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If you grow your own food, then you have the satisfaction of harvesting organic vegetables, which not only add to the beauty of your garden but also come with the promise of guaranteed supply even when the entire world comes to a halt.
The best part of the whole deal is that at minimum investments you reap maximum fruits. You do not have to worry about getting gardeners or buying seeds. The veggies and herbs in your kitchen are enough to kickstart an entire kitchen garden. In fact, we take you a step further and help you plant a garden with the food scraps from your table.
Interested? Read on!
Here are 7 vegetables you can grow from food remains that you’d otherwise throw out:
1. That dried out sprouted potato you were about to chuck out
- Cut the potato in two halves so that each part has at least one bud. Allow them to dry for a few days.
- Take a container about 2 feet deep (large plastic bags will also do) and pierce holes at the bottom. Fill them up with soil, cocopeat and some compost (till about 5 inches)
- Plant the sprouted potatoes and cover with another 5 inches of soil. Water them regularly to keep the soil moist. Place them in a cool spot.
- The potatoes should be ready for harvest within 7-8 weeks of planting.
Tip: Can you spare a potato? If the potato hasn’t already developed eye buds, store it in a cool, dry place. When it develops 3-4 buds, it’s ready to be planted. More buds mean more chances of a plant growing.
2. Squishy onions? Spare half a bulb and harvest fresh onions regularly
- Slice a small or medium onion from the root side. Make sure some part of the bulb is intact.
- Mix soil, compost and manure in a container and plant this bulb in it. Keep in a warm, dry place. Water it daily for about three weeks. Now, it should start growing shoots.
- Once the shoots are a couple of inches long, take the onion out of the soil and separate the bulbs.
- Now plant the bulbs separately in a larger container (or directly in ground). Make sure there’s sufficient manure or compost to keep it nourished. Water them every day for the following two months or so. The harvest should be ready within six weeks.
3. Dried chilli that adds no flavour? It can lead to many in your garden
- Take a completely dried red chilli and break it to remove all the seeds (please use gloves). Spread them evenly on a paper towel and spray some water.
- Fold the paper towel in half and then roll it up. Secure with a rubber band. Place this in a cool, dry place and spray water on it every day.
- After about a week, they will be ready for sowing. Take a container large enough to fit the paper towel (when unrolled). Add a good mix of soil and compost to it.
- Dig the soil about 2-3 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the paper towel (bamboo towel works even better). Unroll the towel in this trench so the seeds are exposed and cover with soil. You can also plant the seeds directly.
- Water every alternate day and keep the container in a warm place where it gets about 4-6 hours of sunlight.
- By the 10th day, the first set of leaves will appear. In about 2 months, the plant will grow 8-10 inches in height and start flowering. The first chilli bud should appear in the following 7-10 days.
4. Old coriander seeds with no fragrance? Plant them in your garden
- Take a handful of organic coriander seeds and spread them evenly on a plate. Break the seeds into halves.
- Prepare the soil with compost and sprinkle water on it. Dig a trench not more than 2 inches deep. Sow the seeds in straight uniform lines. Keep a distance of 0.5-1 cm between them.
- Cover with soil and press firmly. Water the seeds right after sowing and once every day. Within 7-10 days, the leaves will start sprouting. Initially, the leaves will be glossy, long and thick.
- By the third week, you should get a mild fragrance. By this time, the thick leaves will have turned thin. This is when they are ready for harvesting.
5. Mint stems to spice up your garden
- Select stems of mint (pudina) that have tiny roots sprouting. Place them in a glass filled with water at room temperature. Make sure they get proper sunlight (but not too much lest the water evaporates)
- Change the water daily and repeat for 7-8 days.
- Select a shallow pot which is 1-1.5 feet wide (mint spreads very quickly) and add a mix of soil, cocopeat and compost to it. Keep the pot in a place with adequate sunlight.
- By the 8th day, the stems should have roots shooting out. Plant them in the pot maintaining a distance of 15 cm between each.
- Water the plants every day. Keep the leaves trimmed so they spread horizontally.
- The mint leaves will start flourishing within a couple of weeks. Make sure you harvest no more than 1/3rd of the leaves at any point
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)