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Home gardening tips: 17 Veggies you can grow in buckets

If you live in a small home or apartment, you don’t need to give up your dreams of having your own garden or growing our own vegetables. You can start your journey to self-sufficiency by growing nutritious vegetables in a bucket garden. Here I have some awesome tips to do just that! Growing your veggies using bucket or pots are an awesome way to get started. 🙂

Tips for starting a bucket garden

Once you get your food-grade buckets, prepare them for planting. Drill or punch a few holes in the bottom of the bucket. One hole about every three inches should do it.

Leave about two inches of loose gravel in the bottom of the bucket for better drainage. Then fill the buckets with a high-quality potting soil mix that includes peat moss and compost. Leave enough room for the plants themselves.

Plant either seeds or starter plants in five-gallon buckets. Water your crops well and check for the soil’s moisture level for further watering. Container plants usually need daily watering during summer because they can dry out rapidly.

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Here are 17 of the best vegetables to grow in five-gallon buckets:

Beans

Both pole beans and bush beans will grow well in buckets.

Pole beans, which are tall, vining beans, need trellis or pole supports for the vines inserted into the bucket before you sow the seeds to prevent damage.

Bush beans, which leaf out, not up, don’t require support. Try growing three plants per bucket.

Beetroot

Beetroots adapt well to buckets. Sow some seeds every couple of weeks from spring through early July for a continuous harvest.

Carrots

Standard carrots need a deeper container other than a bucket, but some short varieties will thrive in containers. Sow seeds at least two to three inches apart and keep the bucket in a sunny location.

Chilies

Chili plants thrive in warm and sunny areas, but they can adapt to a bucket kept in a sheltered spot that receives direct sunlight. Keep buckets indoors if there is any chance of frost.

Cucumbers

Bush-type cucumbers can be grown in five-gallon buckets full of a light, rich blend of compost, peat moss, or coconut coir and perlite. Water well.

Add a trellis or a tomato cage to help the cucumber plant grow up, not out. Water cucumbers thoroughly.

Green onions

Green onions, also called spring onions or salad onions, don’t need deep soil, making them perfect for bucket gardening. Sow onions half an inch deep into a bucket every few weeks from early spring through fall if you want a season-long supply.

Keep green onions watered in hot, dry weather.

Herbs

Kitchen herbs like mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme will thrive in a five-gallon bucket. You can let one plant spread and grow in one bucket.

Keep basil and coriander on your kitchen windowsill.

Lettuce

Most types of lettuce will grow very well in a five-gallon bucket. Plant as many as four heads per bucket.

Melons

Melons need space to grow so it’s best to plant only one melon plant per five-gallon bucket. Select dwarf bush varieties that will grow well in containers.

Okra

A single okra plant can grow well in a five-gallon bucket. Use well-drained soil and add holes in the buckets to make sure water is adequately draining as the plant grows.

Onions

Regular onions can be grown in buckets, but they need at least three inches of open soil around them to develop properly. Leave two to three onions per bucket.

Leave the bucket where it will receive plenty of light and fertilize regularly.

Peppers

Sweet peppers like Bell-Boy, Gypsy and Sweet Chocolate and hot pepper varieties such as Cubanelle, Jalapeno and Red Cherry grow best in buckets. Grow one plant per bucket.

Potatoes

Potatoes can grow in buckets because they need depth, not space.

Radishes

Plant at least 10 radish plants per five-gallon bucket. Sow the seeds about one inch deep and an inch apart. You can harvest the radishes after over a month. Re-sow for a continuous supply of radishes.

Swiss chard

Sow Swiss chard seeds an inch deep and thin out the seedlings as needed. Harvest regularly and cut away the outer leaves first.

Tomatoes

Cherry or bush tomatoes grow well in containers. Tomato plants require even watering.

Tomatoes are very susceptible to frost. Fertilize with high-potash fertilizer designed for tomatoes for better yield.

Support the plants with stakes or a cage as they grow. Water thoroughly but don’t leave puddles because the tomatoes will crack and split.

Zucchini

Zucchini plants need space to grow so choose compact zucchini varieties such as Eight Ball, Geode, Jackpot hybrid, or Raven.

