Fears of coronavirus-induced shortages have sparked a desire to grow our food. You may be surprised to learn that there are many common vegetables that you can regrow from scraps that you would normally throw away. This can be a great money saver, both when it comes to starting a new vegetable plot, and when it comes to your existing food growing efforts.
Let’s take a look at how you can regrow vegetables using small parts of the plant, or pieces that might otherwise have been added to your compost heap:
Want to start kitchen gardening? Start with potatoes!
Most people know potatoes can be grown from potato peelings. You need peelings that have eyes on them. Cut those peelings into two-inch pieces, ensuring that there are at least two or three eyes on each piece. Allow them to dry out overnight, and then simply plant them about four inches deep in your soil. Make sure that the eyes are facing up when planting. It will take a few weeks before you see the potato plant begin to grow.
Onions are very easy to grow indoors or out. You have to cut the root of the onion off and make sure that you leave about half an inch of onion when you do. Cover lightly with potting soil and keep in a sunny area. For green onions, simply put the white base with the roots intact in a container of water and place it in direct sunlight. Change the water out every few days, and the green will continue to grow. Just snip what you need and allow it to grow as long as you like.
Lettuce and cabbage
These are relatively easy to grow from scraps. Instead of throwing out those leftover leaves, simply place them in a bowl with just a bit of water in the bottom. Keep the bowl at a place that gets good sunlight, and mist the leaves with water a couple of times each week. After 3 or 4 days, you will notice roots beginning to appear along with new leaves. When this happens, you can transplant your lettuce or cabbage into the soil.
Ginger root is very easy to grow, and once you get started, you can keep your supply of ginger full. You need to plant a spare piece of your ginger root in potting soil, making sure that the buds are facing up. You will notice new shoots and new roots in about a week. Remember to save a piece of the rhizome so that you can replant it and grow more for the next time you need it.
You can re-grow garlic from just one clove. Plant it with the roots facing down in potting soil. Garlic needs plenty of direct sunlight. Once you notice that new shoots have established, cut the shoots back, and your plant will produce a bulb. You can take part in this new bulb and plant again in your kitchen garden.
Tomatoes can be grown just by saving those seeds that you probably throw out anyway. You must rinse the seeds and allow them to dry. Plant in a good, rich potting soil until you notice growth. Allow the seeds to get a few inches high before transplanting them outdoors. During winter, you can grow your tomatoes indoors. Just remember to keep them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight and water a few times each week.
If you love using lemongrass in your chai or curries but have a difficult time finding it, simply regrow your own through kitchen gardening. You just place the root that is leftover in a glass bowl or jar with enough water to cover it and leave it in the sunlight. After about a week, you will notice new growth. Transplant in a pot or your herb garden.
Pepper and Chillies
You can grow several hot peppers from the seeds that are leftover through kitchen gardening. Just collect the seeds from your chillies, bell pepper, ghost pepper or any other peppers that you have on hand. Plant them in potting soil and keep them in direct sunlight unless it is warm outside, and then you can plant them in your garden area. They don’t require a lot of care. Once you get a new crop, just save some of the seeds for replanting again.
Basil, cilantro, mint
Herbs are easy to regrow in the kitchen garden. You have to have a stem about four inches high. Place this stem in a glass of water with the leaves well above the waterline. Leave the glass sitting in a bright area but not in direct sunlight. Roots should begin to form in a few days, and when those roots reach a couple of inches long, you can transplant them into the soil.