appear from the butt once it's in the saucer of warm water (up to 10 days), and then you can plant away to enjoy quick growth of new pak choi leaves.
4. Basil - Take your packet of supermarket basil, make sure all stems are facing the right way up, and remove bottom leaves. Keep them soaked in warm water until you see roots start to grow (it can take 2-4 weeks so stay patient and change the water every 1-2 days to prevent rotting.) Once you can see roots of at least 2cm, plant them straight into soil and watch them flourish!
5. Carrot tops - when you chop your carrots, keep a chunky bit of the top aside. Place them in a saucer of warm water, until you see roots emerging in 1-2 weeks. You should also start to see some greet shoots during this time. Once you have roots and green shoots, plant the carrot tops into the soil and watch the green tops flourish. These are surprisingly nutritious (high in calcium and Vit A), and make a great substitute for parsley. You can also find an easy carrot top pesto recipe here.