I always come up with new ideas and new things I want to learn (it’s just my brain type, I think!) and my latest challenge is to grow my own food!
I swear I always want to do this around August/Sept when it’s too late in the year to sow any seeds… But I’ve found a way round that…
Up until now I have been completely useless with plants, so don’t get disheartened if you feel like you’d never succeed at growing food.
I started right at the beginning by maintaining a cactus and one other easy pot plant! Once I could keep those alive I bought a mint plant from the supermarket which was about £1 I think. You can use the herbs straight away and if it’s watered and pruned when necessary, it continues to grow and produce mint leaves!
After this I was feeling much more confident, hah! So I bought some parsley seeds and popped some of them in a flower pot with some soil from the garden. I used no fancy food or compost, just soil and water. It took quite a while for the first shoot to appear but after that it grew really quick. I now pick leaves off to use in dishes and the plant is still thriving! I have so many seeds left as well, one packet will produce many months worth of parsley!
Herbs grow all year round so they can be planted whenever; just make sure they’re placed somewhere sunny. There’s also the option to buy ready made plants and maintain them. I now have mint, parsley and basil growing on the window sill and use them regularly when cooking. They taste so much better than dried herbs and look all pretty too!
Once I became confident in my herb growing abilities I moved on to veggies. There are a few vegetables that you can grow from cuttings, which is totally worth a try as it’s free and would only be thrown away otherwise.
I’m starting with celery as it regrows from the stump!
I cut the end off and placed it in a small bowl of water. As you can see, already the leaves in the middle are starting to sprout and this was only after a couple of days.
It’s supposed to take a week to sprout and then I’ll transfer it to a plant pot filled with soil. The whole celery should be covered, other than the leaves that sprout.
I’ve changed the water every couple of days and sprayed the leaves to keep them moist. If it’s successful, I’ll do a whole post explaining the process with photo updates!
Come on Mr Celery, grow!
Okay, so this is a big challenge for me! I bought chilli pepper and bell pepper plants from a garden centre in the hope that I can nurture them into producing peppers. This is how I found them so now I’ve repotted them and am keeping them watered. Hopefully the peppers will continue to ripen and after that, more should grow!
This is an easy way to start if you’re not sure how successful growing from seeds would be.
I’ll do a follow up post soon with updates but hopefully this has inspired you to start growing your own!
Also, here are some tips if you’re on a budget:
1 Set up a little compost heap in your garden. You can throw on any grass/leaf cuttings as well as raw fruit and vegetable peelings/leftovers. You can use the compost that will form instead of buying it from a garden centre. It breaks down quicker in a bin but a heap will work if you don’t have one.
2 Research which veggies grow from cuttings and give it a go!
3 Browse car boot sales for cheapy plant pots or ask friends/family if they have any old ones. I aim to get slightly broken, mismatched pots to add some personality to the garden!