9 Foods You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps

Are you growing an edible garden? One easy way to save money is to grow some of your plants for free. How? From leftover food scraps that are often thrown away!

9 Foods You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps | The Micro Gardener

9 Foods You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

 

You may already be composting your kitchen ‘waste’. That’s a great way to build a healthy soil. However, it may save you money to be selective before throwing everything into your compost system. There are many plant parts that can help you propagate new plants. For minimal effort and no cost.

 

Why Should You Only Regrow Organic Food?

  • First, a word of warning! For health reasons, I suggest you select organic vegetables, fruit and herbs. Too expensive? So is the cost of poor health! I think safe food is one of the best investments we can make.
  • Sadly, non-organic produce is grown using chemicals. Not just one spray either. It’s commonly a cocktail of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and other -icides. These are applied during the growth cycle and even after harvesting. These are often systemic chemicals. That means you can’t wash them off the skin. The chemicals are absorbed internally into the plant tissues through soil and water. Root crops like potatoes are especially vulnerable. Other crops are genetically modified or imported and radiated.

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How to Choose the Healthiest Seedlings … and NOT buy duds!

If you’re serious about saving money in your garden, then growing plants from seed is definitely the smartest choice.  It’s about 10 times cheaper than buying seedlings!

The reality is though, we’re often busy and don’t always have the time, knowledge or space to raise plants from seed. If you do buy seedlings, how can you avoid wasting money on unhealthy ones or those that are destined prematurely for the compost? Photo: Susy Morris

The reality is though, we’re often busy and don’t always have the time, knowledge or space to raise plants from seed. If you DO buy seedlings, how can you avoid wasting money on unhealthy ones or those that are destined prematurely for the compost?

 

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and been seriously cheesed off after ending up with ‘dried arrangements’ not long after planting what appeared to be ‘healthy’ new seedlings!

 

Dead plants give a new meaning to 'thin & crispy'!

I hate wasting money and time on plants that cark it with no warning – especially when I give them my usual love and attention.

 

I figure ‘failures’ are  just learning opportunities! So over time, I’ve done some digging to find out what contributed to my unplanned compost additions. I hope sharing my experiences will help you avoid ‘dried arrangements’ at your place … (more…)

The Benefits of Moon Gardening

I’d like to share a secret I use in my garden to get great results. Strong, healthy happy plants. This ‘secret weapon’ saves me a LOT of time and money.  It’s moon gardening or planting by the moon!

Learn the Benefits of Moon Gardening and how to work with nature's moon cycles to boost your success

Discover the Benefits of Moon Gardening and how to work with nature’s moon cycles to boost your success

OK, ‘moon gardening’ may sound a little strange if you’ve never heard of it before! Stay with me and I’ll reveal the secret in more detail and how YOU can use this to your advantage.

You are probably already familiar with your climate zone and are planting in the right season for your location. One easy way for you to maximise your gardening success is by working with nature’s lunar cycles. By that, I don’t mean getting outdoors with a shovel in the middle of the night! Moon planting has been practiced by farmers and gardeners who were in tune with nature’s patterns. In our busy modern world, many gardeners have lost sight of this age old science-based technique.

 

“Gardening by the moon has been practiced for many thousands of years and is not about planting at night but about being in harmony with natural growth patterns.” – Sheree Scott

“Gardening by the moon has been practiced for many thousands of years and is not about planting at night but about being in harmony with natural growth patterns.” – Sheree Scott

 

How Does Moon Gardening Work?

The moon has four ‘phases’ or ‘quarters’ – each last about 7 days.  (more…)

Do you Know What to Plant When?

Planting in Season for your Unique Location

One of the biggest challenges in gardening is learning what to plant when. To save time and money and get the best results, it’s wise to plant in season.  That simply means that you work WITH nature to sow or transplant when the weather and season is most favourable to growing what you want to plant.

Learn the right time to plant in your zone - it will save you time and money! | The Micro Gardener

Ever had a seedling or plant die shortly after planting? Your climate zone and time of year can play a big role in gardening successfully.

