How to build a small polytunnel for seedlings and other small plants

I recently made a small polytunnel slash cold frame to assist me and also my and young seedlings by offering me an easier way to germinate seeds and to also give my seedlings a more comfortable start to their life cycle.

Knowing how to care for the seedling is knowledge for success in the diverse and vast gardening world. And so, such knowledge should be held invaluably!

The seedlings benefits amazingly from polytunnels. By planting seeds within these mock greenhouses your seedlings and young plants are protected from the harsh elements and also certain insects as well. Although to a lesser degree, but not forgetting how vulnerable they'd be in the outside.

Some people may wonder, what is a polytunnel? Well, firstly, a polytunnel is often but not always a large structure constructed out of various materials and is then covered in a polyethylene sheet. They're usually made out of easily accessible materials which is why they're favoured so much.

Polytunnels are often hoop shaped and set up as cheap greenhouses. They generally have the same function although  at a fraction of the cost. They can be formed into other shapes other than the usual semi-circular model although this is the most popular as it allows rain to run off smoothly.

The main benefits of polytunnels are to protect plants from harsh winds, heavy rain and hale, frost, cold and to also create a growing environment by trapping in heat and moisture within the polytunnel. Plants that enjoy tropical climates gain the most advantage here. It would be impossible to replicate said environments without structures such as greenhouses or polytunnels.

Now you know what a polytunnel is. Let's move on to how to construct my miniature version for starting of the seedlings and for protecting other young plants.

So how do you make a greenhouse or polytunnel? I hear you scream in extreme anxiousness. Well read how I did it below. I've included illustrative pictures so anybody can have a go!

Tools and necessities required:

1x saw
1x manual drill and 1x power drill
2x 90" length by 2"x2" pieces of timber
2x 90" length by 1"x1" pieces of timber
1x At least 30 feet of 1" width polyethylene piping
1x Screwdriver plus a pack of 4" and 3" screws
1x piece of polyethylene or any opaque piece of polythene, transparent plastic sheeting or tarp (At least 5x5 metres)

I've designed my polytunnel around housing 4 of these little pot holders. They are approximately 12" by 22" so my 90" piece of timber was easily cut in half to fit the length of the polytunnel. You can obviously change the measurements to fit your desired build.

As I new the sides of my pot holders were 12". I just simply doubled that by 2 and added an extra 4 inches to make room for the front and back sides of the polytunnel.

I then cut one length, aligned it up to my remaining piece of timber. Marked it off and cut the final side.

We have children running around in the garden alot so it's best to sand rough edges down to avoid nasty splinters!

As you can see the 4 pot holders will fit nicely with the correct measurements.

The next step is to measure the entire front side so we know where to drill our holes to mount the hoops. I already knew the front side would be 45"+2"+2"=49" but it doesn't hurt to measure again.
As I wanted 3 hoops I simply divided 49" by 3 which is 16.33. 
Measured that amount along the entire front side and marked it off at each occurrence (Note: I later changed the amount of hoops to 4. But I kept the same measurement of 16.33 and it worked out fine.)

To save time and to get an even measure on both the front and back lengths just simply use a straight edge and draw a line. I used a saw which is fine as long as you place end of the handle exactly straight along the side.

Next you will want to mark off at 1" across your front length of 2"x2" piece of wood.

Repeat that with both lengths until you have something that resembles the picture below. 

You will also want to do the same with both sides of your polytunnel. On mine I marked a cross at 1" across both ways.

Now simply drill all of your holes. I chose a depth of 1.5" although 1" is fine. The drill bit I used was 1" as my piping I had for the hoops was exactly 1". You may have to alter the measurements to fit your needs once again.

The pieces of piping used for the hoops simply slide in like so.

Now it's time to get your hoops ready. Mine were all arched and bent so I had to straighten them out somewhat before I could get a correct measurement. You will want to tinker around with it a little bit to get your desired height.

I started with a piece around 8 foot but it was far to tall so I just sawed off a few inches, tried it again, and repeated that same procedure until I found the height I wanted. I finally chose a length of 66".

 Next step is to mark and cut all of your other hoops with your chosen length.