Use food-grade buckets to grow vegetables in your own garden even if you don’t have a lot of space at home.

For more Home gardening tips Check out these awesome tips and tricks to start planning on how to grow your own garden with what you have.

How to grow lettuce in small spaces

Growing plants in a container is an awesome way for many people living in apartments or who have limited gradening spaces. It is also a good way to grow vegetation, as the containers can be brought indoors during the colder weather and left outdoors during spring.

Lettuce, a cool-season crop, develops best in cool but not chilling temperatures. Growing plants in containers also allows you to control weeds and pests more easily than in large gardening spaces. Not to mention, it affords you quick access to leaves for your salads.

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Choose the right container

Lettuce requires the right type of containers to plant them in. They need ample room for roots, but you can also grow several varieties in six to 12-inch pots. Lettuce can be grown in plastic or terra cotta planter pots, but you have plenty of other choices because they don’t require more than four inches of soil to anchor and thrive.

You can even grow lettuce in plastic gallon bottles that have openings on the sides. Buckets, large coffee cans without their lids, hanging baskets, boxes or even large plastic cups are all on the table. A four- to six-inch container can hold up to three lettuce plants.

Lettuce needs a consistent supply of moisture due to their water content, but it is important to note that they cannot tolerate wet roots, either.

Clay pots provide a permeable surface that allows excess water to evaporate. It also prevents soggy roots. Just make sure that there are adequate drainage holes in the type of container that you choose.

Use professional soil mix

Use professional soil mix for planting lettuce in containers. This mix is formulated to hold water and provide more nutrients for your vegetation. This mix is usually peat or compost soil, and has either vermiculite or perlite to help with water retention.

Depending on the size of your container, choose a lettuce mix labeled “cut and come again.” These offer repeat harvests. Other varieties that are good for small spaces include Black Seeded Simpson and the red or green oak leaf types. Moreover, loose-leaf lettuces are better suited for pots than head lettuce.

Growing lettuce in a container also needs attention and management. Planting lettuce in garden containers can be done by direct sowing or transplants. Once you have your soil ready, fill up your container almost to the top, leaving at least an inch of space for watering. Leave more at the top if you plan to mulch.

Transplanting lettuce heads

Before transplanting your lettuce heads, add half a tablespoon of time-release fertilizer per gallon of soil. Transplants should be buried a quarter of an inch deeper than they would be in garden soil and set six to 12 inches apart. Seeds can be sown when soils are not frozen at half an inch deep and four to 12 inches apart.

When growing lettuce in containers, always remember to water them. Lettuce has shallow roots and responds best to consistent shallow watering. Plants that are grown in the garden need at least an inch of water per week, but lettuce in pots needs a bit more.

Use a hydroponic system

You can also plant your lettuce using a hydroponic system. Start by using a storage bin that is at least 18 by 24 inches in size and holds up to 10 gallons of water or more. Mark eight evenly-spaced drill points on the lid and use a two-inch hole saw to drill holes in them. Add water until it is just one inch below the lid.

Mix the lettuce formula with two warm cups of water. Use a Masterblend Lettuce formula and Magnesium sulfate in the first cup and add calcium nitrate in the second cup. Follow the instructions on the packets for the best ratio. Stir until the chemicals fully dissolve. Add the mixes into the bin and stir.

Plant your seeds in a coco coir and place them over the holes of the container. Place outside or under grow lights. You should have lettuce in four to five weeks.

When harvesting, cut the outside leaves of loose lettuce when they are young. The leaves will then grow back and you can cut away the entire plant. Remember to cut them when they are tender as they are quick to “mature” and tend to become bitter.

Check out Gardening for more tips on planting in small spaces.

Common household materials that make good organic fertilizer

Organic gardening is a good move. And if fertilizers are ever in short supply or outrageously priced, you’ll have some readily available options from around the house you can use instead.

Why is fertilizer necessary?

Dead soil equals dead plants.

On the other hand, living soil is full of nutrients and organisms integral to garden health.

