Typically when you reach the ends of green onions, lettuces, and celery, what do you do? Toss them in the compost, right? While composting is wonderful for many reasons, growing vegetables from scraps – or rather, re-growing vegetables – is easier than you think. Cut down on your grocery bill and never buy these veggies again (or at least a lot less) following these simple guidelines.
Growing Vegetables from Scraps
You don’t need a “green thumb” to be successful at this indoor gardening technique. All you really need to do is place the ends of your veggies into a dish of water, place them on a sunny windowsill, replace the water every couple of days, and you will have yourself some lovely counter-top veggies.
This is so easy to do, you can even make it a project you do with your kids.
Cut the bottom two-inches off of a celery stalk. Place it cut-side up in a dish and cover it half-way up with water. It will only take a few days before you start to see leaves of new shoots poking out of the center of the plant.
When you see roots start to grow, you can then pot them in soil. Most likely you will get three or four smaller stalks, just enough to use for flavoring dishes.
2. Carrot greens
The leafy green part at the top of carrots is often something that we don’t even consider eating, but those greens can make wonderful additions to soups, salads, pasta, and even pesto.
To regrow, keep the top inch of carrot (the orange part) along with the green shoots. Cover them partially with water, and when the green part has grown to be a couple of inches long, plant them in soil. After that, you can either clip them young and use them as a micro-green or you can allow them to grow bigger and use them as usual. They can grow to be 10 inches tall and full and leafy.
3. Beet Greens
Another often overlooked green, beet greens are packed with nutrients and have a wonderful flavor. The best part about these ones is that beets don’t even need to have pre-existing greens to grow, so if you’ve purchased beets with the greens cut off, don’t worry.
Follow the same steps as the carrots (above) to have beautiful, leafy beet greens.
4. Bok Choy
This little cabbage is a stir-fry and soup grand-slam. As always, you want to leave about an inch or two of the plant to stick into approximately half that of water. Within two weeks, you will see new leaves and roots. If you don’t harvest your re-grown bok choy, it will eventually flower, from where you can harvest seeds and grow entirely brand-new plants.
Re-growing herbs are slightly different from the rest. Instead of putting the bottom part in water, you cut near the bottom of the stem at an angle and remove all but the top four or five leaves. You also want to cut off any flowers, if they have any. From there, you place the stems into a couple of inches of water. This will allow the plant to put all its energy into growing new roots. Once those roots are about two inches long you can plant them into soil. This root-growing process can take anywhere from two to six weeks.
No chopping involved with this one! Either place a few cloves (separated) half-way covered in water, or plant them in a pot of soil and place in a sunny spot near the window. Either way, they will eventually sprout, growing lovely garlic-flavored green stalks that can be chopped up and sprinkled in pretty much any dish you’d like.
Just like what you did with the celery, cut the bottom two inches off of a head of lettuce and place cut-side up in a jar of water. Make sure it is propped up so it doesn’t tip over in the container. Once you have roots, plant in a pot of soil and allow it to grow for a few weeks before you start clipping the leaves off to eat. You can plant multiple heads of lettuce in one pot to save on space.
Place the bottoms of your cabbage in water and wait 10 to 14 days for roots to grow and re-establish themselves. Once they are a couple of inches long, you can plant them in soil to allow the leaves to continue growing.
9. Green Onions
Also called scallions, these are fantastic, lighter-flavored onions. They bring plenty of flavor to salads and can be sprinkled as a lovely garnish on most dishes. The best part about regrowing these is they actually will grow back to their full size.
Place the bottom two inches in water and watch as they grow back, tall and proud. Once roots have been established, you can plant them into soil if you wish.
Left an onion sitting for too long, and now it’s too soft to use? No problem – use them to grow lovely green shoots that can be used similarly to green onions.
Place just the bottom quarter-inch of onion into water. Once roots have grown to be a couple of inches long, you can then plant the entire onion into soil.
Keep Reading: 5 Cheap Gardening Tricks for Self-Reliance
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