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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?

Nutritious and simple to make bread recipes

homemade bread is quite easy to make, even for beginners. But if you’re somewhat of a bread expert, you can always try recipes that require a bit of skill and technical know-how. So fire up the oven and try the following homemade bread recipes.

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No-Knead Bread

No-knead bread is not only convenient but also requires very few ingredients and equipment. It is also a perfect recipe for people with little to no experience baking. The preparation of the dough itself takes no more than five minutes.

Ingredients:

6 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine warm water, flour, yeast and salt until the mixture is sticky.
Let the dough rest in a warm area (near the stove or a preheated oven) until it doubles in size.
Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of four hours. You can also keep it refrigerated for several days.
Take out the dough and mold it on a floured surface according to the desired shape.
Let the dough rest. It should continue to expand. As it rises, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the dough is ready, make even horizontal or diagonal cuts across the surface. Transfer it onto a pizza stone or a cast-iron pan.
Place the stone or pan atop a broiler pan to create steam as the dough bakes. Steam keeps the bread crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Bake the dough for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown.

Seeded flatbread

Flatbread is a type of unleavened bread that only requires flour, water and salt to make. It is extremely versatile, as it can be served alongside meat, chicken, salads or dips. Plus, you can also introduce flavor and crunch to the classic flatbread by adding various seeds.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, mustard, coriander)
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the seeds and scallions.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir the mixture until a dough forms and you can shape it into a ball.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set the dough on a floured surface and divide it into four. Use a rolling pin to flatten out each piece until it is 1/8–1/4 of an inch thick.
In a cast-iron pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a piece of dough. Cook for about three minutes. Flip and cook the other side for three minutes more.
Repeat the process for each piece of dough.
Transfer the flatbreads onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt to taste.

Potato peel focaccia

This recipe introduces a clever twist to the classic Italian focaccia by using potato peels.

Ingredients:

1 cup potato peels
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter

Preparation:

Boil the potato peels for 20–30 minutes or until tender.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast.
Blend the peels and the remaining cooking water into a puree.
Pour the puree into the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms. Cover the bowl using plastic wrap or a large enough lid. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours.
Use olive oil to grease two large pie pans. Separate the dough into two equal pieces and knead each piece into a ball. Let the dough balls rest until each piece has filled its pan.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle the dough balls with olive oil. Sprinkle salt to taste.
Bake the dough balls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the pans and let it cool.

There is nothing quite like slicing into a piping hot loaf of bread to start the day. After all, bread is not only one of the most versatile sources of wholesome calories but also a powerhouse food. Fortunately, homemade bread is not only easy to make but also ridiculously delicious. It is also extremely versatile, as it can be paired with practically any dish, jam or spread.

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Here’s How You Can Optimize Your Natural Immune System

Natural immunity is our body’s natural system of protection against micro-organisms including bacteria, parasites, and viruses. We can protect ourselves against any number of pathogens.

This guide provides a basic outline of the immune system and an introduction to optimizing immune function through food, lifestyle choices, herbs, and supplements.

The immune system

The immune system is a multi layered shield for the body. It includes many types of cells that work together to fight infection and protect against disease. These cells identify, mark, and destroy pathogens.

The organs and tissues of the immune system are found throughout the body: 

  • Skin and mucous membranes
  • Lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels
  • Spleen
  • Thymus
  • Bone marrow
  • Tonsils and adenoids

The immune system produces specific proteins called antibodies that have several key roles in protective immunity and in response to infection.

A good-functioning immune system is critical for staying healthy. There is a considerable volume of science demonstrating how dietary and lifestyle choices, as well as certain food supplements and herbs, can improve the immune system.

Therefore, the potential of natural substances to strengthen the immune system has long been the subject of investigation, and this is supported by traditional knowledge in terms of the use of herbs.

We now know that optimal immune function requires optimal nutrition and that exercise, stress, sleep, and natural light exposure also play a functional role.

The food we consume

Foods we consume

It is important to know what you put in your body and to limit consumption of harmful foods, because they are lacking of nutrients. It’s also better to get the ingredients and freshly prepare food, because volume of vitamins and other micro-nutrients are reduced by cooking methods and storage.