Plants need certain nutrients to live and grow. To get these nutrients, they take them out of the soil. As a result, nutrients in the soil are depleted and must be replaced somehow.

Companion planting and crop rotation are two ways to replenish nutrient-depleted soil. Fertilizer is another.

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What nutrients are needed in the soil for plant growth?

There are three main groups of nutrients that healthy garden plants need in the soil:

Primary nutrients (which plants need in large quantities): Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K).

Secondary nutrients (which plants need in smaller quantities): Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S).

Micronutrients (which plants only need in trace amounts): Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Manganese (Mn), Chlorine (Cl), and Molybdenum (Mo).

If a plant doesn’t receive these nutrients in the amounts they need, it won’t reach its full potential and may even die. So for your garden plants to be their best, a steady supply of plant food is a must.

What nutrients does MY soil need?

To know what your soil needs, you must test it. Otherwise, it’s just a guessing game that will likely result in money wasted on unnecessary fertilizers and plants that don’t develop to their potential.

Soil test kits for home use are readily available. Alternatively, contact a Cooperative Extension Office.

The results tell you what nutrients your soil lacks. This information, combined with what you want to plant, provides direction on the amount and type of fertilizer needed.

However, if the fertilizer you choose is potentially harming soil microorganisms while it’s replacing nutrients, well, you can see the problem.

What’s the difference between synthetic/chemical and organic fertilizers?

Short answer: Chemical and synthetic fertilizers feed the plant. Organic fertilizers feed the soil.

The advantages and disadvantages of synthetic/chemical fertilizers

Synthetic/chemical fertilizers are the fast food of the plant world. They’re designed to address the nutritional needs of the plant. The nutrients they put back into the soil are highly absorbable and contain specific nutrients in specific quantities.

However, they also have a lot of negative side effects.

For instance, they mess with the soil ecosystem; they’re typically quite acidic and hostile to beneficial microbes and other organisms. In addition, they’re harmful to people and pets, and they’re damaging to the environment.

As if that wasn’t enough, because they feed the plant, not the soil, they must be reapplied during the growing season unless using a time-released variety.

The advantages and disadvantages of organic fertilizers

On the other hand, organic fertilizers are part of the slow food movement. They have soil health uppermost in their minds, releasing nutrients over a more extended time. All those wonderful microbes and organisms we want living in our soil are more likely to thrive from a steady supply rather than bingeing. Soil structure and water retention can improve also.

It’s a matter of opinion whether the downsides to organic fertilizers are indeed disadvantages or just inconveniences.

For example, choosing organic is not a quick fix. It means you’re in it for the long haul. Some nutrients must be converted into a usable form for plants by those soil microbes. Concentrations are unlikely to be as high, and composition won’t be as precise as synthetic/chemical.

But like I said, these are only disadvantages if you’re looking for immediate results.

What materials can be used as organic fertilizer?

Here are some common materials that can make a great organic fertilizer. Some provide a very balanced mix of nutrients, and others will give you a few specific nutrients to target a deficiency. But, again, soil testing provides direction on your soil’s specific needs.

  • Material from compost supplies your garden with a very good mix of the nutrients it needs. It’s the single best thing you can do for your garden. For best results, make sure you add both green materials (things like kitchen scraps, which are high in nitrogen) and brown material (things like dried leaves and shredded cardboard, which are high in carbon).
  • Worm composting is a cool variation on the traditional compost heap. Adding certain worms to your compost helps break down the organic material faster. A regular compost heap might take months, but a worm composter takes mere weeks.
  • Chicken droppings don’t have to be just a smelly mess. Droppings can be an effective, reasonably balanced organic fertilizer for your garden. Don’t let this valuable resource go to waste if you have chickens as pets!
  • Coffee grounds sprinkled onto your soil supply nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. Dry them first. Remember, though, that it could alter the pH of your soil. Ask for free coffee grounds at Starbucks or other coffee shops.
  • Ash from your fireplace dusted on soil contributes potassium and calcium carbonate. This, too, could change the pH of your soil.
  • Epsom salt supplies magnesium and sulfate to the soil. This is especially important with tomatoes, potatoes, and roses.
  • Powdered eggshells sprinkled onto your soil increase calcium carbonate (also known as “lime”). You can find eggshells that can be shipped to your door here.
  • Mix seaweed and water and let it sit for a few months to create a fertilizer high in potassium. You can also get some seaweed that is ready for your garden now.
  • Pine needles supply nitrogen. They also could alter the pH of the soil.

