Spiralizer

This is a cooking tip rather than a growing one, but I thought I would share as it is such a great gadget.

Turn courgettes or carrots into long spaghetti-like spirals!

Spiralizer
Spiralizer

Fantastic for salad or good as a substitute for pasta. If you are going to use it as pasta, I would blanch for 2-3 mins in boiling water max to keep them crunchy.

Surprisingly nice and low carb (if you are into all that stuff!).

You can purchase one simlar to the one on the right via Amazon.co.uk for less than £10 or try cookware shops as they are getting quite trendy now.

You can buy large versions that sit on the worktop with a large handle for turning, but these small versions work fine.

The difference between spiralizing and using a food processor is that you can produce very long lengths of ‘noodles’ or ‘zoodles’ as they are known.

Storing bamboo canes

Tip for cane storage
Using an old drinks bottle to store canes is both tidy and safe

Here’s a way to both recycle, and tidy those canes with no more than a few spare minutes, two empty plastic bottles, and a pair of scissors.

  • You need two identical plastic bottles. The ones shown are 1 litre water bottles. I found these hold approx 30 canes.
  • Cut the conical top half of the bottles off. I found leaving a few millimeters of the sloping part helps ‘grab’ the canes.
  • Feed the canes into one of the bottle halves until they’re packed in tightly. You’ll find most canes have a slightly wider diameter at one end. Turn half of them around so there’s a mix of narrow and wide ends bunched together so that bundled together they’ll pack identically into the bottle halves.
  • When one end is packed nice and tight repeat the same for the other end into the second bottle.
  • Job done! A nice compact bundle of canes to store standing, on a shelf, or in the rafters of your shed.

Courtesy of Clousden Drive Allotment Association

Growing tomato seedlings from fresh tomatoes

Nature knows best!

An easy and effective way to grow tomato seedlings is to plant a slice of fresh tomato in compost and allow the seeds to just sprout naturally.

Choose a tasty tomato, chop a slice and plant covered with multipurpose compost in a pot on the windowsill. I tried this method and was very impressed. Half a cherry tomato produced 40 seedlings!

Tomato seeds do need a little heat to germinate so cover with clingflm and place in the sun or use a propagator.

If you try this method, let us know how you get on!