Once that's done. Drill your screw holes through the sides and screw in your 4" screws also through the piping like so. I chose to do this to give the end hoops more support.

Repeat with the other end. Slot in all of your other hoops and as you can see it's starting to take shape! I didn't bother screwing in the other hoops as the 1.5" holes I drilled for them would hold very well.

Now it's time to apply your sheeting.

The best thing to do is to fold one side under and unravel the remainder of the sheeting on the other side. Like so.

Next, use a straight piece of wood and align it parallel to your polytunnel. (Doesn't have to be exactly straight as there will be some excess sheeting anyway).

Cut along the piece of wood as straight as possible.

Now you need to crimp the front side of your polytunnel with clamps whilst you screw in your piece of 1"x1". As the picture describes below.

Cut off the excess sheeting off of that one side. And repeat the above procedure with the back side.

Now it's time to sort out the sides. I just simply folded up the remaining sheeting and screwed it down and I also screwed in a small piece of wood in the centre of the side and did the exact same with the final side.

And that's it! One beautifully crafted polytunnel constructed! You can now sit back and marvel at your wondrous creation!

This polytunnel cost me nothing to build as I already had everything I needed laying around. Although to build one like this it shouldn't cost to much.

The completed structure should last for approximately 5 years. Give or take a year or two. During really hot episodes you may want to raise it slightly to allow some hot air to escape and to give your plants some extra co2.

Buzzing bee's; Attract bee's into your garden

Bee's are an absolute crucial part of any healthy. naturally thriving habitat. Their importance within the natural world is because of their ability to pollinate not only our crops but also many other wild plants that are required for a balanced ecosystem. The humble bee is one of the main pollinators here on earth and although some people may not realize it we'd probably be in an extremely bad situation without these little buzzing creatures.

Bee's, especially in the UK. Have been in rapid decline for these past few years. This is mostly due to excessive use of harmful chemicals like insecticides. Bee's cannot tolerate these potent concoctions and suffer great harm as a result. Sometimes death is inevitable.

You have to remember, without bee's doing there thing, pollinating the flowers of the fruit trees and vegetable plants that produce for us our bodies nourishment. There would be a drastic shortage of food. Bee's are one of the main pollinators which help plants produce fruit when they're in there flowering stage.

The easiest way to attract bee's is to plant lots and lots of flowers! Because of there design, bee's see certain colours more vividly so than others. For instance, the colour blue is highly attractive to a bee. It's easiest to plant loads of perennial flowers as they will re-sprout come next year completely on there own. Here's a short list of plants that will not only attract loads of bee's but will make your garden look beautiful! Remember, some of the same species of plants can be annual, biennial and perennial. Be sure to check with your local garden centre about which type you're buying.

If you don't know what these terms mean then let me explain, otherwise you may as well carry on reading the list below.

Annuals will only live for approximately one year. After that they will die and cease to return.

Biennials will have an extended lifespan, but usually only for two growing seasons. They will generally produce their foliage the first year then flower the next.

Perennials live longer than Biennials. Their lifespan can range from two years to many tens of years. They bloom during the spring and summer. Come winter they will die back before re-sprouting and flowering come spring next year.


Cosmos bipinnatus,
Annual, Perennial,
Not native to Europe,
Fair tall, (5-20"),
Colour varies from Red to Pink and Orange to White,

Flowers: July to September


Tanacetum vulgare,
Native to Europe
Grows tall (20-35")
Bright yellow coloured flowers

Flowers: August to September



Annual, Biennial, Perennial,
Native to Europe,
Height varies amongst species (5-90"),
Bright Blue, Purple, White or Pink flowers

Flowers: June to October


Lavandula angustifolia,
Annual, Perennial,
Native to Europe,
Height varies amongst species (8-25"),
Deep purple colour,

Flowers: July to September


Centaurea cyanus,
Native to Europe, 
Grows fairly tall (18-20") with a branched stem,
Intense deep blue colour,

Flowers: June until August,


Hyacinthoides non-scripta,
Native to Europe,
Small growing (5-10"),
Colours range from Blue to White, Sometimes Green

Flowers: April to June

Bee's also have a superb sense of smell. You can bring more bee's into your garden by planting herbs in addition to flowers. Many herbs can be used for cooking as well.