Why is soil pH important?

The pH of your garden soil determines the availability of nutrients for plants. If the soil pH is off, plants may show a deficiency in a nutrient even if that nutrient is in the soil. This is because the plant can’t access it because of the pH.

Whether a fertilizer raises or lowers soil pH depends on the soil’s original condition. For example, an item with a pH close to neutral, like used coffee grounds, will increase the pH of alkaline soil but decrease the pH of acidic soil.

Remember that soil testing kit I mentioned earlier? It’s your friend.

A Cheaper, Easier, Healthier Option

Using these everyday items as plant food for your soil is a cheap and easy alternative to synthetic chemical versions. In addition, choosing organic fertilizer is a small way to help to make the world a healthier place.

However, fertilizing is just one piece of the gardening puzzle. To learn what all the pieces are and how they combine to help you prepare for and create your best garden yet, check out these gardening tips here: GARDENING TIPS: 10 WAYS TO IMPROVE SOIL FERTILITY

What kind of organic fertilizer do you prefer?

How to care for succulents and keep them alive

Here’s how to care for succulents, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got a green thumb.

Everyone should know how to care for succulents. After all, these small, sweet plants can make a huge difference to your indoors. Whether they’re scattered around your home office, or dotted around your bedroom, succulents can improve your mood and give your decor a more natural finish. And while some can be very hardy, they still need some regular TLC; otherwise, you’ll end up looking for tips to save a dying plant.

That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide on how to care for succulents. We will look at what you should be doing, as well as what you need to avoid. So whether you’re new to the succulent-world or you’re a regular aficionado, there’s something here for everyone. Here’s how to care for your succulents and keep them thriving.

How to care for succulents

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1. Give them enough light — It might sound like common sense, but plants do need light to survive. So if you shut your succulents in an enclosed bathroom, they will inevitably die. Ideally, established succulents should get about six hours of full sun first thing in the morning, followed by partial shade for the remainder of the day.

If your succulent is more of a sapling though, too much sun can do some damage, so reduce the exposure as necessary. It’s also worth flagging that some succulents do require more light than others, especially those from the southern regions, such as cacti and yuccas. On the other hand, low light succulents also exist, such as snake plants and aloe vera.

2. Keep them watered and fed — An obvious point again, but many succulents are killed by either over or under-watering. And with so many being such a small size, this can be very easy to do. Succulents will naturally need more water in the summer, and less during the winter months. For general guidance, watering in the summer once a week is good practice, while as little as once a month may suffice in the winter.

You can always check how dry the soil feels using your finger — if the top inch feels dry, then it’s time to water. If you’re new to succulents, it’s also a good idea to use pots with drainage holes. This prevents you from over-watering, and you can re-use any excess in the tray on other succulents. You can also add a small amount of fertilizer during the spring or summer months to help with growth. We recommend Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food ($8.40, Amazon).

3. Watch the temperature — While succulents are pretty hardy, few will survive temperatures which drop below freezing, so keep them tucked up indoors during the colder months. Likewise, if the temperature is too high, say above 90°F, this too will kill most succulents.

Ideally, you want the temperature to range from 40-80°F for your plants to stay happy. But, remember, the higher the temperature, the more often they will need watering.

4. Rotate your pots — Wherever you’ve placed your succulents, odds are one side is not getting as much light as the other. Over time, this can result in your succulent growing in the direction of the sun and “leaning.”

Preventing this is easy: Simply rotate your plant every so often to give the other side some sun. This makes them look better and gives their growth better support.

5. Keep pests at bay — While you might think indoor succulents will be free from pests, think again. Gnats and mealybugs are attracted to damp soil and fertilizer, which can make them an unwelcome guest on your succulents.

