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Early sowing the sustainable way!

By now in the northern hemisphere, we've all seen the signs of spring peeping out from every corner. Daffodils and crocuses are making their presence known and we've even had the occasional warm day, but for lots of us, especially up here in the north of England, the weather is still too inconsistent to think about planting things straight into the ground.

Luckily Sharon has some helpful tips to satisfy the urge to sow and to give your veg a head start indoors.

'We've been able to start lots of things off in the polytunnel', says Sharon 'but for those of you gardening at home who might only have a small space to work with, a sunny windowsill in the house can work just as well. Lots of things that you might normally plant straight into the ground will be just as happy starting life in a pot and being transplanted. If you're working on minimising your use of plastic (which we highly recommend), there's no real need to buy pots.

'We tend to use whatever we have to hand and since you don't need a huge space to start off the things you plan to transplant, you'll find you have an abundance of things around the house that can be used as small plant pots.

'One of our favourite options is toilet roll middles. Most households we know of recycle loads of these throughout the year so instead, why not set them aside and use them as plant pots? This has the added advantage that you can plant the whole thing into the ground as is when the weather gets warmer and the toilet roll tube will just disintegrate into the soil.

'Our kitchens often provide lots of other possibilities, yoghurt pots and similar can work really well as plant pots if you make holes in the bottom of them and lots of fruit and veg punnets come with holes already in them so they're even easier to use as pots. All you need now is something to stand them in if they're going to be inside the house. Doing this bit without buying new plastic can take a bit more creativity but it's still often possible to find things around the house. I've used big chocolate tubs from Christmas and their lids, parts of kids toys that are no longer wanted, old Tuppaware and the kind of veg punnets that don't have holes in them. There are always sustainable options if you're willing to be creative!'

If you have any other ideas of things to use for pots or trays we'd love to hear them and do let us know what plants you're starting off indoors this season.



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