LifeHakx - How to Grow Your Own no matter where you live!
By Eva Wisenbeck 17/05/2020
How to Grow Your Own, vegetables, fruit and herbs, no matter where you live!
Imagine prepping a salad to go with you dinner and reaching over to your windowsill and grabbing a handful of glorious juicy green sprouts to add!
Or cutting off some micro greens to garnish a lovingly cooked meal!
Or adding fresh herbs, or fresh vegetables or berries…
So let’s start at the very beginning, such a very good place to start :)
Spouts – super easy and fast result
Sprouts are seeds that have germinated and become young baby plants. This germination process usually begins with the seeds being soaked for several hours. The soaked seeds are then exposed to the right combination of temperature and moisture, and allowed to grow for two to seven days. The germinated sprout roughly measures 2–5 cm long.
In short, get seeds, soak seeds in water for a few hours, drain seeds and then rinse and drain twice daily until you are ready to harvest. Simple! Some don’t even like sunlight so you can grow them *anywhere*.
For more details watch this great video and look at the further resources at the bottom of this blog. Also notice that the advice vary slightly on the number of hours to soak etc take heart as this means that they are hardy and pretty darn fool-proof to grow.
And as I’m all about lifestyle and nutrition I have to include a fascinating video on how to triple, yes triple!, the sulforaphane content in broccoli sprouts for extra health ‘bang for you buck’.
Bean and pea sprouts: Such as lentil, adzuki, garbanzo, soybean, mung bean, black bean, kidney bean, green pea and snow pea sprouts.
Sprouted grains: Such as brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, kamut, quinoa and oat sprouts.
Vegetable or leafy sprouts: Such as radish, broccoli, beet, mustard green, clover, cress and fenugreek sprouts.
Nut and seed sprouts: Such as almond, radish seed, alfalfa seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed or sunflower seed sprouts.
But what about contamination?
Sometimes in large-scale commercial operations, keeping the environment clear from all types of pathogens is difficult and outbreaks like salmonella and e.coli on occasion happens.
Now, when you sprout at home you are in total control, of the seeds, the cleanliness of the jar or container you use, the air and moisture and how often you rinse the seeds and sprouts. All this means that you massively reduce any issues. And of course don’t underestimate “what you see and what you smell”, if you are unsure, err on the side of caution – at the end of the day you can have another batch thriving within a week!
"How To Sprout Anything"
Micro Greens – versatile and can provide all your ‘salad’ needs
Microgreens are essentially seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs and concentrated in nutrients. Main difference from sprouts is that microgreens require both soil and sunlight and often takes a week or more to grow rather than days.
Get ready with a container, soil or growing medium and your seeds. There are a few different methods so check out more resources below. Simplistically you fill your container with soil, sprinkle on your seeds (if they are bigger pre-soaking them will give them a kickstart) and water them in. Then ensure they stay moist and within a few days they should start germinating and within a week or a few weeks are ready to harvest and enjoy.
Salad greens, leafy vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers can be grown as microgreens, though some varieties are better suited than others. Beginners often start by growing one type of seed, such as broccoli, radish, cabbage, mustard, chia, sunflower or buckwheat — among the easiest-to-grow varieties of microgreens — in a single container.
This is a good place to mention that some plants are not safe to eat in microgreen form. Never grow microgreens (or sprout for eating) of nightshade plants—like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. They contain toxins in their stems that can make you very poorly.
How to Grow Microgreens from Start to Finish (COMPLETE GUIDE)
Herbs – add flavour and health benefits to everything you eat
A great start is to have a container or two with herbs. A collection of herbs in containers in a sunny place near the house is a great asset for both garden and kitchen. The downside is that many pot-grown herbs die out in winter. However, they can be harvested in autumn and stored for use throughout the winter season.
All of the commonly used herbs can easily be grown in traditional herb or vegetable gardens, raised beds, containers or mixed borders.