First, you need to isolate any plants which show signs of infestation and clean the area to prevent it from spreading to others. Next, mix up a solution of one part 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and one part water. Then spray the soil as well as any pests you can see on the leaves to kill them. Make sure the succulent is free of pests before putting it back with the others.

6. Use the right soil — Soil does matter and you might be using the wrong stuff. You need a soil which isn’t too dense and allows for fast-draining, which means everyday compost won’t work. Instead, buy a dedicated succulent soil, such as The Succulent Cult Store’s Organic Potting Soil ($9.89, Amazon).

You should look to repot your succulents every two years; you should do this during its growing season. Just be careful with the roots, as these can easily be damaged.

7. Give the leaves a once over — It’s always annoying when you notice dust building up on the leaves. Some of us won’t do anything about it for fear of damaging the plant, but this myth needs to be busted.

Excessive dust can actually slow the growth of your succulent, so you’re better off getting rid of it. Plus, the colors will look much better without it. All you need to do is wipe the leaves down every so often with a damp microfiber cloth. You can also use a brush to reach any tight spaces.

For more planting tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out- Gardening


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HOW TO STORE FRESH CILANTRO

Are you a fresh herb lover? Have you ever wondered how to store fresh cilantro and other herbs a way that will help last them longer? There is an easy way to store leafy herbs that can make them last up to 6 weeks!

What’s the secret? Treat bunches of cilantro just like you treat fresh-cut flowers!

Like a florist, you need to trim the ends of your leafy herbs, place them in fresh, cool water and store them in a fridge. Once a week or so you need to replace the water and retrim the ends. Freshly trimmed ends will be able to absorb more water, allowing the herbs to stay fresh.

You can loosely cover your herbs with a plastic bag once they are trimmed and in cool water. I use a disposable bag from the grocery store vegetable section (I usually get one with my cilantro).  Or ziplock bags work as well Herbs can also be stored uncovered. See which works well in your fridge, it depends on the humidity in your area.

My cilantro lasts a LONG time with or without a plastic bag cover. Just remember to trim it regularly and keep the water fresh. This storage tip works with many leafy herbs. Check out my parsley!

My current batch of cilantro, can you believe it is more than six weeks old? No slime in sight!

I hope you try this technique to make your fresh herbs last longer!

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GARDENING TIPS: 10 WAYS TO IMPROVE SOIL FERTILITY

Gardening tips: 10 Ways to improve soil fertility

Starting your own garden is exciting, but it can be disappointing when soil quality becomes a problem and you can’t grow anything. If you’re having issues with your home garden, check your soil quality and try some of the suggestions below to improve soil fertility.

Understanding soil fertility

Like people, plants need nutrients to grow healthy. Fertile soil has all of the nutrients plants need to grow, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Fertile soil also contains other nutrients like calcium, copper and magnesium.

Soil fertility is influenced by organic matter, pH levels, moisture and nutrient retention. Fertile soil also contains beneficial microorganisms, minerals and helpful insects like earthworms that aerate the soil.

The soil on the forest floor is a good example of fertile soil. It is usually dark, brown or black. It is also loose, rich and has an earthy smell.

Infertile soil, on the other hand, is usually hard, dry and difficult to dig. It might be pale, barren and causes water to run off instead of sink in.

Compaction, erosion and pesticide use can affect soil’s natural fertility. Growing the same crop in the same space over time can also reduce fertility and increase the presence of disease.

Soil type can also affect soil fertility. Your garden may have either clay soil, sandy soil, loam soil or silt soil.

If your garden soil does not have a well-balanced texture, you’ll have trouble with soil fertility. To ensure success in your garden, you need to determine what type of soil you have.

If your soil is unfertile, make amendments to its texture to improve soil fertility. The best kind of garden soil contains a mix of clay, silt and sand, which makes up loam. Use this jar test to determine your soil texture.

Factors like density, moisture content, organic matter and pH may affect soil fertility. If your garden soil is too compacted, water and air will not be distributed evenly throughout the soil. This is bad because it will hamper the growth of microbes and restrict the movement of nutrients in the soil.

