It’s a beautiful thing when you find a use for something that you would normally toss in the garbage bin. So don’t let the tittle of this post scare you off, lol. It’s referring to the fact that many of the scraps from your cooking, that you would normally throw out, can actually be used to regrow that plant.
The next time you are in the kitchen, having just chopped up a bunch of veggies, pause for a moment. Check the list below and make sure what you were about to chuck in the trash or compost may yield more food yet! Taking these so simple steps will give you produce of your own. Not only will you save on your grocery bill, but you will know that your food is fresh, healthy and free of GMOs! How much is that worth to you for only a few minutes prep?
20 Plants You Can Grow From Scraps
Mushrooms: These wonderful fungi can be a bit tough to grow, but don’t fret, it’s worth it. Mushrooms like warm, humid and rich soils. Take the tops off your mushrooms and save the stems for replanting. Mix some soil and compost into a pot (best way to regulate temp), though you can put them in the ground. Plant the stalk so that just the top of it shows. In the right conditions, your mushroom scrap will regrow new heads.
Onions: Probably one of the easiest things to propagate. All you need to do is cut off the root end of your onion, be sure to leave about 12mm (1/2 inch). Place the cutting in a sunny spot of your garden, and cover with soil. Keep the area moist. The onion will begin to sprout, giving you onion chives! If you want to speed up the process for a new onion bulb, simply keep the sprouts cut back. However, the sprouts will produce seeds as well, which can be planted for onions too.
Garlic: Believe it or not, but you only need one, yes One clove to produce more garlic. Take the clove and plant it root end down, in a spot with direct sunlight. Doing this will produce new shoots. At this point you can do one of two things, first you can let it simply shoot and have garlic chives (this will prolong the time for a new bulb to form). Secondly, you can cut the shoots back allowing the clove to put all its energy into a new bulb. However, the sprouts will produce seeds as well, which can be planted for onions too.
Potatoes: Ever have those couple of extra potatoes that you just never got around to using. You know, the ones that now have those little white growths (eyes) on them? Well, they are perfect candidates to propagate! Cut the potatoes into 5cm (2 inch) squares, leaving at least one to two “eyes” on each piece. Potatoes love rich soil, so add some compost to your planting place. Bury about 20 cm (8 inches), filling the hole half way. As the potatoes’ begin to grow add more soil.
Celery: This wonderful veggie will grow from the white bottom root portion. Simply cut the celery like you would normally. The best way to propagate is to put them in a shallow bowl of water in a sunny spot. Once new leaves start to sprout, plant in soil, covering it up to the new leaf growth. You can plant them out directly, but you will need to be sure to keep the soil very moist. Note: Romaine, Bok Choy, Cabbage & other Lettuces can be grown in the same fashion.
Spring Onions: These can be grown from their white root portions as well. Cut the spring onions as usual, place the white root ends into a glass or jar with water and set in a sunny window. From there they will continue to grow, and you can simply snip portions off when you need them. Just be sure to change the water every so often. Alternatively, you can plant them in a sunny spot of your garden, keeping the soil moist. Note: Leeks & Fennel will grow in the same fashion.
Lemongrass: Just cut the root portion off the lemongrass and place in a glass with water. Once it begins to re-shoot, plant out and cover up to the new growth. Wait until the grass reach about 30cm (1 foot) before harvesting.
Sweet Potatoes: You can plant your sweet potato as a whole or in part, it will work either way. Bury them in a shallow hole and once the potato re-shoots to about 30cm (1 foot) pull them out and replant, again, lol. Keep them in a nice sunny and moist area. It will more than likely take about 4-5 months before your new sweet potato is ready, but it’ll be worth it.
Ginger: Not only does ginger produce a beautiful flowering plant, it is also another very easy item to propagate. All you have to do is cut off a portion of the rhizome. Plant in filtered sunlight and moist area. Once established simply pull the plant, roots and all, out. Be sure to cut another piece off the rhizome and replant to continue the process. 😉
Carrots: Though this will not produce another carrot it will eventually produce seeds that you can then plant out for new carrots. 🙂 Simply cut off at least 2 1/2 to 5cm (1-2 inches) of the top. Plant in rough mulch, or rocky soil. They don’t need a lot of water, or sun, filtered light works best it’s been my experience. Note: Beets, Parsnips, Radishes & Turnips will grow and produce seeds in the same fashion.
Pineapple: This sweet fruit can be grown from the spiky tops you would normally throw out. Whether you cut or pull the top off your pineapple, all you need to do is plant it out to just below the leaves. Be sure to check out my in-depth post on this very fruitful method. (pun intended 😉 )
About the author Chyina
I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)