5 Easy Ways You Can Save Money By Growing Your Own
Every time I go into the supermarket and I look at the veg section I despair at how much money a packet of spinach is.
Spinach is one of the easiest things that you can grow. Yet, gardening is seen as this difficult thing that only people either with qualifications or with the time to spare can do. The same can be said about all of the dark leafy greens, as well as vegetables like peas, potatoes and tomatoes.
In this week’s blog I’m about to blow your mind.
Here are 5 ways that you can get started on growing a little green feast this week.
(aside from the odd tool, you will only need your hands and a packet of seeds.)
#1 – Growing Your Own Spinach
Spinach is one of life’s many staples. High in so many great things like iron and Vitamin C, it’s little wonder that the health nuts love this gentle little leaf.
Take a look in your fridge. If you have an old mushroom container/tub of butter/any food container that kind of size, wash it out and poke some holes into the bottom. Next, take handfuls of compost (you can buy this from any DIY retailer or the pound shop) and fill the container up to the top. Drink coffee? Add a teaspoon of used coffee grounds into the soil to give it a boost of nitrogen.
Next, take a packet of spinach seeds and lay them over the top of the soil. If you want small leaves, you can scatter the surface with seeds. However, if you want larger leaves, plant the seeds a good couple of centimetres apart.
Dust over a little more compost and place the tub in a very sunny spot. Rotate the pot every couple of days to stop the plants from getting too leggy.
Start picking the leaves when they reach anywhere between 3 and 5cm tall.
It’s also good to stagger your planting. Once you’ve planted one container, wait a week or so and start another one. This means that you’ll have a constant supply of tasty salad leaves and you’ll ultimately save money.
#2 – Sprouting Peas
As with the spinach above, you can take any dried or seed peas and pop them into containers. Give each sprout a couple of centimetres’ distance so you don’t over-crowd and then start picking the leaves when they reach 3, or 5cm tall.
Once again, set up one pot one week and one on another and you can enjoy tasty pea shoots for weeks to come.
#3 – Growing Herbs
Herbs can be tricky, but mustard, coriander and the like can be grown with some relative ease. Many herbs can be grown in food containers like the peas and spinach. Just make sure that they have as much sun as you can give them, plus a little more. Windowsills, patios, French doors are perfect for growing these more long-term plants. The results are definitely worth the effort, though.
#4 – Re-growing Veg
The stuff of science fiction. Yes, you can literally re-grow vegetables from the tops of carrots and the bottoms of leeks. All you need to do is take a large jug and fill it with water. Drop your carrot tops into one, lettuce bottoms into another and then things like spring onions and leeks into another. Give them some light and little bit of time and you can use the carrot leaves in salad (they’re very tasty) and the spring onions, lettuce and leeks as you would normally.
#5 – Heading Down to a Community Garden
You may be lucky enough to live in a city like Bristol, where there are tonnes of schemes and organisations such as Incredible Edible, who take disused spaces and turn them into productive plots of land. Here, in Bristol, where I’m based, you can find these community gardens and lend them a hand whenever they’re running work groups. The projects are really enriching; they’re also great exercise if you’re feeling a bit lazy. What’s more, you can pick the fresh and tasty stuff they grow.
There you have it. 5 ways that you can do something green-fingered this week. Be brave and bold and give it a go – I promise you that you won’t regret a second of it. Plus, you’ll soon see just how much money you can save on those salads.