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Thinking Green And Frugal In The Garden
Goodies From The Grocery Store
If you are one of the ones that eats organic produce but knows how expensive it is, then this post is for you! However, if you want to know the exact botanical names of what you are growing, then this post is not for you. This is for those who need to know a cheaper way to eat good food without chemicals.
Anything that is organic and has seeds can be used for the next generation of edible plants. If the produce is not organic, I do not waste my time usually, unless I am confident that they are not gmo produce. I buy an organic cantalope, for example, and let the seeds dry a few days on the counter and then plant. Tomatoes are a little different. I usually buy a nice heritage tomato and take one slice and plant it. I then use the rest of the tomato for salads. This will generate maybe 40 starts, as the seeds are so small. The main thing here is to use organic principles in how you raise them. In the case of the tomato, I have about 25 sturdy tomato starts from a slice of tomato after thinning out the weak and dying starts. This is taking GREEN to a whole new level.
Things like ginger and tumeric, for example, can be cut with an eye in each piece, much like a potato. Then you can plant and you can use as needed, just don't dig it all up at once.These are two things that I have never known to be gmo, so if you can not get organic, use regular and then just raise it with organic principles. Pots for roots, however need to be really large.
Produce that has a root end, like celery, lettuce, cabbage, onions, beets, and more can be re-grown for their greens. Cut off the root end of the veggie, but instead of throwing in the compost, you can put in some water. When the roots are strong and the green shoots start to grow. Plant in good organic soil and keep damp, but not wet. We usually keep a baggie over them till they have starts growing. Then we open up the bag and let them get used to the room. When they get to tall for the baggie, we remove it altogether.When you harvest, don't pull out of the soil, but rather cut off the top portion leaving some of the growth. It will just keep growing all season. Loose leaf lettuce will give you more loose leaf lettuce. Celery will have celery and celery greens. Yellow, white, purple, or little green onions will give you more green onions. They generally do not make new bulbs, though on occasion you will see a bulge and when you dig it up, you find an onion. Beets will give you beet greens etc.
The seeds that we order are then used to produce the crops that are root, like beets. But we also use a lot more greens than what we get off the plants. This allows us to double our greens production. Since we use pots for most things, then it is a frugal way of using our limited space. If you are growing for greens, then usually six-eight pots are enough to keep you in greens most of the time, as you just keep growing and routating the plants.
We also save seeds from year to year, so we seldom buy the same seeds twice. Buy using and growing what I can, I am able to spend less money on seeds. It also gives us the means to buy new things each year that we have not tried.
If you noticed that I have some date seeds at the back. In Florida, where I was, they grew outside quite well. Here in the Pacific Northwest they will require some type of a hoop house or green house. We will talk about growing tropicals in a different post. At the moment I have avocado seeds in water that are getting near to growing roots and sprouts. These will stay in the house till I have a greenhouse made. I have two date palms that are 6 years old that I am babying right now. I will not plant more till I have a good arrangement for these.
I hope this sparked some interest in being able to regrow produce from the market. There are over 65 things that can be regrown that I know of and then all the plants that have seeds. It is time for the frugal gardener to get ready for summer gardens. It all starts inside in the North Country