19 foods that you can regrow from scraps.
Ever the frugal gardener, I’m trying new ways to keep my summer garden producing.
Have you ever tried food scrap gardening? It’s really just taking items that you would normally throw away, compost or put down the disposal and giving it an extra growing life.
You can usually get at least one good harvest from each “scrap.” Some are grown in water until they sprout new roots – then replanted into shallow pots.
Some are grown in water until they grow new greens and some are harvested for their seed and re-grown again.
- // Avocado – Not every pit will produce roots, so your best bet is to try two or three pits at once. A few weeks after this growth occurs, you should see leaves. Be patient. In approximately three months, when your tree is around 7 to 8 inches tall, plant it in a 10-inch pot with adequate drainage.
- // Basil – Select several 4-inch stems from a bunch of basil. Then strip all leaves from about 75 percent of each stem with a sharp knife. Put the stems in a jar of water. When the roots grow to about 2 inches in length, plant the individual stems in a 4-inch pot
- // Bok Choy – Cut off the base of a bok choy plant and place it in a bowl bottom-down. Add a small amount of water in the bowl. Once you see regrowth, transfer the plant to a container or garden.
- // Cabbage – Place leftover base and leaves in a bowl and add a small amount of water in the bottom. When roots and new leaves begin to appear, transplant the cabbage into a garden.
- // Carrot Greens – Add these tasty green to any salad. Place a carrot top or tops in a bowl, cut side down. Fill the bowl with about an inch of water so the top is halfway covered.
- // Celery – Rinse off the base of a bunch of celery and place it in a small wide mouth bowl. Fill the container with warm water, cut stalks facing upright. Use a spray bottle to gently mist the plant every other day. After 5 – 7 days it will sprout roots. Re-lant in the garden or continue making cuttings.
- // Cilantro (can be cut and will regrow) – Just like basil, cilantro can regrow roots, and grow new plants once replanted. Simply place cilantro stems in a bowl of water, put the bowl in a sunny area, and change the water every other day.
- // Garlic Sprouts – you can grow garlic sprouts—also known as garlic greens—from a clove or bulb. Place a budding clove (or even a whole bulb) in a small cup, bowl, or jar. Add water until it covers the bottom of the container and touches the bottom of the cloves. You don’t want to submerge the bulb, just the bottom.
- // Ginger (see this post to get detailed instructions) – With a little care you can have fresh ginger and ginger greens all winter long.
- // Green Onion – works just like garlic sprouts. You will not be growing a new bulb but greens to add to salad and for cooking.
- // Lemongrass – cut off the tops of a bunch of lemongrass and place the stalks in water. Change the water every few days. In approximately two or three weeks, you should see new roots.
- // Mushroom – Start by removing the mushroom’s cap; you only need the stalk. Plant the stalks in soil and cover everything except for the very top of the stalks. Harvest your mushrooms when fully grown.
- // Onion – Keep the bottom of any onion (the part with roots) and place in a shallow bowl with water. You can also have success planting these directly into the garden.
- // Pineapple – Choose a pineapple with green, fresh leaves. Remove the top of the pineapple, ideally by twisting it off (doing so will preserve the parts needed for regrowth). Peel back any leaves around the base so the bottom layers are exposed. Finally, cut off just the tip of the base, being sure to remove any excess fruit.
- // Potato (has it’s own way of sprouting) – Cut the potato into two pieces, making sure each half has at least one to two eyes. Let the pieces sit at room temperature overnight or for a few days until they’re dry to the touch. Once the potato halves are dry, plant them about one foot apart in 8 inches of soil.
- // Romaine Lettuce – When you chop up hearts of romaine, set aside a few inches from the bottom of the heart. Place in a bowl with about a ½ inch of water. Keep the bowl in a sunny area and change the water every day. It will regrow roots and can be planted in a shallow container.
These scraps have seeds that can be regrown into new plants. If the plant is a hybrid it may not come back true to it’s parent – but it’s worth a try!
- // Pepper
- // Pumpkin
- // Tomato
You can reduce waste, save money, and build self-sufficiency with this handy guide to growing real food from scraps. Be sure and save this handy infographic for later and bring the summer garden into your kitchen all winter long.