You should try to plant herbs such as: Thyme, Mint, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Borage, Hyssop.

These are just short lists, there is a massive diversity of plants available for attracting bee's and making your garden look stunning. You may find a more extensive list here:

You can also build a beehive if you're comfortable with that. You can collect and harvest the bee's honey then also! Although there is a potential safety risk. Especially with children around! I don't favour this approach because of the potential danger.

On a final note, please take the time to help bee's by planting just a few flowers in your garden. Bee's are such an important part of nature and as they're in decline it would be extremely nurturing and kind for anyone who helps these little creatures. Without bee's there would be a huge decline in food stores and a massive shift in nature's diversity as bee's are really that necessary.


  • It's wise to use flowers that're native to your country or area. These will encourage alot more bee's and will also be easier to grow as they're already adapt to your climate.  Take a stroll through a wild field or place where flowers are plenty near your area. See what flowers are growing naturally. 
  • Plant close together! If you look into a field full of wild flowers, you will notice how they're all bunched together. We want to mimic nature! So bunch your flowers together! 
  • Plant tall swaying flowers. As with nature again, lots of wild flowers are tall growing. They sway in the wind which will help bee's find the swinging flower tops

A common broad bean disease

A new grower and close friend came seeking my help as he claimed his broad beans were developing and harnessing some kind of disease.

I knew what it was straight away. Those yellowish, brown spots that cover the leaves of the broad bean or other legumes are so easy to diagnose. I was sure that the plants were suffering from the common rust like disease.

Technically known as;  Uromyces fabae.

The disease in question is a fungal disease that looks alot like rust that you would more commonly see on metal. The only difference here being is that it manifests itself on a plant.

The broad bean disease can become airborne and be blown onto your crops by the wind. This is the main way in which it is spread.

If you inspect closely with a magnifying glass you can see the tiny little fungal spores. This is a reassuring step one should take with their diagnosis just to be sure.

The disease isn't that serious. While it can't be treated or there no known remedies at this point. It isn't much of an issue as the disease tends to develop later on the year when the beans are nearing the end of their life cycle and have produced a steady supply of food regardless.

You can try picking off the infected leaves and throwing them away (Don't compost them). However, the infection can spread pretty rapidly and you may have no leaves left when you're done!

The best method to combat the disease is to just wait until later on in the year, when you feel your plants have given you enough food, just cut them down and dispose of them. You will want to be sure you've killed the disease so don't compost your infected plants. Instead burn or put them in your local recycling bin.


  • Crop rotation will definitely help combat it! By rotating crops each year you can significantly reduce the occurrence of this disease

  • The disease can lay dormant over winter and rejuvenate itself come summer. Crop rotation and properly disposing of effected plants will help cure this problem. Although it may not rid you of it entirely
  • This fungal disease thrives in humid climates. If you can, give your plants lots of airflow between, in and around them
  • Don't worry, the infection isn't harmful to humans! Your crops are still perfectly edible! Although you may want to discard of any "odd" looking beans. Common sense prevails!
  • NEVER compost infected plants! The disease can sometimes survive the composting procedure and infect your future crops! 
  • Uromyces fabae literally lives off of the plant, using it as a host and slowly sucking the life out of it. It will therefore, reduce yield. However it only generally occurs later on the year so it's not to much of a fuss!

Organic farming VS Conventional farming

With so much controversy over this somewhat sensitive subject. I have taken the time to share my thoughts on organic gardening versus gardening via conventional methods (The use of common pesticides, insecticides and herbicides etc). Including points ranging from positive to negative. Implications and practicalities, advantages and disadvantages. And some helpful tips and hopeful encouragement along the way. 

This article will be looking at plant life and crop farming only.

Let us first look at what organic gardening entails. The phrase itself is rather fatuous as everything to-date is organic in presence. Whilst certain objects may be grafted together from synthetic compounds. There origin is from naturally occurring compounds nonetheless.

