How to Regrow Your Own Vegetables
Spring is almost here, and many people are excited to test out their green thumb in a garden but are worried about the price and whether or not they have the skills.
Starting a garden doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to get your hands dirty to do it. By taking the leftovers from your fresh vegetables that you would usually throw away, you can regrow even more vegetables. This repurposing of food scraps is a form of recycling. Not only will this method save you money, but it will also benefit the environment by decreasing food waste.
We have five vegetables that you can repurpose now, and you most likely use these in your meals already.
Garlic: Regrow from Garlic Cloves
If you’ve ever left garlic cloves in the fridge for a few days and gone back for them, you may have noticed tiny stems sprouting from your cloves. You don’t need to throw these away!
Instead, fill a glass jar or cup with a small amount of freshwater. Take your cloves and put them in the water, root side down and pointy side up. Make sure that all of your cloves are standing up and not leaning or laying horizontal in the water. Keep your cloves in the container for about a week, with access to sunshine.
These cloves will quickly grow and you will begin to see roots. After the 7 days, you must plant your cloves into the soil. You can plant them 1-2 inches deep and at least 4 inches apart if in the same pot.
If grown under the right conditions, your cloves will mature within nine months’ time.
Green Onions: Regrow from Roots
As one of the most popular and widely used ingredients, green onions are possibly the easiest plant to regrow! Simply take your leftover green onion roots and place them in a cup with a small amount of water (just enough to cover the roots and bottom of the cup). The roots should all be resting flat on the bottom of the cup. You should change your water out every 2 days, and within a week, you will have a new set of green onions.
No more last-minute trips to the grocery store!
Romaine Lettuce: Regrow from Hearts
If you like to make a salad with your dinner, or just use romaine lettuce often in your dishes, this one is for you.
After using your lettuce, take your leftover heart and place them in a container with half an inch of water. Place your container in direct sunlight and change the water every 2 days. After a few days, your lettuce heart will begin to sprout leaves. Allow for the leaves to develop and soon you will have enough leaves to begin eating!
Onion: Regrow from Root End
Onions are another plant that are super easy to regrow from scraps. You can use a variety of onions for this process as well, including red onions or yellow onions. It is important however that you use a fresh onion for this practice and not one that has gone bad. To begin growing your new onion, cut off the bottom end of your used onion. Allow the onion bottom to dry for at least twelve hours. Once it has completely dried, plant the bottom in soil and place it in a location that will receive direct sunlight. Within 90 to 120 days, you will have a full-sized onion.
Potatoes: Regrow from Tubers (Potato “eyes”)
Potatoes are probably the fastest plant to start growing from itself. If you’ve ever bought a bag you’ve probably seen stems growing from them before you can even finish it. These stems are called tubers and are an early form of potato sprouts. Tubers are often called potato eyes due to their resemblance.
Instead of throwing these away, replant them and get even more potatoes. In order to start the process, pick a potato that has a good amount of formed eyes. Chop it into 3 pieces, making sure that each piece has at least one eye on it. Allow the pieces to sit at room temperature for a couple of days. This will allow the cut areas to dry. Once the potatoes have dried, it is time to plant! Bury your potato pieces a minimum of eight inches deep and four inches apart. With appropriate sunlight and watering, your plant will begin growing in no time. Within two weeks, you should begin to see green shoots coming from your plant. With time, these will develop into thick plants and after 3 months you will have fully developed spuds.
Vegetables aren’t the only plants that you can regrow from scraps, fruits can be regrown too!
One of the easiest fruits to regrow is the pineapple. When picking out your pineapple at the grocery store, be sure to choose one that has healthy, green foliage at the top. Cut up your pineapple as you normally would, but keep the leafy top this time.
Remove the tough pineapple skin from the top to reveal the pineapple crown. In order to prevent rotting, allow the crown to dry by placing it in the sun for three to five days.
Once it has dried, place the crown into a soil mix, with the soil reaching the base of the leaves. Water the soil accordingly, keeping the plant moist. Roots will begin to develop within six to eight weeks.
*Note: Unless you live in the southern region you should bring your plant inside to prevent exposure to frost. Temperatures below 28 degrees can damage or kill your plant, and even temperatures below 60 degrees will weaken your plant and increase the time it takes to mature.
With these simple techniques, anyone can start a simple, budget-friendly garden and you can regrow your own vegetables. For even more fun, include your children in these practices. Not only will you teach them about healthy food, but they can also learn valuable gardening skills and responsibility.