Popular annuals: basil, coriander and dill
Biennials: caraway, chervil and parsley
Perennials: borage, chives, fennel, marjoram, mint, sage, tarragon and thyme
I want to do a shout out to dried herbs too though so don’t panic if you don’t have the space or desire to grow your own fresh herbs. Buy good quality (and small batches at a time so they don’t go stale on you) of dried herbs, this is one of the easiest ways to up the ‘health level’ of your cooking and eating.
"How to Plant a Culinary Herb Garden! DIY Kitchen Garden"
Getting the bug and growing vegetables and fruit and berries
Ok so you want to play more, if you can fit pots, containers or a vegetable patch somewhere outside your scope is much wider.
And I always start with:
What do I, and my family, like to eat?
Can I easily and cheaply buy it if so is it worth me growing it?
How long till I can harvest? Can I harvest more than once?
Will I be able to use all of the produce, can I freeze it, pickle it etc?
Can I grow some interesting varieties I can’t normally buy in shops?
Will it be able to grow where I live? Sunlight, temperature, drought…
Now you’ve narrowed down what you want to grow, talk to others, at garden centres, neighbours, anyone who can give you advice. And of course in today’s times the internet is full of incredible advice and ‘how-to’s’.
As we all want rewards for our work here is great video showing 5 fast growing vegetbles to get your creative juices flowing.
"5 Fast Growing Veggies You Can Harvest in Under 1 Month"
…and just in case the zombies or aliens do take over ;)
"9 Survival Gardening Crops to Grow in a Post Apocalyptic World"
Did you miss the #LifeHakx episode with Mary and Eva? Here is a link to the youtube video so you can catch up.
If you are curious and would like more information about the whole Grow Your Own topic here are some great resources.
“Sprouting 101: How to Sprout Anything and Why You Should” https://wholefully.com/sprouting-101/
“How To Sprout Anything” https://youtu.be/1mbR5xcO8aI
“Top 5 Sprouts You Must Grow” https://youtu.be/2sMvtFgy2Gs
“Are Sprouted Grains Really Healthy?” https://youtu.be/_3eVLVAhfBk
“How to triple the sulforaphane content in broccoli sprouts” https://youtu.be/2o3Goczp2t0
“How to Grow Microgreens Indoors” https://wholefully.com/grow-microgreens-indoors/
'“How to Grow Microgreens” https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/grow-microgreens/7987.html
“How to Grow Microgreens from Start to Finish (COMPLETE GUIDE)” https://youtu.be/dtvuMNVLISo
“Top 5 Microgreens You Must Grow” https://youtu.be/nZWzuJ0L63o
HERBS, VEGETABLES, BERRIES AND FRUITS
“Herbs in containers” https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=142
“Herbs: growing” https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=679
“How to Plant a Culinary Herb Garden! DIY Kitchen Garden” https://youtu.be/qbYbI-uGEyg
“10 of the best herbs to grow in your garden” https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/advice/a760/best-herbs-to-grow-in-your-garden/
“25 Best Herbs to Grow in Your Kitchen Garden” http://theherbexchange.com/25-best-herbs-to-grow-in-your-kitchen-garden/
“5 Fast Growing Veggies You Can Harvest in Under 1 Month” https://youtu.be/jEt_120VEAM
“12 Perfect Vegetables To Grow in a Shady Garden Space” https://youtu.be/j_Of36XVHng
“9 Survival Gardening Crops to Grow in a Post Apocalyptic World” https://youtu.be/ysKFLtixxlc
“How to grow your own fruit and berries on a windowsill or in a hanging basket” https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/home-garden/gardening/container-gardening-how-to-grow-your-own-fruit-and-berries-on-a-windowsill-or-in-a-hanging-basket-a133216.html
“Grow your own fruit” https://www.rhs.org.uk/Advice/Grow-Your-Own/Fruit
"When is it Warm Enough to Plant?"