General ramblings

Waste Less Live More-Grow It

September 25, 2014

Thursday already, and today’s Be Resourceful Challenge for Waste Less Live More week is #GrowIt.

Grow it

I am the world’s worst gardener.
I kind of want to garden, and to be part of the whole Grow Your Own movement.
But I soon get frustrated when I realise that: I have no idea what I am doing/the slugs are eating everything/plants take time to grow and I am very impatient.

I attempted to start a whole Grow-a-long thing earlier on this year, hoping that it would force me to get out there and actually do some gardening, but it didn’t 🙁
I will, however, try again next year.

Gardening is good for the soul.
It’s a well known fact.
And growing your own food is good for the soul, good for the pocket, and good for the body.
Win Win.

I found this pinned up in one of the sheds at The Lost Gardens of Helligan in Cornwall

I found this pinned up in one of the sheds at The Lost Gardens of Helligan in Cornwall

If like me, you kind of want to garden, but you’re not really sure where to start, then here are some ideas:

  • Start small-pots of herbs on the windowsill are relatively easy to keep alive (except basil, our basil always dies…) and it is quite gratifying to be able to put fresh herbs into your cooking
    Not quite on the windowsill, but you get my point...

    Not quite on the windowsill, but you get my point…

  • I am told that cut and come again lettuce is the way to go for salads, but again, I always manage to kill ours. I have read that re-potting it into a bigger pot helps, so might try this next time
  • Join a Community Garden-that way you can just drop in whenever you fancy it, without having to deal with the guilt if it all dies. And there will probably be more experienced types there to help you out and point you in the right direction
  • See if you have an Incredible Edible type group going in your area-these groups commandeer unused public spaces and use them to grow food for the community-lots of Transition groups have projects like this going, and they are a great way to garden without the commitment
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  • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for the tips Vivienne! I know that once I get into it, I will love it-just need to get motivated to start!

  • Reply quarteracrelifestyle September 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    My husband was once upon a time the most unlikely gardener you could ever meet but once he did start he became obsessed and ended up digging up the whole section for food.

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:54 am

      I can see that this could be me. Once I get started I think I will love it, and probably be a teeny bit obsessed!

  • Reply Gail September 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Just realised the herbs growing in that pic are in old car tyres – I love that idea! The only herb that grows for me is sage – my garden is full of it. Everything else I’ve tried to grow gets eaten by slugs. I guess they don’t like sage. But I buy herbs from Asda when they’re reduced to 2p, so, ironically, buying works out the most frugal way for me.

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:53 am

      2p! That’s crazy!

      • Reply Gail September 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm

        I know! But a lot of supermarkets reduce food about to go out-of-date to crazy prices at the end of the day, to try to sell it rather than throw it out. 9:00pm tends to be the 2p time, if anything is left by then! I often get herbs for 2p.

        • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm

          Much better than it ending up in landfill 🙂

  • Reply Juhli September 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

    How about growing sprouts for salads or making a sourdough bread starter (growing yeast)? I can’t garden where I live either due to too many wild critters that eat everything except some flowers.

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I like the idea of sprouting things! Thanks Juhli

  • Reply emma September 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

    We used the cut and grow lettuce and re potted it. One lot we have in the conservatory is still going for our tortoise food.

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

      I really should try again with this!

  • Reply Jo September 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Runner beans are a great place to start – they are very easy to grow, but you do have to ward off the slugs and snails. I think they look pretty too with their little red and white flowers. And if you have a bumper harvest, you can freeze them 🙂

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Hi Jo

      We’ve done runner beans before, and you are right, they are easy to grow, BUT I’m really not a fan of eating them…!

  • Reply lesleygcooper September 25, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Jen, it might help to try the following. Get a packet of cut and come again lettuce. Sow a dozen seeds indoors, in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, gently holding the leaves, not the stem, pot them on to give them more space. Keep them moist, not wet. Once they have been in the same soil for 6 weeks, they will need feeding. In late May, plant the best six in the garden. Protect them from slugs in whatever way you want. Keep them moist.
    If you can keep them alive, you should be able to pick any leaves other than the central ones, and they should keep going for 3 or 4 months.
    Or get some watercress from the green grocer, choose a stem with rootlets on it and snuggle it into the surface of some potting compost. Keep it wet and it will root. You can do that any time of year. Keep it indoors until there are no frosts. It’s not supposed to be eaten by cabbage white butterflies, but mine is, so you may need to cover it with fleece to keep them off
    Once you get the hang of growing stuff, you’ll be fine.

    • Reply Jen September 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Lesley!

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