Regrow 7 Foods From Scraps

Learn how to grow 7 vegetables from scratch.

Growing vegetables from scraps? It might sound crazy, but the remains of common veggies like potatoes, garlic and lettuce can in fact be planted and given new life in your garden – and in future meals! Not only is this a great way to repurpose scraps that would otherwise end up in the trash or your compost bin, but it can also serve as a teachable moment for your kids about how vegetables grow. Follow our tips to get started.

1. Celery

Cut the bottom inch off a stalk of celery and place it in a bowl with the cut side facing up. Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the bowl, and place it in a sunny spot. After a few days, roots and leaves will start to sprout. At this point you can either plant outside in the garden or transfer to a larger pot.

2. Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

Use about a quarter of a potato (a piece with two root eyes is ideal). Either keep it inside to watch and ensure it sprouts, or place directly into the garden, eye-side up.

If you keep it inside, let it dry out for a day to reduce the chance of mold. Place toothpicks into both sides of the potato piece, and then place it on top of a glass of water. The toothpicks will hold some of the potato above water, but the eyes should be submerged. The roots will grow into the water, and the leaves will grow toward the top. When there are enough roots, transplant into the garden.

3. Ginger

Use a piece of ginger with a knob, or one with an arm sticking out of the main body of the root. Soak the root overnight, and then bury it in a pot of rich soil with good drainage. Be sure to keep the soil moist. Ginger does best in the shade or as a houseplant. It cannot tolerate cold weather or drought. If given the right conditions, ginger is easy to grow.

4. Green Onions

Cut off the bulb and roots (the white end) and place it root-side down in a glass of water overnight. Replant outside or in a large pot the next day, and it will start to grow quickly.

5. Leeks

Cut off the bulb, just like you would with green onions, and place it in a shallow glass of water. Change the water and wash the roots once a week. Harvest fresh leeks when they’re big enough to eat.

6. Romaine Lettuce

Cut off the bottom inch of a head of romaine lettuce. Place it root-side down into a shallow glass of water, and new leaves will grow from the top.

7. Garlic

Plant a single clove of garlic root-side down (flat end) into a few inches of potting soil. Once shoots start sprouting, cut them back so the bulb will be able to grow, and eventually you will have a fresh garlic bulb. Use a clove off the new bulb to start growing another one for later.

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