Gardening in Lockdown
If ever there was a time for re-using what you already have, then surely this is it.
Here we are at home most, if not, all of the day, perhaps with children to keep occupied, yet when we think of something to keep us busy we can’t nip out to the shops to buy the necessary bits and pieces.
Time to look around, use your imagination and re-purpose, reclaim, recycle, revamp ......
This week we have been gardening.
Gardening is, of course, a great way to help the health of our planet, whether that is by growing your own fruit and veg, or cultivating flowers and shrubs to attract the bees. It is also good for the soul - and don't we all need that right now?
The garden centres may be closed but most supermarkets have a rack of seeds, little bags of magic that generally cost between £1 and £2, but can be bought for as little as 29p in Lidl. Or perhaps you have seeds lurking somewhere in the kitchen or the shed. Dig them out!
Ah, you have no pots? And the garden centres are all shut. No problem, you can make your own from newspaper.
These are so easy to make. Simply tear a strip of newspaper approximately 10cm wide and wrap it round a cylinder shaped object. We used a bottle of paint, but you could also use a tin can or a glass bottle. Wrap the newspaper round the lower part of your object, with approximately 4 cm of the newspaper hanging down.
Carefully pull the newspaper away from the object, et voila, you have a plant pot!
You can now fill your little paper pot with compost, pop in a seed and add water. Place your pots on a tray and put on a sunny windowsill. Keep the compost damp and, as if by magic a seedling will appear. Most seed packets will tell you how long you will need to wait. I didn't have enough trays to hold all my seedlings, so I took a supermarket bag for life and carefully folded down the sides to make a container just the right height.
Again, check the instructions on your seed packet to know when you can plant your seedlings outside. Don't be impatient! Remember we can still expect frost overnight for the next few weeks.
When it is time to plant outdoors, or re-pot them, just pop the whole things, newspaper pot and all, into the soil. The newspaper will gradually de-compost.
And if you don't have a garden, go for indoor plants. Many vegetables can be grown indoors too. Try lettuce leaves, herbs, spring onions, radishes, tomatoes, even strawberries.
What's that you say - you don't have compost?
Never fear, we grew cress in the kitchen. You are generally recommended to use kitchen roll to line a container, but that's not something I have so I used that most precious of commodities, loo roll. Only a few squares, mind.
You can use any shallow container at all. It is a good way to re-use the plastic trays supermarkets insist on using for things like mushrooms or raspberries. And cress is so quick to grow - you can expect to be snipping it to put in with your salad, or egg mayonnaise, within a week.
We have got on well with our cress, but you can also sprout seeds in a jar. Click the link to find out how:
Hoping to find time to try that soon.