Transform your kitchen leftovers into a green garden. Save money and Mother Earth simultaneously by growing veggies from remnants!
Did you ever realize that your trash can hold the secrets to a home garden?
Delving into Scrap Gardening
Scrap gardening is the zenith of sustainable living. Not only does it promote a green environment, but it also gives your wallet a break and acts as an engaging nature study for youngsters.
For optimal growth, consider these tips:
- Opt for organic: Higher quality organic veggies tend to sprout better. This is because some conventional produce may be treated to hinder growth.
- Understand your environment: Your geographical location plays a pivotal role. Ensure the climate is suitable before transitioning your sprouts to the outdoor realm.
Remember, patience is key. Not every scrap is destined to sprout. If there’s no sign of life after a week, send it to the compost and restart.
The Top 12 Regrowable Veggies from Leftovers
1. Green Onions: From Scrap to Snack
How to Regrow:
- Before tossing away the root end of the onion, think twice!
- Push the root end into quality soil, ensuring it’s root side down.
- Opt for a sunny spot, water regularly, and watch it thrive.
Quick Tip: The green section grows back in a jiffy. Within a fortnight, it’s ready to be harvested. Replant and relish continuously!
2. Celery: Crisp Rebirth from Remnants
Steps to Revive:
- Slice the stalks roughly two inches from the base.
- Position the white base in a bowl with shallow water. Ensure it’s not fully submerged.
- Within days, expect roots from the base and foliage at the top.
Planting Advice: Transfer to soil after a week, ensuring only the leaves peek out. As celery thrives in cooler weather, aim for early spring for outdoor planting to evade the scorching summer.
3. Romaine Lettuce: A Leafy Resurgence
- After using the lettuce, retain about two inches from its base.
- Submerge this heart in water to witness fresh leaves sprouting from its core.
- Discard wilting outer leaves periodically.
Pro Tip: When you sense it’s primed, transition your romaine to soil for a more robust growth.
4. Garlic: From Clove to Bulb
- Each garlic bulb comprises several cloves. Spare one clove before you make that delicious dish.
- Plant it during the fall, ensuring the root is facing downwards and the tapered end looks up.
- When the spring or summer comes around, and you notice the tops turning yellow and drooping, it’s harvest time!
Green Thumb Tip: Planting garlic cloves in indoor pots close to a sunlight source grants a never-ending stash of garlic bulbs. Enjoy fresh harvests right from your windowsill!
5. Ginger: Sprouting Tropical Treats
- Leftover ginger can be your ticket to a fresh batch.
- Plant the root in damp potting soil, ensuring the newest sprouts point upwards.
- Since ginger thrives in tropical climates, it’s best nurtured indoors.
- Green stems will emerge from the soil while the roots expand. A few months in, and you can start using bits of the root, making sure to rebury the remainder for further growth.
6. Potatoes: From Leftovers to Harvest
- Tiny potatoes? Plant them as they are.
- For sizable ones, like baking potatoes, cut into chunks ensuring each has a couple of eyes.
- Let these pieces air dry for a day or two to avoid decay.
- Sow these in a garden or pot with a well-draining potting mix.
Growth Tip: Give it some time, and soon you’ll be unearthing a fresh batch of potatoes. Dive deeper into potato cultivation. How to Grow Potatoes in Containers.
7. Sweet Potatoes: Easy and Efficient Growth
Sweet potatoes are even simpler to cultivate than regular potatoes. Unlike the latter, there’s no need to scout for eyes.
- Whole Potato Planting: The most straightforward method is to directly plant the entire sweet potato.
- Multiply Your Produce: To generate multiple plants, slice a sweet potato in half. Next, dangle it over a shallow water-filled container using toothpicks to hold it aloft.
- Witness the Magic: After a few days, expect to see roots and sprouts starting to emerge.
- Preparation for Soil Planting: When these sprouts reach approximately four inches, gently twist and detach them. Subsequently, immerse these sprouts in a water container. As soon as the roots grow to about an inch, they are ready to be introduced to soil, whether in your garden or a spacious pot.
8. Herbal Gardens from Cuttings
Reviving Herbs Like Basil and Cilantro
Regrowing popular herbs, including basil and cilantro, is a breeze.
Follow These Steps for a Thriving Herb Garden:
- Take a Cutting: Snip off about a four-inch stem from the herb plant.
- Rooting in Water: Place this stem into a glass filled with water, ensuring that the leaves remain above water level.
- Ideal Placement: Find a bright spot for the glass but avoid direct sunlight exposure.
- Spotting Roots: Within days, tiny roots should start to appear. Once these grow to approximately an inch, they’re ready to be planted.
- Enjoy Your Fresh Herbs: Transfer these young plants to a pot with soil, and soon enough, you’ll be treated to a lush herbal garden right at home.
9. Mushrooms: A Delicate Regrowth
Environment is Key: Mushrooms flourish best in warm, humid settings. To have a firmer grip over their environment, opting for container cultivation over direct ground planting is recommended.
Steps for Mushroom Regrowth:
- Preparation: Begin by snipping off the mushroom cap, preserving the stem.
- Planting: Nestle the stem in nutrient-dense soil, ensuring the top portion remains visible.
- Observation and Harvest: Keep a vigilant watch for fresh growth, and once the mushroom matures, proceed with the harvest.
10. Regrowing Greens from Root Vegetables
The Nutrient Powerhouses: Though you might not be regrowing the entire root vegetables like carrots or beets, their greens are packed with nutrients and offer diverse culinary uses. From smoothies to sautés, they can be a wholesome addition to many dishes.
Guide to Regrowing Vegetable Greens:
- Initial Prep: Retain the tops of these veggies (around an inch of the vegetable should be intact) which is where the greens sprout.
- Water Bath: Place these tops in a shallow water container. Ensure they’re not entirely submerged.
- Watch Them Grow: In mere days, you’ll observe fresh green tops emerging.
- Harvest or Transplant: You have two choices – either clip the greens once they’re fully grown or, if roots develop, transfer them to soil and continue harvesting greens as desired. This technique is effective for vegetables like beets, turnips, carrots, and parsnips.
11. Onions: Effortless Regrowth
Onions, whether they’re yellow or red varieties, can easily find a second life, making them perfect candidates for your regrowth experiments.
Steps to Breathe New Life into Onions:
- Preparation: Begin by slicing a one-inch segment from the onion’s root end.
- Initial Rooting: Position this cut piece either directly on the ground or in a bowl filled with shallow water. Ensure that the cut section remains above the water level.
- Root Regeneration: In no time, you’ll observe the roots starting to reform, preparing the onion for its next phase of life.
- Full Onion Sprouting: For a delightful observation experience, submerge an entire onion in water and be amazed as it begins to sprout.
- Transplantation: Once the roots are well-formed or the entire onion has sprouted, transfer it to an outdoor garden and watch it thrive!