Gardening to zero waste

Last year I discovered I absolutely love gardening. Not so much pulling weeds or mowing the lawn but I do very much enjoy growing things, particularly things I love to eat.

In the past I’ve tried my hand at growing a few herbs and have successfully grown spring onions and tomatoes. Last summer I bought two tomato plants that grew the most delicious tomatoes I have ever tasted! This is no exaggeration.

I must admit, I am a bit of a tomato snob, I’ll always opt for the vine variety when purchasing my own as they taste so much better than those pale, cheap salad tomatoes on offer in the supermarket. You do certainly get what you pay for when it comes to tomatoes.

Here’s what my tomato plant looked like at the peak of its life before it died a horrible death ๐Ÿ˜ญ

My plant gave me around 15 vines of tomatoes, none of which came overpriced and packaged in plastic and tasted better than anything I could have picked up in Tesco. I paid around ยฃ3 for my plant so if you want to find yet another way to avoid buying veg in plastic then I highly recommend growing your own. Not only do they taste better but once they are ready they are available to pick fresh whenever you need them. You know exactly where they came from and exactly what was used to grow them. It doesn’t get more organic than home grown. Even better if you can grow from seed and as the summer veg growing season is almost upon us then now is the perfect time to get your seeds sown.

I’ve got an array of seed packets waiting to be sewn but I’m trying not to get too over keen or disillusioned by the freakishly warm February weather.

With this in mind I’ve started my cauliflowers off indoors and they have already grown into little seedlings. I tried not to be wasteful and reused a birthday cupcake tray from my little ones birthday to plant the seeds. With the lid on it acted like a mini propagator for the first week and the shoots sprung up a lot quicker than I expected. I hate plastic but sometimes it’s better to reuse than to throw away and I’ll be using this little cupcake tray for my next lot of seeds.

I’ve also just planted out some garlic I’ve been growing on my window sill. I purchased a garlic bulb from my local farm shop, many of the gardening websites recommend purchasing your bulbs from garden centres and not using shop bought cloves as they could be grown in different climates or susceptible to disease. I didn’t know this information before I planted time so this will be a hit or a miss unfortunately. I started my cloves off in an egg box, which was perfectly suitable for 6 separate cloves.

I put the egg box in my small wooden crate and covered it in compost.

It took a couple of weeks to start sprouting but it grew very quickly after that.

I have now replanted in the garden and the egg box should now naturally biodegrade into the ground. I’ve not tried this method before I sort of just did it off the cuff so again, we shall see how this one turns out.

We also have some early potatoes in our raised bed, Maris Piper and Charlotte. I forgot to chit them (rookie mistake) I’ve never grown potatoes before but I get over excited and want to plant things hastily. Hopefully I’ll get a good yield but if not I’ve learnt a valuable lesson for next time. Gardening is definitely a learning curve.

We’ve also just recently acquired an allotment. We have quite a large garden anyway so it wasn’t completely necessary but I’ve always really liked the idea of having my own patch. It also means I can have a chat with other gardeners and hopefully get some advice and guidance.

Our plot is a great size, thankfully it’s not in bad shape and I’ve got lots of plans for it. I want to make an area for Jude to enjoy, starting with a runner bean teepee. I just can’t resist those gorgeous red blooms and I do love watching a runner grow. I’m also encouraging my daughter to look after her own patch. I’ll keep you updated in my allotment diaries.

I think that’s all for this week! I’m super busy with digging and planting but I’ll keep you updates on Instagram.

Have you tried to grow your own? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below, and don’t forgot to follow my blog for more zero waste inspiration and eco product reviews.

Come and join my army of eco warriors on the Thrifty Green Life Facebook group. I would love to see you there ๐Ÿ˜Š

you can also find me on Instagram and Twitter ๐Ÿ˜Š follow the hashtag #thriftygreenlife for all things eco!

Nikki

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16 thoughts on “Gardening to zero waste

  1. Great post Nikki
    Love sharing in your progress. Weโ€™ve been on the list for an allotment for 2 years and keep hoping one might come up.

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  2. I love this post, for the growing AND reducing waste aspects! We have a really small garden but I grow onions in pots every year and often peppers too! Xx

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  3. I dabbled in trying to grow some vegetables last year. Didnโ€™t do very well. Time to get sowing again and hopefully do better this year. I love the egg box idea.

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    1. Itโ€™s all about trial and error, Iโ€™ve tried and failed at a few things too. Things grown in pots need more water and drainage holes, I learnt that the hard way lol. Yeah egg boxes are great!! I thought I invented it but turns out itโ€™s an actual thing ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

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