There’s no doubt that growing fruits and vegetables is great fun and rewarding. When the first of the spring sunshine warms the ground, we swarm to garden centers to buy seeds to pop into the ground.
But did you know there is a way you can grow your own, without spending lots of money and reducing your waste?
Regrowing fruits and vegetables from the scraps you would otherwise discard is real. It’s a different way to grow, but it’s equally, and if not more, exciting to see your food scraps come back to life.
You can try so many, but if you’re just starting out, here is a list of 10 amazing foods you can regrow from scraps.
Celery is probably one of the most well-known food scraps you can regrow. Watching the new stems begin to produce from the old is like magic before your eyes.
Once you have cut all celery from your purchase and have only the stump left, put it into a shallow dish of water, and within 36 hours, new roots will appear, along with fresh leaves and shoots. Change the water every 1-2 days and watch as it comes back to life.
Once you have an established and more bushy plant, transfer it into your veg patch, and by the end of the season, you’ll be eating your own produce from your saved scraps.
Quite often, when you pull the garlic out of its cool, dark container and prepare to use it, you notice it is already turning green and possibly sprouting. That’s because it’s already starting to regrow.
The garlic is still safe to eat when this happens, although the taste is compromised, and it loses a lot of the zest we’ve grown to love.
Rather than toss it into the trash, plant it, and you’ll soon be digging up fresh and full bulbs to use in your cooking.
Potatoes are another crop desperate to regrow. You haven’t often got long after buying before they start to sprout.
Potatoes with a bit of foliage are nothing to worry about, however, and you can continue to eat them by cutting off the greenery.
If the potato is too old and beginning to wrinkle, it may be too far gone. Rather than dumping it, however, grow from it. Put your sprouting potatoes into the ground and enjoy a whole harvest for free.
Growing carrots from kitchen scraps are slightly more complicated but not impossible.
Once you have cut the tops off your carrot in preparation to cook, put them flat side down into a shallow dish of water. Within days, you’ll see the top of the carrot begin to grow new shoots.
Continue to keep the water topped up, and the shoots will continue to grow.
From here, you cannot just plant the carrot top; unfortunately, a new carrot won’t just grow, but if you give the new growth plenty of light and water, it will produce delicate white flowers. You can harvest the seeds and grow and then grow your own carrots.
Other root vegetables, such as turnips and beets, can also regrow this way.
Although pineapple is a tropical fruit, it’s super easy to regrow. Keep the top and remove a few of the lower leaves once you’ve finished your store-bought fruit. Submerge the top in a water dish, changing it often, and watch as new roots emerge.
It’ll take around eight weeks for the root ball to mature enough, but it’s time to plant your pineapple top. Use acidic, sandy soil, and bury the roots, with just the leaves visible and proud.
It will take a few years for your new plant to bear fruit, but watching the process of growing is a treat in itself.
6. Spring Onions
Spring onions are possibly the easiest vegetable that can regenerate. Spring onions will even regrow up to 4 times.
Once you have sliced your onion, put the bulb into a shallow cup of water, and you’ll see new shoots within days. Once the sprouts begin to appear, plant them into your veg patch, and you’ll soon be eating them in your salad all over again.
It’s not uncommon for onions to regrow while sitting in your vegetable store. Plant them rather than rendering them useless and dumping them in the trash.
When to plant the onions depends on your climate. Onions take a long time to mature and are not fans of warm weather, so either get them in the ground early in spring or fall.
If you get it right, you’ll be rewarded with a whole stash of your own.
Ginger is one of those things that you often find leftover in your fridge, so instead of chucking it away, why not extend its life?
If you are thinking of regrowing ginger, you need to be in it for the long haul. Once your ginger has sprouted and you’ve planted it, it’s good to wait for two or three years before harvesting.
It’s not possible to grow all types of lettuce you have bought from the store, but some, such as Romaine Lettuce, you can, mainly because it still has a stump at its base.
As with most other scraps you want to regrow from, sit it in a shallow dish of water until the roots begin to appear before transferring it to some compost.
If you have two or three lettuce balls growing, make sure to harvest only leaves you want to eat at a time; then, you may not have to buy any lettuce all season.
If radishes are a vegetable you’d like to try regrowing, you’ll need to be careful about which parts of the radish you cut and keep.
The tops of radishes will regrow and produce green leaves, but for quick and successful regrowth, you need to keep a chunk of the radish’s base, so you have some roots to work with.
Keep an inch of the bottom of the vegetable and cover in completely a pot of fertile, moist compost. Regrowing radishes like this is a little hit-or-miss, though, so if you’d like a reliable vegetable stash, you’re best off growing from seed.