It is not always necessary to purchase new seeds or vegetable plants when you want to grow food. You probably won’t have to look any further than your kitchen to find plenty of vegetables that can be regrown from scraps. Yes, there are many vegetables that can regenerate or regrow themselves from cuttings and scraps.
So before you toss those potato peels or carrot tops onto the compost pile, read through this list of vegetables and herbs that can be regrown to discover if that leftover peeling may turn into an edible vegetable. Reduce waste, save some money, and learn self-sufficiency at the same time!
A potato that has an ‘eye’ is capable of growing a potato plant. The sprout is called an ‘eye’ and will grow on potatoes when they are kept in the dark, especially in springtime. When peeling potatoes with ‘eyes’, cut just a little deeper than normal than the sprout, then wrap it in a moist paper towel and store in a cool dark place until the sprout reaches 2 inches long. Then plant the sprout in soil and it will produce a new plant and regrow potatoes.
If a fresh sweet potato goes past its prime before you cook it, don’t toss it out; just regrow it. Stick toothpicks all around the middle of the sweet potato, then submerge one half in a glass of water (top half above the glass). When roots reach 4 inches long, plant the sweet potato in soil.
Place a green carrot top with a bit of carrot still intact in a saucer of water, then place the saucer in a sunny location. You won’t regrow a new carrot, but the green top will grow and it can be used in stews, soups, pesto, or as a sauteed vegetable. For more about growing carrots, head over to here.
Regrow onions from the bulb root of an old onion. Plant the root in soil and keep moist. Green sprouts will appear in a few days that can be snipped off and used like a green onion.
If you have leftover ginger roots, those roots will grow indoors without much fuss. Choose root slices that still have eye buds on them, soak the roots in water overnight, and plant in soil that does not get direct sunlight (ginger thrives in dark, moist conditions), with the eye buds facing up. Cover the root with 1-2 inches of soil, and wait for several weeks. New shoots will start to appear, and the new stems will regrow back. You can then transplant the root elsewhere. All ginger plants can be regrown in this manner, including turmeric (also a type of ginger).
Many herbs can be regrown by simply placing 3 inches of the stem in a glass of water to encourage new roots to grow. When roots appear, plant the herbs in a container of soil. Regrow basil, cilantro, mint, etc, using this method.
Save 2 inches of the celery stalk base and place it in a small container of water. Place the container in a sunny location. New leaves will soon start to grow in the middle of the stalk. Plant those stalks in soil one week after new leaves appear.
Lettuce can regrow after harvesting, from their stem ends. Place the stem ends in a bowl with a bit of water (about half an inch). Leave the bowl on a windowsill that gets good sunlight and change the water every couple of days. Tiny roots will start to appear on the stem and new leaves will start to sprout, which will be fully grown in a few weeks. This can then be planted in soil.
Place the root end of bok choy, facing upwards, in a small container of water. It will begin regrowing in a few days and can be planted in soil in 2 weeks.
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