Proteins and amino acids are necessary for antibody production and normal immune function along with vitamins A, B, C, D, E; minerals including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium; and essential fatty acids.

Fruits and vegetables are natural immunity superfoods and contain natural plant chemicals such as flavonoids. To break down food A higher intake of fruits and vegetables leads to a reduction in inflammation and enhancement of immunity, as shown in a systematic review and meta analysis of 83 studies

Organic Apples, citrus fruits, blueberries, onions, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, green tea, other teas, cacao, whole grains, and certain herbs and spices including thyme and turmeric are flavonoid rich foods. Flavonoids and a soluble fibre called beta-glucans help to reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system.

Oats, barley, and mushrooms are beta-glucans, as research shows. The beneficial effects of β-glucan-containing mushrooms have been long known and are traditionally utilized in Oriental medicine for strengthening the body’s immune system. Examples are the Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) of Japanese origin and Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum), used in Chinese medicine.

Kefir, live natural yoghurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut are probiotic foods that help to support optimal immune function by improving gut function and via immune modulation.

Exercise is good

Regular exercise, research shows, is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and countering the effects of aging on immune function.

Exercise strengthens the body’s ability to fight off infection. Regularly engaging in moderate exercise or even simple exercise is beneficial for immune defense. The key is to sweat for the release of unwanted chemicals. Everyone Notably, older adults and those with chronic disease benefit significantly with movement and regular exercise. 

Rest is best

Sleep and the biological clock, the circadian rhythm, have a significant influence on immune function. Diet and lifestyle help to regulate the biological clock and promote healthy sleep via the production of melatonin.

Soak up the sun

Sunlight enables the production of vitamin D—the sunshine vitamin, in the skin. A major cause of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate exposure to sunlight. However, vitamin D is available in some foods naturally—fish liver oil and fatty fish, and fortified milk products, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. An estimated 50% of people worldwide are vitamin D deficient.

Supplements are key

Vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc have been widely researched and used for natural immune support and optimization for years. 

Vitamins A, E and B complex, essential fatty acids, selenium, magnesium, iron and copper, beta-glucans, and flavonoids and a good quality multivitamin and mineral are especially important when diet is not ideal.

Probiotics can also be supplemented.

A cup of tea

Herbal remedies and teas such as green tea, mint tea, white pine needle tea, echinacea, and pelargonium can be taken to support and balance the immune system. They can also be used at the first signs of illness, such as a sore throat.

Elderberry has traditionally been used in reducing the duration of colds and flu.

Chronic stress has been shown to suppress immunity
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that include licorice, astragalus and ashwagandha. They have the unique ability to improve an individual’s ability to cope with stress by promoting the ability to adapt and therefore protect against all types of stressors including physical, emotional, chemical, and biological.

These herbs can directly modify the immune system, stabilize various physical functions, and bring things back into balance when taken in times of increased stress. They normalize the physiological process of the body and help the body adapt to change.

Astragalus is a Chinese herb that has been used over centuries for general immune support. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

Licorice is a well-known herbal medicine used worldwide over thousands of years. Accumulating evidence has shown its potential to balance the immune system. It also has natural antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

The immune system responds to the stress of challenging circumstances. Chronic stress can lead to increased inflammation in the body and is associated with activation of latent viruses. This explains the re-activation of cold sores (caused by the herpes virus) during times of stress.

Every person manages stress differently. Some are more able to adapt and cope with chronic stress than others.

frequency of exercise, and social support systems all have important roles to play. Certain nutrients are depleted by stress, and therefore those with poor nutritional status are likely to fair worse.

It’s time to optimize your immune system
Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, keeping stress levels low, and supplementing appropriately keep our immune systems supported and ready to fend off a host pathogens, including virus.

Trusting in God first overall who created creation and the herbs for the healing of the body.

It’s a blessing that God created our bodies to build its defenses against infection and create a harmony with nature without being directed by expensive pharmaceuticals. You are gifted with an amazing natural immune system that can be optimized to its full potential using the tools presented here.

If you found this article useful or know someone that it could help, please take a moment to share it! 🌿

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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