I bet you’ve heard the term ‘true leaves’ tossed around in the gardening community like common every day jargon. But if you’re new to gardening, the term may not be as obvious as experienced gardeners may think. Recognizing true leaves on your tiny seedlings and understanding what to do when they appear is critical to the success of your seed starting efforts.
I gain a lot of inspiration from my fellow gardeners on Instagram and Facebook. Over the summer, I saw so many fellow gardeners on Instagram re-growing veggies like celery, onions and leafy greens from kitchen scraps. Yep, the base of the stalk that normally gets tossed into the compost bin can be regrown into another plant. It looked so simple, yet such a fun experiment!
Recently, I picked up a bunch of komatsuna greens from the farmer’s market. I had never even heard of komatsuna before, but their deep green color and sturdy looking leaves caught my eye as I walked by. A large bunch was only $3, so I couldn’t resist giving this newbie a try.
Typically, I sauté my leafy greens in a little extra virgin olive oil, with sea salt, garlic and few spices. So naturally I did the same for the komatsuna. OMG! These were the most delicious greens I had ever prepared. Sadly I only bought one bunch. But, I knew I could try to grow more using the steps I had seen others follow to regrow veggies from scraps.
How to regrow kitchen scraps
- Save the base of the stalk from celery, green onions, or leafy greens.
- Sit the base in a shallow container filled with clean water.
- Place the container in a windowsill or an area that gets plenty of sunlight.
- Change the water every other day.
- Watch leaves emerge from the center of the stalk.
- Watch roots grow from the base of the stalk.
- Once roots are long and healthy looking, transplant to organic soil.
This was experiment was really amazing to watch unfold. Save your kitchen veggie scraps and give it a try!
Peace and zen,
If you love fresh garlic in soups, stews and stir-fry dishes, but have never experienced growing your own, you are missing out. Garlic is one of the easiest and most rewarding veggies an urban gardener can grow. Here are the key tips you need to know to before planting your very first garlic crop!
I went to Myrtle Beach recently with my mom and son. My hubby stayed at home, which meant he had the job of tending to my garden for the week. Each morning he would send me a few pics so I could keep up with all the happenings going on in the garden while I was away. Everything seemed to be going well until he sent a picture of my beautiful sunflowers covered with ANTS! And lots of them…..up, down and all around the leaves.
In all my years of gardening, I have NEVER seen as many ants, particularly black Carpenter Ants eating their way through my garden. Once I got home and saw the ants for myself, I was totally overwhelmed by the number of ants massed on the underside of each leaf of my giant sunflower.
I’m an organic gardener, so grabbing a can of toxic ant spray wasn’t an option. I know I can find organic insecticides online and in garden centers, but it’s so easy, economical and satisfying to make my own.
I’m happy to share a recipe with you for insecticidal soap that’s eco-friendly and effective against pesky garden pests like ants, aphids, mites, and white flies. The soap in the mixture helps the spray stick to the pests and the plants, while garlic and chili are natural insect repellants. Keep in mind that insecticidal soaps are not very effective against slugs and caterpillars. Sorry….
HOMEMADE INSECTICIDAL SOAP SPRAY
What you need:
|1½ tablespoons||Dr. Bonner’s liquid castile soap (Mrs. Meyers and Murphy’s Oil Soap also works)|
|8 drops||Eucalyptus essential oil (peppermint, lemon and orange works too)|
|3 cloves||Garlic, crushed|
|1 ½ tablespoons||Chili powder|
|1 each||32-ounce spray bottle|
*Note: You can find cheesecloth in grocery, fabric and drug stores. It often comes in a roll, so cut what you need and save the rest for your next project.
What you do:
- Combine all the ingredients in a large jug or mixing bowl. Allow mixture to steep ~8 hours or overnight.
- Line a kitchen strainer with a layer of cheesecloth.
- Slowly pour the mixture in the center of the cheesecloth. If the cheesecloth gets ‘clogged’ simply spoon away some of the solids or change the cheesecloth.
- Strain the liquid at least twice to ensure no large particles are left that may clog the nozzle of your spray bottle.
- Pour the liquid in your spray bottle.
- Apply to plants early in the morning for best results. Spray well, including the underside of leaves.
Give it a shot!