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Budget Vegetable Gardens From Kitchen Scraps


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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:59 pm    Post subject: Budget Vegetable Gardens From Kitchen Scraps Reply with quote

Budget Vegetable Gardens From Kitchen Scraps
By Ron M Williams

It does not matter whether you put your kitchen scraps in the compost or the bin, did you know that you could grow many of your favourite fruit or vegetables from those scraps. Indeed, unless your compost is very well matured you will find stray veggie seedlings may appear wherever you deposit the compost.

. Potato peelings, photo / pic / image.


Take for instance those potato peelings, if it is a fairly thick section of peel with an eye (shoot), then you can often get these to grow into full potato plants. Another indication that a potato is only good for planting or throwing out is the colour. If the potato is starting to look fairly green on the skin then DO NOT EAT, as it is an indication that it is producing a poisonous substance common in the nightshade family to which it as well as the tomatoes, chillies and capsicums belong. You can also get sweet potatoes and taros to grow from sections of the tubers.

Have you ever tried to plant or thought about trying to plant the seeds from a particularly nice tomato, capsicum (pepper), chili, watermelon or pumpkin? While any plants grown from such seed may vary quite a lot from the parent fruit, you can still achieve fairly good results from them if you are on a tight budget.

The plants grown from seeds of many of your kitchen scraps will not produce fruit to the same high standard as the original fruit/vegetables because of the complicated interbreeding programs put into place by the big seed companies. However the progeny can give a very wide range of resulting offspring. But if you come across one or two particularly good plants in the resulting season, then reuse the seeds of that and always-in future pick the best fruit from the best plants for your future propagation material.

Though there are some veggies in the kitchen where it is not possible to grow them from the seed in the fruit. These are those vegetables where the edible fruit is still in an immature state and the seed is not yet viable. These fruit/veggies include the cucumbers, okra and squashes to name just a few. This is because the fruit when it reaches a stage where the seed is viable is just too big and coarse for human consumption.

If you leave the top of a pineapple out in a shady spot for a week or so during warm weather, then strip back the lower dead leaves. You may even notice some small juvenile roots already forming at the base of the plant top. One thing to remember with pineapples is that it is a species of bromeliad. And as such it requires the same moist but well drained growing conditions.

When the garlic cloves are starting to get a green sprout coming out of the top, it is a pretty good indication, that it might be a good idea to plant them out individually for a good harvest in about 8-10 months time of this fairly expensive herb plant.

Treat it like any member of the onion tribe, because they like moist, well drained soil and a fair amount of feeding during the growing season. Harvest as the tops are dying back. But let them dry out in a cool but airy place, before you try to use them back in the kitchen.

. Corn on the cob, photo / pic / image.

Another fruit/vegetable along a similar line is corn, try leaving a fresh, uncooked cob of sweet corn in a shady dry spot for a couple of weeks, then you can strip the kernels away from the cob and plant them. A quicker suggestion is to grab a handful of corn kernels out of a packet of popping corn, The only comment would be that corn grown from these seeds would not be as sweet or juicy as sweet corn, and in reality would be better dried and used as popping corn.

Why not try growing your own peanuts? Always only using the raw nuts, and only choosing those nuts, which are still whole and encased in the brown skin. Peanuts can be grown during warmer weather in most parts of Australia. One of the fascinating things about peanuts is that they are one of the only plants which flower set fruit and then bury and pre plant their own seed ready for later germination. Yes the peanut, which is dug from the ground, is actually a fruit buried by the parent plant, after flowering.

You can always grow your own ginger; all it takes is a section of the root, purchased from a greengrocer. Plant it in a well drained but moist soil. Allowing plenty of room for the plant to spread out. You can be harvesting your own ginger roots within about 8-12 months.

Whether you have got a long fence, chicken pen or an unsightly shed to cover, why not try planting a choko. The Vine can be very prolific, as long as you keep the moisture and fertilizer up to it.

Though once it is established, it can be left to fend for itself, and will still produce a steady supply of fruit for the family. If you have a few dollars why not look at purchasing some of the heritage or heirloom seed ranges of Fruit and vegetables. Many seed firms as well as organizations like the Seed Savers Network have many fascinating and unusual varieties of plants available for the home gardener to grow.

