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Growing Fruit and Vegetables from Seeds and Scraps

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The art of filling your veggie patch with vegetable scraps that were destined for the bin or the compost can turn your vegetable scraps into a bumper crop.

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The ultimate pleasure for a gardener is the creation of new plants from old. The art of filling your veggie patch with vegetable scraps that were destined for the bin or the compost can turn your vegetable scraps into a bumper crop. Next time the tomatoes are overripe, keep the seed. Some will revert to tiny cherry tomatoes but other heritage varieties such as Roma egg tomatoes will germinate true to type. Which ever you have, they will produce tomatoes for summer salads .

Collect seeds for planting from pumpkins, passion fruit, pawpaw, avocados, mangoes, lychee, nuts, hot chillies, capsicum and cherry guavas. If you have a crop of beans, let a few ripen on the vine for planting. Dry the seed on paper towel before planting. If you recycle an empty egg carton as a cell tray for seedlings, you can plant the seedlings out into the garden still in the paper egg cup without disturbing the roots, and the paper will decompose as the plants develop.

Sweet potatoes will soon shoot once planted, as will Jerusalem artichokes, ginger, and Australian grown garlic cloves . Potatoes grow and multiply easily if given space, but should only be grown from certified potatoes. This is to protect the potato growers. When you buy bunches of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage, mint or other herbs take cuttings from the stems. They will easily root if cuttings are kept moist in pots before being planted into the garden. Take care with mint in the garden. Keep it confined to a pot or beware, it will take over!

Pineapples are members of the Bromeliad family. Cut off the leaves at the top leaving about an inch of the flesh below. Pull the flesh away from the base of the leaves to reveal the newly formed roots. Plant in a pot and keep it warm for an attractive pot plant that, one day, will produce another pineapple if kept warm enough.

Citrus and stone fruit seeds will germinate but may not produce good fruit. Commercial fruit growers grow grafted trees, nevertheless they can be fun to grow. Keep your orange and lemon peel after juicing fruit to make marmalade. For fun, plant the tops of carrots . Remove the foliage with about 2 centimetres of carrot attached. They won’t produce more carrots, but the fern like foliage is very attractive. They will flower and produce seeds that can be harvested for future crops.

Buy yourself a bunch of daisies or lavender, once the flowers have finished, remove the spent flowers and take cuttings from the stems. Daisies bring bees and colour to the garden and lavender acts as an insect repellent that will help to protect your precious vegetables.

Don’t waste anything, be sure to consign the rest of your vegetable peelings and waste to the compost heap, it will be better than any commercial fertiliser for your garden. For successful growing, always make sure that the produce is fresh; fruit and vegetables that have been kept in cold storage for too long may have lost their growing strength.

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