At Aman.vas it makes us very happy when we see a new use for the trash that we create every day. And whilst the idea for this blog developed, to write about the creation of a little urban vegetable garden, we found out that plastic bottles can be re-used as containers for the plants.
Here you go, start growing your veggies on your balcony, inside your window frame or in your backyard in plastic bottles. You are only using trash, using vegetable waste and plastic bottles.
Spring is in the air and so is our urge to breathe the fresh air, catch the warm rays of the sun and follow our desire to eat greener and cleaner. With many countries still under lockdown, keeping us restricted from moving around and being active, we want to do something holistic and want to be outdoor.
If you have ever dreamed of growing your own vegetables, but lack the house with a huge garden, continue reading, let's make this real. Do you have a tiny outdoor space, a balcony, a window frame or a backyard, let's get creative. You can easily create your own urban vertical vegetable garden and there are vegetables which grow super easy and fast.
You know nothing about vegetables and gardening, and your budget is also tiny? No worries, continue reading, don't feel overwhelmed, we show you step by step how to get started.
All you need you will find at home:
- A wooden plank or pallet
- Plastic bottles
- Cotton wool
Use plastic water bottles, cut them in half and use the neck side. Turn them upside down. Nail the bottles to the pallet or wooden plank. Arrange them in such a way, that the open neck of the bottle will drain out the water into the bottle below it.
Next, you need cotton wool and soil. Put some cotton wool in the bottle and then the soil, this will help keeping the soil in the bottle when you water your plants.
Here come the plants that grow very easily and the best of it, you use the cut-offs from the vegetable to make a new plant.
Lettuce, Pak Choy, Cabbage
You can re-grow head-forming lettuces and other leafy crops simply by retaining the rooting section, place the stump of the lettuce in a bowl and fill water halfway. Once the leaves have regrown after a few days, transfer the stumps into the bottle with soil. Bear in mind that many lettuces are cut-and-come again. You can often continue to harvest the plants as leaves continue to re-grow.
Leave about 5 cm from the base of the celery. Place the base in a bowl of water and leave it where it can get adequate sunlight. As new leaves begin to sprout from the middle, allow for it to gain thickness for about a week before transferring it into the bottle with soil.
Bulb fennel is another vegetable that can be regrown in much the same way as celery.
Spring onions are arguably the easiest and most popular vegetable to regrow. All you have to do is cut them from about 5 cm from the roots and leave them in a glass of water.
Basil, Mint and Cilantro
A lot of herbs can easily be regrown. Make sure there’s about 10 cm of stem. Place the stems upright in a glass of water. When the new roots begin to sprout, transfer the herbs into the bottle with soil and let the aroma flourish.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Any chunky sections of potato peel or pieces of potato that include an ‘eye’ on them (those small indentations from which the shoots grow) can be replanted to grow new potato plants.
Simply take your potato scraps, leave them to dry out slightly overnight and plant them in the soil with the eyes facing up. Sweet potatoes can also be regrown from sections in much the same way. Cut a sweet potato in half and suspend each half using toothpicks or twigs above a shallow container of water. Roots should begin to form after a few days. Shortly thereafter, you should see sprouts growing out of the top of the pieces. Once the sprouts grow to around 10cm in height, nip them off and place them with their bases in a container of water. Roots will grow from the base of these shoots. As soon as the roots are growing, you can take these slips and plant them in the soil.
Garlic, Leeks and Shallots
All of these can be re-grown from the rooting base of the bulb or stem. Simply take a small section of the base of a bulb or stem, with the roots attached, and place it in a shallow dish of water. Fairly quickly, new, green material will begin to grow from this base section. These re-sprouting sections can then simply be harvested again.
Again, simply place the base of the bulb (with root system still existing) in shallow water and wait for the plant to begin to re-grow.
Carrots, Turnips, Radishes, Parsnips, Beetroot
Retaining the tops (where the leaves and stems join onto the root) from carrots and other root crops will allow you to regrow them. Place the tops in a container of water and new, green tops should begin to grow in a matter of days. You can simply harvest and use these greens as they grow, or you can allow the roots to continue growing until the plants are ready to be transplanted into the bottles with soil.
Add some tomato plants in pots from your local nursery and for your next summer salat you simply harvest all the ingredients from your balcony.
Wear our yoga outfit made from recycled plastic bottles to match your urban garden. Enjoy and have fun.
Thank you @Tania Malréchauffé for the image.