All food is organic by nature. Even those grown by use of conventional ways. This even includes GMO crops which have been modified at the molecular level. They're still classed as living matter. Therefore organic matter.

So how can gardening be organic? Well, while the phrase "Organic gardening" still remains rather fatuous and improper to a certain degree. It's what the use of the phrase implies.

Organic gardening or more accurately put "Earth friendly gardening", is exactly that. Making use of eco-friendly methods which do not harm the biodiversity of our earth. In most circumstances, if not all, these methods can offer a great benefit to the land and wildlife that encompass it.

Organic produce is cultivated without the usage of any modern fertilizers, pesticides, petroleum based substances that are so widely used today and any or all chemically produced concoctions.

Some of the relevant methods used in organic farming may range from: 

  • Crop rotation (To reduce pests in one certain area and to also fix the nitrogen levels in soil)
  • Mulches (Which covers the surrounding area around the plant of group thereof, holds in moisture, provides nutrients and prevents soil erosion)
  • Vermicompost (The use of worm farms or worm bins to create very high quality compost from organic waste)
  • Natural habitat creation (This would include: providing shelter and housing for small insects and creatures that would benefit the land. Such as beehives for bee's and perhaps hedgehog houses for hedgehogs which eat slugs).
  • Pest control (There are many methods for friendly pest control. From encouraging predators to careful plant selection. Crop rotation and using row covers to cover crops. Disease resistant varieties of plants).

To find the advantages and benefits of gardening or farming organically. Let us analyze and dissect the disadvantages and the possible negative side effects of conventional farming methods.

Wide scale agriculture, or industrial agriculture. The sort of massive operations that stock our local supermarkets today use a handful of methods to achieve a regular, high yield and moderately healthy harvest.

Although with certain needs to be met, ratios to be maintained and shelves to be stocked, liability and pressure from contractual obligations and so fourth. It's quite logical to say that most farmers to day don't use the most friendly methods available to meet their requirements.

Organic gardening requires slightly more effort in comparison to the ordinary methods utilized when gardening or farming. Particularly at the beginning of any new renovation with a vegetable plot or just a garden.

As an example: Whereas an average gardener would simply pour a load of herbicide over a weed ridden patch. And with that being potentially harmful to the biodiversity and other life. An eco-friendly gardener who uses organic methods of cultivation would instead, spend time and effort cutting, digging, collecting and composting all of those weeds.

In this instance, whilst the use of weed killing chemicals seems so effortless, and the second option to the contrary. The organic method should be far more preferred. Whereas the conventional gardener would more than likely allow the weeds to regrow after using herbicide. And then just repeating the process over and over again. The organic gardener in this instance would perhaps implement measures to insure weed growth would be restricted if not completely eliminated in the future. Perhaps by using weed matting, boiling water, turning up a few inches of the topsoil regularly or by simply pulling weeds up when they're noticeable. You can even buy organic herbicides these days as well.

Not to say a gardener who uses conventional methods wouldn't take advantage of weed preventative measures in the future. However, more often than not it seems the case that many of them fail to.

From these two simple comparisons alone you can probably recognize the effort that initially goes into organic gardening. However, by creating a diversity of species and insects through organic gardening methods. By reducing usage of harsh chemicals and implementing earth friendly methods in addition. Your garden will not only become much more vibrant and offer a good variety of healthy plants, nutritious fruits and vegetables. But it will also be void of the harmful pollutants created by man and thus be far more healthier for yourself, your plants and for all that nature has to offer.

Below I've constructed a few points ranging from negative to positive.