 

How to Determine What to Plant and When

  • Know your zone – Climate zones are generalised because seasons can change quickly. They can arrive early or late – or not at all!  If you are not sure already, find out which climate zone you live in.  This will help you choose the best plants for your area and learn the correct sowing time.  (more…)

Planting Tips to Save You Time & Money

Thrifty Ways to Buy, Sow & Plant

These are a few tips from my personal experiences to help you get the most out of plants you grow and cost you less.

  • Be Prepared: Prepare your garden bed or pot before choosing the seeds, seedlings or plants that suit your climate zone.  Check the amount of space you have available before planting. Some plants need more ‘personal space’ than others so avoid buying more than you need or have the space to grow.  There’s nothing worse than coming home with an armful of seedling punnets and watching them become ‘dried arrangements’ by the front door because you weren’t ready to plant them!  I’ve learned my lesson by composting too many ‘mistakes’!

 

Shallots are the lead actor in this edible micro garden - I prepare my potting mix first before rotating the food crops I grow in this productive small space.

Consider the space you have to work with: I chose shallow rooted edibles like tatsoi, parsley, baby spinach, marigolds and skinny chives and spring onions which could all share this pot comfortably!

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DIY Fertilisers – How to Use Banana Peels

Want to save money in your garden and grow healthier plants?  One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your own free DIY fertilisers with organic materials and household food waste, including banana peels. A sustainable solution!

 

DIY Fertilisers - How to Use Banana Peels to Feed your Plants for Free

DIY Fertilisers – How to Use Banana Peels to Feed your Plants for Free

 

Tips for How You Can Reuse Bananas

Like all plants, bananas contain important nutrients. You can recycle these back into your garden to build soil and plant health.

Bananas are rich in minerals including:

  • Potassium. This mineral helps promote general plant vigour; build up resistance to pest and disease; is necessary to help fruit develop; is involved in regulating around 50 enzymes in a plant; and relates to the turgor (or uprightness of stems and the thickness of cell walls) i.e. plant strength!  This is extremely important for plants like staghorns which literally hang onto tree trunks in nature and vertical vegetables like spring onions, leeks and fruiting crops.

 

Bananas are mineral rich and recycling the peels back into your garden saves money and returns these nutrients to the soil where they can benefit other plants. This is NO WASTE gardening!

Bananas are mineral rich and recycling the peels back into your garden saves money and returns these nutrients to the soil where they can benefit other plants. This is NO WASTE gardening!

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15 Helpful Design Tips for Vertical Gardens

Important Factors to Consider with Vertical Gardens

 

To help you decide what kind of structure to use for your vertical garden, consider these practical design tips:

 

Vertical gardens can be anything you imagine. Take some inspiration from these ideas to start your own project.

This garden gate has been used not only for functional vertical growing space with a mounted planter box filled with flower pots but also a handy place to hang some garden art.

 

1. Don’t overlook your garden entrance: A gateway is usually the point of entry and the place where you make first impressions!  With a little imagination this space can be another creative vertical garden.  (more…)

Ten Water Saving Tips for Your Garden

Are you struggling to keep a garden alive in a dry climate? On water restrictions? Have limited access to water? Want to save time and money? I know what it’s like to grow food and an ornamental garden in difficult conditions and have discovered many simple ways to solve this problem.

10 Water Saving Tips for Your Garden - Water-wise ways to save time and money

10 Water Saving Tips for Your Garden – Water-wise ways to save time and money

The cost of this precious resource is rising all the time. We can all tread a little lighter on the planet by taking a few moments to re-evaluate our garden design and watering habits to eliminate inefficient practices that waste water … and reap the benefits at the same time!

How to Save Water in Your Garden

Here are my ten water saving tips to help you conserve and manage water efficiently, put money in your pocket and garden more sustainably:

 

Water Saving Tips for your Garden

Take a moment to rethink how much water literally goes down the drain at your place. Pick one of these ideas to start saving time and money in your garden.

 

Water Saving Tip 1:  Water Pots in the Afternoon and your Garden in the Morning

Research* shows that the timing of when you water pot plants during the day can have a significant effect on plant growth.  The potted plants used in the research were grown in pine bark based potting mix (which is not only commonly used in the nursery industry, but also is a popular choice for many home gardeners.)  Pine bark based potting mixes however, have low moisture retention properties, meaning pot plants dry out more quickly.

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