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Testing for soil fertility


You can test your soil fertility through your local agricultural extension office. The soil test will help you understand how to address issues with your garden soil.

Try the earthworm test to check organic matter in your garden soil. It’s best to do this test in spring when the soil’s temperature has reached 50 F and its surface is moist.

Use a shovel to dig up about one cubic foot of soil. Put the soil on a piece of cardboard then break it apart to look for earthworms.

If you find at least 10 earthworms, your soil is healthy. If your soil has fewer than 10 worms, add more organic matter like aged manure, compost and leaf mold. Organic matter improves structure, slowly releases nutrients and increases beneficial microbial activity in garden soil.


10 Ways to improve soil fertility


Try these 10 suggestions to increase soil fertility in your home garden.

1. Amend soil texture

Once you confirm your soil texture, try the following amendments.

Clay soil

If you have hard clay soil, rainwater might run off. Amend clay soil by adding plenty of organic matter. Continue to add compost or mulch every year to build soil texture and fertility.

Sandy soil

Amend sandy soil by working several inches of organic matter into the soil. Continue to mulch throughout the year. Use cover crops like oats, rye, or sweet clover to build soil and soil fertility.

Silty soil

Amend silty soil by turning over the top layer of soil regularly. Add compost or aged sawdust and don’t overwater silty soils.

2. Plant deep-rooted plants

If your soil fertility is low, growing certain plants can help. Plants with deep tap roots can draw up minerals and nutrients from below the soil’s surface.

Once these plants die, the minerals and nutrients are returned to the soil near the surface where smaller plants can access them. The deep taproots also add aeration and channels in the soil that will provide water and oxygen to the plants you will grow.

Beneficial deep-rooted plants to grow in your garden include borage, comfrey, dandelion and yellow dock. Both borage and dandelion are edible and all four plants can bring up nutrients and minerals from the soil into the plant. Eventually, the plants will be composted or turned under to fertilize the soil.

3. Avoid tilling

Tilling breaks up the soil in your garden. It’s useful if you need to break up hard clay, turn the soil over and mix weeds and grass down into the soil.

However, tilling has its disadvantages. Tilling the soil can disrupt the natural processes of soil systems and reduce soil fertility.

The tiller will disrupt the natural bacteria in the soil by disrupting the air pockets and porosity of the soil, making it impossible for soil bacteria to survive.

Tilling also stirs up dormant weed seeds. Once this happens, weed seeds will reach the surface, grow and steal the nutrients that your crops need.

4. Liquid compost (compost tea)

Compost tea helps add plenty of nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to your soil. Either buy liquid compost or make your own compost tea.

5. Use a broadfork

If you need to break up garden soil, use a broadfork. This tool opens the soil up and is more friendly to natural bacteria and insects than a tiller.

A broadfork creates more aeration in the soil while a tiller creates less.

6. Mulch with hay

Note that commercially grown hay is treated with herbicides and pesticides that are bad for your garden soil. When mulching with hay, use organically grown hay.

7. Add sources of phosphate

Add phosphate to garden soil by using mineral sources like soft rock phosphate, hard rock phosphate and colloidal phosphate. These sources work best when added to manure and allowed to compost.

8. Add sources of calcium

Use lime to add calcium to the soil and moderate soil pH. Alternatively, you can use gypsum if your soil needs calcium and sulfur.

9. Add sources of potassium

Granite dust is a source of potash, but it doesn’t break down completely in garden soil. Instead, use glauconite, a slow-release mineral that allows potash to slowly break down into the soil. Note that glauconite can be rather expensive.

10. Use sources of nitrogen

Improve soil fertility by adding kelp meal directly to your soil. This option is expensive, but seaweed contains magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and sulfur.

Blood meal is also expensive, but it has a high nitrogen content. Use blood meal sparingly to avoid burning your plants.

Fish meal or fish emulsion is also high in nitrogen, but some gardeners don’t consider it organic because it contains additives.

Before you start a home garden, test soil quality and boost soil fertility by using amendments and growing deep-rooted plants.

Do you have any more tips and tricks for gardening? Feel free to leave a reply I would love to know!