Organic Gardening


  • Beneficial to nature, encourages diversity with insects and plant species

  • Creates a natural habitat using earth-friendly methods
  • Sustainable
  • Eliminates the use of toxic, hazardous chemicals and fertilizers
  • Makes for great tasting, healthy and nutritious vegetables and fruits!
  • Reduced waste, good use of recycled foods. The use of homemade compost is another factor
  • Great fun and easy to do with gardens and allotments 

  • Saves money that would be spent on expensive fertilizers and other chemicals. Also saves money on organic fruits and vegetables that are usually quite highly priced these days
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • The feeling of being in harmony and finding yourself in touch with nature


  • Requires a little more effort at the beginning
  • Quite regularly, you will have to check crops for signs of insects or disease 
  • Crops can be completely ruined by insects if not managed properly
  • Requires a certain degree of knowledge about nature itself. Be it insects and there predators, vulnerabilities and habits. And plants, especially how they work together with one another and attract certain beneficial insects

Conventional Methods


  • Effortless in comparison to organic gardening. With the use of chemicals to control weeds and pesticides to control pest etc
  • Can sometimes increase crop yield due to them being free from insects and diseases which can hinder yield
  • Very helpful with large scale agriculture
  • Offers plentiful amounts of food which are also relatively inexpensive
  • Creates a thriving, pest free, healthy looking plant
  • Without large scale agriculture many millions of people may starve
  • Creates jobs that every economy needs


  • The use of huge amounts of water, chemicals and energy
  • Damages biodiversity with the use of toxic chemicals. Even kills some if not most of the beneficial insects we rely on
  • The use of huge amounts of water, chemicals and energy
  • Toxic insecticides and herbicides accumulate in the soil and eventually run off into small streams and reservoirs damaging fish stocks and also contaminating natural water ways
  • Increases global warming due to excessive use of heavy machinery, aerial crop spraying 
  • Possible negative effects on human health

  • Certain plants eventually (Especially recently) have shown to build up immunity to weed killing chemicals. Along with some species of insects and pests showing mutations and immunity to pesticides and insecticides 

  • Vegetables and fruits may lack in nutritional content as they're grown to "look" healthy rather than actually "be" healthy

If you're a keen gardener. I urge you to switch to completely organic methods. They're so easy implemented on a small scale basis. Your fruits and vegetables will taste far more pleasant and you will almost definitely be more healthy eating foods free from chemicals.

As you may probably gather, conventional methods that're used are almost necessary for wide scale agricultural situations. With so many billions of people alive to date. It would be impossible to feed these many millions of persons without such methods of agriculture. The use of organic methods on such a scale would be far more difficult if not impossible to manage.

Although with the a broad understanding of nature itself, and a correct application of organic methods, farmers who use conventional methods can significantly reduce there usage of chemicals, steadily introduce more sustainable, organic methods of farming. Ultimately producing higher quality, more healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables for us to eat. Not forgetting the beneficial aspects brought toward the earth that would not previously be present if farmers still used today's current methods.

In the long run, herbicides and insecticides do not work. There was a case recently whereby farmers who had used Monsanto's roundup herbicide were reporting mutations in weeds. The weeds had adapted to Monsanto's roundup and became "super weeds". Growing far more vigorously than before and even more stronger. There have even been reports of insects showing mutations and resistance to certain chemicals! 

It is evident, as history has shown and as the mainstream media reports. Nature will always find a way to survive. Even those of strange and bizarre mutations. The best strategy here is not to fight it, but to embrace, learn, adapt sensibly.

I can't imagine a situation were the use of chemicals in wide scale agriculture is not used. The only remedy here would be smaller, more community based farms. Introducing organic only methods, or even just the good will of people, sharing their homegrown vegetables and fruits amongst their neighbours.

I think it is time we examined our impact on the earth. The evidence is there for whoever cares to see. We need to switch from the currently employed unsustainable wide scale agriculture to more sustainable technologies that benefit not only us humans but the earth in which we all share and consider our home.

How to compost tea

Tea compost or compost tea is a method of brewing a sort of tea like substance that's great for your garden plants and soil.

I only came by this wonderful method of enhancing you're garden with this organic compost tea just a few years ago. But I've been using it regularly ever since!

Some of you may be wondering, what is compost tea? Well compost tea consists of mostly organic compost, other ingredients and water. Yep, that's it!

While this may seem a bit silly at first (Why wouldn't you just use the organic compost as it is?!). Well, the benefits of compost tea are so remarkable it's definitely worth the effort.

Benefits of compost tea


  • Assists plants with disease prevention and protection 
  • Increases the amount of beneficial organisms within soil
  • Completely natural, safe and organic
  • Very simple and easy to get going
  • Helps to create strong, healthy plants

You might be thinking... "This sounds great! How do I get started?!" Well you'll need some simple things beforehand. Here's a little list!

