“Can we plant the seeds from what we eat?” my friends asked at an online meeting recently. Especially during corona virus precautions, a lot of us want to limit outside grocery shopping and to “grow our own.”
“Just dig a hole and mound some potting soil or mulch in it,” I told them. That’s what my husband and I do with the seeds we scoop out before we cook organic winter squash (like butternut, and spaghetti squash.) Then we put the seeds in it, about an inch down and an inch apart, cover the hole with soil, and water it. From then on, water to keep the soil moist. Our plants usually sprout leaves within a couple of weeks. The ground should be warm when you plant the seeds. Organic squash is best, although we have gotten growth from non-organic. Anyway, if you have a little yard room, what have you got to lose? You just might get some free food.
Green onions (scallions) are even easier to grow. I don’t plant them. I just buy a bunch with roots. I put them in a glass or vase with a couple inches of water in it. They’ll grow in length, and you can continue to cut them for weeks. They don’t retain as deep a green color, but they taste like green onions.
If you’re a little more ambitious, like my neighbors across the street, you can grow salad stuff like “micro greens” and broccoli sprouts. They grow them indoors, in a mixture of vermiculite, pearlite, and sphagnum peat moss, sifted. They buy seeds for sprouting from commercial seed companies, like Johnny’s organic. They mentioned two books they found useful: Peter Burke’s Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening, and Mark M. Braunstein’s Micro-Green Garden.
A little gardening project also helps to occupy and educate any junior people you might be raising. A great website for ideas is kidsgardening.org. Here is the link for one of their activities. https://kidsgardening.org/garden-activities-grow-your-own-salad/ They have a range of projects. What’s new about kids working on the family farm, even if it only occupies a few feet of a yard or table?
Let me know how you’re doing with this. For more technical questions, ask your local agricultural extension agent. Happy mini gardening.