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HOW TO REGROW YOUR VEGETABLES AND HERBS FROM SCRAPS AT HOME

HOW TO REGROW YOUR VEGETABLES AND HERBS FROM SCRAPS AT HOME

Regrow your vegetables and herbs from scraps at home

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Lemongrass

Lemongrass grows just like any other grass. To propagate it, place the root end (after you’ve cut the rest off) in a glass jar with a little water, and leave it in a sunny position.

Within a week or so, new growth will start to appear. Transplant your lemongrass into a pot and leave it in a sunny outdoor position. You can harvest your lemongrass when the stalks reach around a foot tall – just cut off what you need and leave the plant to keep growing.

Ginger

Ginger is very easy to re-grow. Simply plant a spare piece of ginger rhizome (the thick knobbly bit you cook with) in potting soil with the newest (ie. smallest) buds facing upward. Ginger enjoys filtered, not direct, sunlight in a warm moist environment.

Before long it will start to grow new shoots and roots. Once the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, roots and all. Remove a piece of the rhizome, and re-plant it to repeat the process.

Ginger also makes a very attractive house-plant, so if you don’t use a lot of ginger in your cooking you can still enjoy the lovely plant between harvests.

Garlic

You can re-grow a plant from just a single clove – just plant it, root-end down, in a warm position with plenty of direct sunlight. The garlic will root itself and produce new shoots. Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all its energy into producing a tasty big garlic bulb. And like ginger, you can repeat the process with your new bulb.

Mushrooms

You can grow mushrooms from cuttings, although they are a bit more difficult than many other vegetables. You will need a warm area with a lot of humidity and soil that is rich in nutrients. It is much better to grow your mushrooms in a pot as opposed to in the ground because you have a better shot at controlling the temperature and the humidity. You just have to cut away the head of the mushroom and plant the stalk or stem in the soil. Leave the very top exposed and this base will begin to grow a new head.

Onions

Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to propagate. Just cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a ½ inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny position in your garden and cover the top with soil. Ensure the soil is kept moist. Onions prefer a warm sunny environment, so if you live in a colder climate, keep them in pots and move them indoors during frostier months.

As you use your home-grown onions, keep re-planting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never need to buy onions again.

Peppers

You can grow a number of hot peppers from the seeds that are leftover. Just collect the seeds from your habaneros, jalapenos or any other peppers that you have on hand. Plant them in potting soil and keep in direct sunlight unless it is warm outside and then you can just plant them in your garden area. Peppers grow relatively fast and don’t require a lot of care. Once you get a new crop, just save some of the seeds for replanting again.

Leeks, Spring Onions, Scallions ,and Fennel

You could go out and buy some vegetable specifically for growing but I like to wait till I actually have a call for them in my cooking. With all 5 of these examples you will use the end of the vegetable with the white roots.Take the left over white roots and place them in a container with a small amount of water in it. You want the roots to be wet but you don’t want the entire thing submerged. Take your container and place it in a sunny window sill. I’ve actually grown green onion scraps in a fairly shady window on the north side of our house, your success may vary. I like keeping some in a window in the kitchen for my morning eggs, and in my office for snacking on (the wife loves kissing me after that). Within 3-5 days you will begin to see new growth come up. Remove the produce as you need and just leave the roots in the water to continually harvest your kitchen scrap crops. You should refresh the water weekly to keep the plant healthy.

Romaine Lettuce, Celery, Bok Choy & Cabbage

Just like the scallions, you will take the white roots of these vegetables to grow your produce. By cutting of the stalks or leafs with an inch or more and placing them into a bowl of water with the roots facing down you will be on your way. You want to make sure the roots are in water but you don’t want to submerge the entire plant. Make sure to place the bowl into a sunny window and spritz it with water weekly to keep the top of the plant moist.

Several days later you will begin to see the roots and leaves sprouting. 7 to 10 days in remove the plant from the water and plant it into soil with only the leaves above the soil. Your plant will continue to grow and in several weeks you will have a new head ready to be harvested.

If you want a different way to go with your pant you can try planting directly into the soil, skipping the water staging step from before. Keeping the soil from drying out will be very important that first week.

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