  • Bucket. 5 gallon should be plenty. Although it depends on how big your plot or garden is!
  • Air pump. You will want a fairly powerful one (At least two outlets! Three is best.)
  • Air stones. To go with your pump! and the necessary tubes for connecting 'em up!
  • Stick. For mixing and stirring!
  • Rain water. You can use household water although you will have to let it set for a while to remove the chlorine. (At least 72 hours).
  • Some organic compost (Make sure it's well composted!), or worm tea.

You will want to begin by filling your bucket almost all the way with water. Then, place your air stones into  your bucket, arrange them so they're evening distributing air. Connect them up to the air pump and turn it on!

It's best to keep it on a high setting, the more bubbles the better!

Let that sit for a about an hour, just to allow the water to become aerated properly. If using tap water remember to leave for a good while to remove all the chlorine! If chlorine is still present within your water when you try to make tea it will actually kill the beneficial organisms as well as the bad ones!

While that's bubbling away you should get your compost ready. Any organic homemade stuff is great! Try to avoid the stuff you buy at garden centers. That won't make very good plant tea.

After the water in your bucket has been aerating for a while. It's time to get brewing!

Simply pour some of your organic compost into the bucket (Not to much though, only about enough to cover the floor of the bucket). Give that a stir for a few minutes, turn up your air pump to it's highest setting and return every few hours if possible to give it a stir. Besides that just let it brew!

The tea should be ready within about 24 hours. Any longer than that and it may start going off. You will want to use the plant tea when it's at it's maximum and is absolutely teeming with beneficial organisms.

Be sure to use the tea, as you would when watering regularly, within 3-7 hours of it being finished. Any longer and it will be pretty much dead pond water.

Extra tips 

  • Your plant tea should not smell foul! If it smells foul discard it!
  • It will be more beneficial if you can give your brewing plant tea a stir every few hours! 
  • Try to keep your compost tea at a fairly high temperature. This will help the microorganisms multiply!
  • You can also use the compost tea as a spray on your plants foliage
  • Another thing you can do is buy a worm composting system which allows for worm tea run off and use that to brew plant tea!
  • Compost tea is no substitute for using good compost on your garden! It is not a fertilizer! It just aids in boosting microorganisms activity!

How to store food

I'm going to list some of the vegetables I grow and how I store them successfully!

So without further a do! Here's my list!


I place mine in the fridge, as they are, I don't put them in any bags or anything. They store for around a week or so.

Broad Beans

Any dark cold place will do. If kept in the pods they should keep for slightly longer than outside of the pod. Around a week to two weeks maximum.


These are best frozen if you want to keep them for sometime. Otherwise I just store in the fridge and use within 3-5 days.


It's best to place your carrots in a wooden box. Make sure to put them in your fridge or out of the fridge is fine just cover in straw or sand if you do! They can be stored for around a week or more like this. This goes for: Turnips, Parsnips, Swedes and Beetroot as well!


I allow the garlic bulbs to harden off in the sunshine and I also brush off any excess soil before storing. I will usually keep them in a dark and cool place. Garlic can last for months if kept in the right conditions. Just be sure to check for mold! This method also applies to Onions!


I just put my ginger in a non-see through bag and place in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it! Should keep for a few weeks at least. Before use, make sure it's not gone all wrinkly and old!

Lettuce (Unspecific types)

Lettuce should be used within a maximum of 5 days before initially picking. Though 3 days is probably the safest! Just place in a container and store in your fridge.


It's best to leave leeks in your garden growing and only pick them when you need them. Although they can be stored in the fridge for around 3-5 days.


With onions a dark cool place is always best. I usually leave them in my shed or in the kitchen cupboard. Check occasionally for mold and remove any affected onions if they start rotting.


Before storing I like to leave them out in the sun for around an hour to allow the skins to harden. They're best stored in hessian sacks (The type of material you see sandbags made out of). Just put them out of the way of sunlight, in a dark cool place and they'll be fine. Remember to remove any potatoes that go green! These can be poisonous!


