No room to compost your food scraps? Hold on to them anyway!
Since I was tiny there had always been a compost bin in my life, awkwardly constructed out of old wooden pallets and tucked away behind my dads’ wonky garden shed. I can remember playing in the sun, scraping off the top layers and hunting for slow worms as they wriggled around in the warmth of the rotting food scraps.
Now that I have grown up I’ve found myself face to face with the sad reality that we’re not always lucky enough to have a garden large enough for such luxuries; and as a result I’m left with an impending feeling of guilt every time I toss an apple core into the bin.
Well, I visited a friend a few weeks back. She currently lives on the top floor of a very tall block of flats and, for the same feelings of guilt, has had to find an alternative to composting her left overs.
It doesn’t matter if you only have a kitchen top, desk, shelf or windowsill space going spare. Any space is big enough to start off these 5 easy plants.
With a knife, very gently cut away the husk from around the seed and once finished place into a few thin sheets of tissue paper before dousing with water. Place the seed and tissue into a small carrier bag, tied at the top (like a tiny tent), and hide the bag away In the back of a warm, dark cupboard. Keep checking in and topping up with water. Within two weeks your mango should have started to split and grow roots. Wait until your mango shoots and then plant him in potting soil and watch him grow.
Take the top chunk of the pineapple fruit (with the leaves still attached) and use toothpicks to suspend it above water with the surface just touching the base. Place in direct sunlight and keep an eye to change the water every few days. Transfer the plant to potting soil once roots have begun to form and watch it grow!
Cut the sweet potato in half and suspend it above a bowl of water using tooth picks. Roots and shoots should form within a few days and once they have, twist off the shoots and place them in their own container of water. Once the new roots start to grow and reach about an inch long, plant them in potting soil and leave to grow.
Take the roots that are left over from your lemongrass and place them in a bowl or jar with enough water to cover the roots and pop them in direct sunlight. After a week or so, you’ll notice new growth and can move the newly-sprouted lemongrass into a new pot or herb garden.
Wash the avocado pit and gently, using toothpicks, suspend the seed over a few inches of water. The water should be just high enough to cover the bottom inch.
Keep the seed in a warm area without direct sunlight and check to top up the water. After around six weeks, you should see a shoot and roots beginning to form. Wait until your little buddy has grown to around 6 inches, cut him down to 4 and then leave him to grow again. Once his leaves have come through for a second time, plant him in rich soil and place him in full sunlight and just let him do his thing!