by Matthew Wilson
Kitchen gardens are wonderful, but what if you want to 'grow your own' but don't have much space, or access to seeds or small veg plants to grow on? It may surprise you to know that you can make a veg garden on a space no bigger than a windowsill, using kitchen scraps to grow from!
My first tip is designed to help you get the most out of garlic, stop it going dry and stale and encourage new shoots to grow.
Fill a pot with compost. The type of pot doesn't really matter, and you can use a jam jar or tin can if you don't have anything else.
Break up a bulb of garlic - you know that one that is beginning to go a bit dry and stale in the cupboard.
Some garlic producers chemically treat their garlic to prevent sprouting. If you are unsure if your garlic has been covered in these chemicals, leave it in your refrigerator for two weeks. If the garlic begins to show signs of sprouting then it should be fine to plant.
Push the individual cloves into the compost around the edge of the pot, about half way in, half way out of the compost.
Garlic is very sturdy and it needs cold temperatures in order to sprout and mature. Silverskin garlic grows best in the winter, however, if you are using Creole Reds they are better suited to grow during the spring.
Once all the cloves are in, water the compost thoroughly and place the pot on a windowsill. After a couple of weeks you will find that green shoots start to appear from the cloves. These can be cut off and used in salads - they taste a bit like chives. As for the cloves, they will swell with moisture and can be plucked out and eaten when you're ready.
And here is the really incredible thing. You can 'regrow' veg. The end of a carrot can be placed in a shallow dish of water and it will re-spout, the tops are delicious in a salad. Spring onion will re-grow if placed in water. So will celery, the end of a lettuce, onions - a whole veg garden from leftovers!