Of course once you have various plants growing in your veggie garden don't forget to keep some propagating material back ( whether it is root sections, seed or divisions), for future plantings. Also you should think about letting certain plants like lettuce, parsley and basil go to seed, for planting later. I regularly have to weed my lawns around the gardens for rogue seedlings of the above plants. Such spare seedling weeds are easily replanted or swapped with other gardeners for plants I don't yet have, or given to school and/or charity plant stalls. It is useful to have weeds that other people want and are willing to pay for.

While it usually not a good idea to try and propagate most of the tree fruit, simply from a time perspective and again because the results can also be very variable. It is still interesting to try even if you only end up getting a pot plant out of the results. It is possible to grow the seeds of such trees as mangoes, citrus, avocado, apple, pear, etc. While the fruit of some species simply have no viable seed at all eg, bananas. There is however a few, which readily lend themselves to home propagation eg, pawpaw (papaya), tree tomatoes, unroasted coffee beans, etc. I remember as a child, accidentally germinated a coconut palm, from throwing the mostly eaten out shell onto a garden bed for a few months.

Another suggestion for those of you out there, who are visited by birds to your garden, why not take a handful of birdseed and plant it out in an out of the way section of your garden. These bird friendly plants like Sunflower, oats, sorghum, etc, can be a real bonus for many native birds to supplement their diet. Many of the seeds in any packet of birdseed are very viable.

When my kids were younger and I was showing them such wonders, I used to have trouble convincing them that I could not do similar things in growing and multiplying with a variety of items of importance to them at the time, from toys to chocolate, lollies and even coins.

The Bare Bones Gardener is a qualified Horticulturist and a qualified Disability Services Worker. One of his sons has Asperger's Syndrome and he has Asperger's himself. He hates spending money on stuff which doesn't live up to the promises given. So he looks for cheaper, easier, simpler or free ways of doing the same thing and then he passes these ideas on to others. It's a website where you will find a strange mix of Gardening & Horticulture, Disability & Carer work and Parenting of Disabilities & Someone with Asperger's Syndrome stuff all rolled into one.


Website -http://www.barebonesgardening.com/

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Joaney
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Strange plants underneath bird table. Reply with quote

A very interesting topic. Last year I noticed alot of strange plants growing around where I feed birds your topic could explain that. Nice one.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:55 am    Post subject: eh? Reply with quote

ya just throw some of those `GM` modified unpopped popcorn out upon the grass.... what the x?

joaney, how are you? you bet me to it. the reason i signed up was to reply to this post.

i could'nt agree with you more about the bird seed. i notice some interesting varieties of crop growing under the bird feeder. but irelands gm free ain't it? i should not have to worry about these kinds of things, should i ?
animal feed?! microwave popcorn?! bla bla?

ah, sure sit down now and we'll have a wee cuppa tea?

does anybody have a clue? all it seems we can stand by, are our principles. which in ireland amount to a few spuds and a pint of guinness.

but now adays were more preoccupied with paying mortages, bigger newer cars, suv's and a whole lot more....

whats going on?

well.

if i am to believe anything that subconciously occurs or floats past my brain.

what?

i'd hate to point out the obvious.

but whats the point?

lol

b

xx
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verge
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know brien, is it any wonder why people with your views are fighting a long and hard battle, with an attitude like that. But then again you probably like a struggle, especially one against modern life as you post swear words on an internet forum using a microsoft account. As you said yourself, i'd hate to point out the obvious. irony.
Thanks a million for encouraging everybody to plant more native trees and to grow their own veg. Rolling Eyes

ps. I don't pay a mortgage, My car is neither big or new ('99) or an suv, but I do like spuds, popcorn (popped in a saucepan preferably) and a few pints of guinness.

pps. the user name brien is now available again for anyone who wants to use it.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Budget Vegetable Gardens From Kitchen Scraps Reply with quote

No! I don't want or need the handle "Brien". Be the hokey, verge you saw that fruitfly off the allotment in short order. You weren't taking any prisoners back in Feb2008? I've been using the google search facility on this here site tonight and do you know what listeners? It's as good a surf as Kilkee or Lahinch any day. But I never expected to find Verge wielding his billhook on a pillhook (Is that a reserved word. In Irish it's síobhra?)

