Re-growing food from your kitchen scraps is a good way to cut the shopping bill and always have your favourite veggies in stock, this just has to be the best recycling I can think of and such fun too.
The thing we need to remember here is the quality of the of the produce we start with, especially so with root vegetables, if they have been chemically sprayed at all, the roots will most likely be toxic, so only buy local organic wherever possible to be sure that you are re-growing healthy fresh chemical free fruits and veg. Do avoid plastic – glass or crock is so much better and always use good quality clean water not tap water.
Growing our own vegetables is awesome and re-growing from kitchen scraps is even better! Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden or veg plot, they do very well in tubs and some can even stay indoors.
Re-growing Food From Your kitchen Scraps
Your vegetables will re-grow from the white root end. Cut the stalks or base off as you normally would, and place the root end in a shallow bowl of filtered water, just enough to cover the roots or base only. If you have a sunny windowsill this is the perfect place to put them. Spray with filtered water occasionally to keep the top moist and change the water every couple of days.
In a just a few days, you will to see the roots growing and new leaves appear. Then after a week or so, transplant your new veg into soil with just the leaves showing above the level of the soil, within a few weeks it will sprout a whole new head.
It is possible to miss the first stage out and put straight into soil, but it is easy to make sure the veg get enough water to get them going by soaking first.
Leeks, Green salad onions, Fennel
Cut off the end pieces, about 2 inches where the roots are growing and place them in a small bowl of water as above. You could just buy a bunch of these veg with roots specifically for your re- growing project, just soak the roots in water for a while before planting out or keeping on your kitchen windowsill or balcony. As you use these, keep re-planting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never need to buy again.
Green salad onions grow great in water so easy if you don’t have a garden, just keep them in water on the windowsill.
Lemongrass is easy it grows just like any other grass. Again cut the bottom of with the roots, in a glass jar with a little water, and leave it in a sunny position.
In a week or so, you will see new growth appear. Transplant your lemongrass into a pot and leave it in a sunny outdoor position. Harvest when the stalks reach about a foot tall – just cut off what you need and leave the plant to keep growing.
Cut the bottom off and place it in a dish of warm water overnight to give it a jump-start.
After a few days you should see new growth, then plant all these into your garden and watch your cuttings grow into vegetables. Once they’ve matured start the process all over again!
See article below on re-growing celery.
Carrot, beets, radish, turnip, and parsnip tops.
Cut off the tops and fill a container with some small stones, place your veg tops on the stones and fill with filtered, just enough to cover the stones.
New green tops will appear within a few days!
If you have some garlic that has already started to sprout, it can go straight into soil in your garden or pot. I would suggest buying some fresh to start this project, by the biggest best organic bulb you can find, and you will get big bulbs produced from your cloves.
Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all its energy into producing a new bulb. When the garlic is ready to harvest, hang the bulbs in a cool, dry place.
Replant about half of your harvest to get a continuous supply. See video below…
Ginger is very easy to get re-growing. A must for our organic medicine cabinet along with garlic. Simply plant a piece of ginger rhizome in potting soil with the newest buds facing upward. Ginger does best in filtered, not direct, sunlight so it is a great plant for your kitchen.
When the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, roots too. Remove a piece of the rhizome, and re-plant it to repeat the process.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Cut off any part of the potato that has “eyes” and plant these bits in your garden or pot and they will grow a separate potato plant for each “eye.”
Or you can start them off by just putting in water and wait until it starts shooting as in this pic here, then you can cut that part and plant. They do well in pots too.
Pick a potato that has robust eyes, and cut it into pieces you will want each piece to have at least one or two eyes. Leave the cut pieces to sit at room temperature for a day or two allowing to dry out a little, this prevents any rotting when planted out or in a large tub. Potatoes need lots of nutrients so add some good compost to the soil.
Sweet potatoes can also just be put straight in the soil – yep, the whole thing if you like. Bury all or part of a sweet potato under a thin layer of soil in a moist sunny location. New shoots will start to appear through the soil in a week or so.
No garden? - Potatoes do great in large pots or bins!
Once the shoots reach around four inches in height, remove them and re-plant them, allowing about 12 inches space between each plant. It will take around 4 months for your sweet potatoes to be ready.
To re-grow pineapples, we need just the leafy top part. Cut the top off the pineapple and make sure all fleshy fruit is removed or it will rot.
Slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds (the small circles on the flat base of the stalk). Remove the bottom few layers of leaves leaving about an inch base at the bottom of the stalk.
Plant your pineapple crown in a warm and well drained environment. Water your plant regularly at first, reducing to weekly watering once the plant is established. You will see growth in the first few months. This is a long term fun project as you won’t be harvesting any pineapples for a year or two.
Same applies here, unlikely to see any avocados for a long time, but fun to do and it does make a pretty house plant as does sweet potato!
I soak these overnight and then scrape a little of the skin off from the base, use cocktail sticks to hold it in your glass, and just enough water to cover the bottom.
Many people give up with this too soon, it can take months. Your avocado pip will split, this is the sign to say we have cracked it (pardon the pun)
As with any type of seed or pip not every one takes, so don’t give up on re-growing your Avocado tree, you may not see any change at all for a few of months.
Any tomato that is past its best, I just mash up a little and put the whole thing either in the ground, or in the pot with already growing tomato plants.
Thanks to Alana – comment below – I should explain here that the tomatoes I put back in the pot are from my original vine, not shop bought.
I usually get a good crop and I cant always eat them all, so if some look like they are going over on the vine, I will squash and put back in the pot, a new vine will start to grow – I am not sure what a tomato farmer would say about this, but it made sense and always worked for me. I dry any seeds from the end of the crop to plant next season. I would be interested to hear any opinions on this?
Make sure to keep an eye on your water levels in your bowls, new cuttings and seeds like a lot of water in the beginning.
Re-growing From Seeds
Don’t forget all your seeds, save, soak and plant. I have a little lemon tree growing at the moment, and I am going to experiment with just burying a whole apple to see what happens with that, it may rot but I am always surprised what I find growing in the compost bin, so its worth a try.
Save any tomato and grapefruit seeds. Peppers and chillies are great to grow from seed and make fab, bright coloured garden plants
Re-growing success may vary, depending on your climate, the season, soil quality and sunlight available in your home or garden. And some veggies just propagate easier than others do. Sometimes it works and some times not, so don’t be afraid to do some experimenting.
There’s nothing to beat home- grown veggies, and there are many different foods that will re- grow from the scrap pieces you would normally throw away, so just have a go.
I must admit nothing gets thrown away in my house, it either goes to compost or to the next door chickens.
Another great way to grow your own is to start with the little plugs, they are cheap and most likely to survive, and you can re-grow from there, just make sure they are organic.
Lastly – don’t forget to let me know what you grow!
Harvesting Your Garlic
Braiding Your Garlic – I love this
Be Healthy ~ Be Your Best
Love & Light