With peas I generally just leave them on the plant and pick whenever I need. Although they can keep in a dark cupboard or fridge for around a week without any problems. You can freeze them also.


It's better to just pick and eat spinach when you need it as this is when it tastes best. But if you've planted one to many plants and you've got spinach coming out of your ears then it easily stores in a fridge for around a week.


Tomatoes are best eaten as fresh as possible. Although they do keep pretty well in the fridge for around 5 days maximum.

Additional points


  • Don't wash your vegetables before storing! It's best to wash them just before use. You can easily just brush off any excess dirt and store them as they are!
  • Be sure to remove any rotting, moldy or slightly eaten vegetables before storing! The mold and disease will spread to your other crops!
  • A good thing to mention is to keep a list of vegetables on your fridge door or nearby. Keeping a stock check from when you placed the vegetables in the fridge and when they should be eaten! This helps to reduce food wastage.
  • Try not to allow your crops to be wasted. It's better to share big quantities with family and friends than to see them go to waste or be chucked on the compost pile!

Recycling food scraps: Foods you can re-grow

If you're looking for yet another way to get more out of your garden. And you love organic gardening. You should definitely give some of my methods for replanting crops a try.
It's as simple as replanting leftover kitchen scraps! Literally!



 If you're a fond lover and user of garlic as I am. You will probably agree with me that the tiny little cloves you find in a cluster are not as worthwhile as the bigger ones. It is reasonably easy to grow garlic. The garlic plant is resistant to most pests. Just make sure to water through long droughts!

An easy way to recycle a glove of garlic and re-grow an entire bulb of garlic is to just plant them!

You will want to plant the pointy side up. With the flatter side down (This is where the root will be). Make sure to plant them in a place where full sunlight is available. 



A bit about ginger: The ginger plant is a root based treat. It is more commonly used in asian based cultures rather than the western culture. It is used as a spice main but in some places it's favoured for it's apparent medicinal properties and is therefore seen a medicine!

Ginger is sought after for it's wondrous health effects. It's been known to assist with flu prevention and even help promote healthy skin!

The way I like to grow ginger is to, firstly make sure it's not old. If it's all wrinkly and dried out, then it's too old. I would then plant a piece of ginger partially submerged within soil, leaving a top portion of the ginger still visible to sunlight. Planted this way, ginger should start rooting within just a few weeks! Be sure to place your ginger in a polytunnel or greenhouse as this plant favours climates tilted toward the tropical range.

Spring Onions


It's easy to grow onions from onions. Spring onions or Green onions, are easily replant-a-ble at home. As long as they're still fairly fresh, you can successfully regrow this tasty vegetable. 

It's easy to grow spring onions, all you have to do is, keep the white ends once you've chopped them off and plant them root down within some soil. Another method is to leave the root ends slightly submerged in an aerated container filled with warm water. The aeration isn't that important and can be left out but with it the success rates of you're onions re-sprouting will be a lot higher!



My favourite garden vegetable! I've never actually planted a potatoe from seed! Every potatoe plant I've ever grown has been recycled from old potatoes. 

You may of noticed when your slightly old potatoes start to grow weird prickly things on them. These are the potatoes new shoots! To replant them is easy. Just bury them a few inches down in some soil (I place mine fairly deep. About 5-7 inches or so) and wait for them to flourish!

Potatoes grow like weeds. So you need not worry about to much fussing over them. Another thing is you can either plant the whole potatoe or divide the potatoe into chunks and plant the individual sprouts separately.

 Things to remember 


  • You can only replant somewhat fresh vegetables. Things like fully matured onions or vegetables that have long past there use by date won't be of any use except for composting! the exception is the good old potatoe of course.
  • When you're growing potatoes, you may want to slowly pile the dirt over the plant as it continues to grow. As you continue to do this and a small mound forms around the plant. It will encourage a deeper, bigger root system which eventually results in a bigger yield when harvesting! This same method applies to ginger too!
  •  Store you're crops well! Even though re-planting them is so easy and recommended. It is no substitute for storing vegetables well and being able to eat them as they are!