The lead-in post by GPI is worth another airing. I've been doing what GPI says all my life. Just yesterday I sowed the seeds of a pepper (capsicum) we had for dinner the day before. And that brings me to my enquiry. Allowing the seeds take does anyone out there know whether I'll be able to transplant the seedlings if and when they come up? I've never grown capsicum. But I can't seem to find any transplanting info on google for capsicum.

By the way Joaney, are you still gardening away in good ole Luimneach thíar?

PS: barebones is now at http://barebonesgardening.blogspot.com/

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Horticultural garlic Reply with quote

Hi,

I was watching gardeners world last Friday and they were planting garlic. They said they were planting horticultural garlic. I have planted the grocery stuff before and done quite well, but had some rubbish years too. My soil is quite claggy. Could the problem be the soil, or the fact that I am a cheapskate!

When the garlic was successful it tasted better than the shop bought stuff.

Thanks,

Anthony

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

most if not all the capsicums available in the supermarket are grown from F1 hybrids. The seeds out of these fruits will produce plants but will not produce very reliable or true to type fruits. The result could be very disappointing. The plants could be quite healthy and vigorous but not productive. This is a frequent mistake with beginners.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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anthonynolan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:47 pm    Post subject: Garlic Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

you mention capsicums, but does this also apply to garlic bought in the shops? The shop bought garlics have not produced a lot over the years and I would like to dig them up at this stage rather than waste the space. I have a very small veg patch. I am just not sure if it is the soil or the bulbs I am planting that are causing the problem.

Thanks,

Anthony

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Horticultural garlic Reply with quote

anthonynolan wrote:
I have planted the grocery stuff before and done quite well, but had some rubbish years too. My soil is quite claggy. Could the problem be the soil, or the fact that I am a cheapskate!

garlic likes free draining soil, so i suspect this wouldn't have helped.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Dig it up Reply with quote

I think I will just dig these up and put in some stones nice and deep to help with the drainage. I have never been able to grow onion sets or shallots in my garden, so I reckon that is the problem.

Thanks,

Anthony

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: claggy soil Reply with quote

Hiya,
I know all about 'claggy' soil. My garden is almost pure LondonClay. I tried eveything to 'dry it out' and reconstitute it, before going for raised beds, made from builders bricks just laid on the ground. They can be made and broken at will. Raised beds ALWAYS drain, in fact sometimes too much! But the bricks allow them to be made any size, any shape, (smallest one right now is about 2 x 1 and has in it a single gooseberry bush which hates 'claggy soil' but loves moisture).

I always have a few shop garlic going. I stick em in as early as Feb1 and as late as Mar17. They always produce four to six cloves each. They don't grow as big as shop ones but they seem to taste stronger. They seem to like plenty sun, too.

BTW, I've been recycling kitchen and garden waste for some years bulking it up with egg-boxes, shredded paper and shredded prunings from trees and bushes. With thin layers of "London Clay" it makes a very rich water-retentive loam. I've only a tiny garden (about 40ft x 40ft) but I'm generating about a cubic meter of compost a year. This is what produces the soil for the raised beds

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you plant shop garlic- make sure each clove is in perfect condition. Also I wouldn't bother with that awful white stuff with the tiny strong but bitter cloves that usually comes in from china and that the supermarkets are full of at the moment. The best flavour tends to be from the pinker garlics that come in from France and Italy.
Buying particular species of garlic is one good argument for buying specialist bulbs.

If you're planting garlic this late (and it's not usually problem by the way) make sure it gets plenty of sun in a well drained site. Also a few days in the fridge before planting out can help encourage good size bulbs.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: composting for my grandchildren Reply with quote

Very good points Cath. and BTW very interesting wesite. Ya hear that y'all out there. Give Cath's website a click if composting is your thing.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliment! A work in progress...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: avocado Reply with quote

hi im a newbie in gardening and currently have tomatoes, squash, peppers, potatoes growing from shop bought veggies. you mentioned avocado and i'm interested in growing them. would it grow in ireland and bear fruit? i remember reading an english website that they've tried to grow avocado and it survive the winter without protection. i wonder if it would be the same here. i'm interested in peach and oranges, lemons. are they worth it to plant them from pips and would they need any protection during the winter?
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