We’re finally getting some growth happening on the allotment. There’s always that period of time at the start of spring where you think that the seeds you’ve planted have failed and that the fruit bushes you cut back last year have died from over-pruning.
Nothing seems to happen for ages – the onion sets and garlic cloves are planted over winter, the seed potatoes go in for your first earlies, beetroot and parsnip seeds are trickled into neat lines and covered over to withstand the weather.
Just when you think that you might have planted everything too early, or that your batch of seeds must have been a dud, a little leaf starts to peek through the soil. Yes, the potatoes are coming up!
And the beets! And the raspberry canes are back! Phew.
This is the time of year that I really like on the allotment – when plants begin to grow and carry with them the promise of a summer full of yummy produce.
But you don’t need to have ordered loads of seeds in advance to be able to grow your own veggies at home. In fact, it’s possible to regrow veg using kitchen scraps. I’ve seen so many videos online that show lettuce regrowing from just a stump and using an avocado stone to grow into an avocado tree (apparently it takes years so I haven’t given this a go!)
Regrowing veg from kitchen scraps
When you’re eating a head of lettuce, celery and cabbage that you’ve bought from the supermarket, you can cut off the leaves, leaving a couple of inches of stumpy base. You can then regrow more leaves from the stump by placing the root base into a bowl of water. Change the water regularly and new leaves/celery sticks will begin to sprout from where you cut the first lot of leaves off.
You can also get free seeds to plant in your veg patch using veggies that you’ve bought from the supermarket, such as tomatoes, peppers, chillis, pumpkins and more. You just need to scrape out and dry the seeds before sewing them in pots of compost and letting them germinate on a warm windowsill.
We’ve done this for a few years, using tomato seeds, peppers and even a melon! I wasn’t sure if it would be successful but by the end of last year, we were eating melons and peppers that we had grown from seeds saved from shop-bought produce.
Of course, there are other things you can grow from seed in this way, such as apple and plum trees etc but of course, it’ll take loads longer to grow a fruit tree from seed – but it can be done!
Also, all the garlic cloves we’ve planted this year have come from the garlic bulbs we grew last year – we saved some cloves for planting and we’ve been eating our way through the rest.
One thing that I didn’t find particularly successful was growing ginger from a root. The plat itself grew nicely but then the root seemed to shrivel up in the soil and it was barely a crinkly stump by the time we went to harvest it. So no ginger for me this year…
Let me know if you’ve tried regrowing any other shop-bought veg or fruit in your own kitchen garden in the comments below, I’d love to hear your ideas and how successful it was! 🙂
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