The Thrifty Gardener: Regrow Your Veggies from Scratch
Have you ever wondered if there was a way to regrow fruit and vegetables from leftover scraps rather than throwing them in the bin or the compost? Well, you’re not the only one! We have compiled a list of fresh produce that you can easily regrow from just the stem, not only saving your weekly grocery bill but also cutting back on household food waste.
Carrots, parsnips, beets, and other root vegetables- You only need a couple of millimetres of the meat and the green stem to regrow these veggies. Place the cut-off section face down in a shallow dish of water so the stem is standing upwards. Once roots start to develop and mature, you can plant them in soil for the remainder of their growth period.
Lettuce, Celery, Bok Choi and other water-concentrated vegetables – Similar to regrowing root vegetables, place the cut-off bottom of the vegetable face down in a vessel of water. The great thing about these water-concentrated vegetables is that you can cut the leaves off to use in your dishes and the plant will continue to grow.
Sweet potato- suspend the sweet potato using toothpicks over a vessel of water. Make sure that only the lower section of the vegetable is submerged. Shoots or ‘slips’ will grow from the top of the sweet potato. Once they get to be 15cm in length, you can either plant the whole veggie into soil or you can gently twist the slips off and put them in a shallow bowl of water to grow roots separately. Once they become more mature you can put them up into soil. Place in a sunny position.
Potato- Take a chunky section from the potato that has an “eye” or root and plant it into soil with the eye facing upwards.
Onion, leek, chives, and other members of the onion family- cut about 4cm of the onion’s base off along with the root. You can place this in either a vessel of water if the roots are less established or you can plant it directly into soil. Remember to replace the water every couple of days.
Ginger- cut off a piece of ginger that has a bud and plant the piece into soil with the bud facing upwards.
Pineapple- Cut off the top of the pineapple just below where the leaves start. Carefully remove the fruit from the base and then let it dry for a few days. Pot it into well-drained soil.
Basil, mint, oregano, and other soft-stemmed herbs- These can be cut and regrown from a mother plant that is still attached to a bulb. Cut the stem from the mother and place it in a vessel of water, fully submerging just the stem. You can either keep the herbs in water or plant them into soil once the roots start to mature. You will only be able to regrow herbs that have been freshly cut from the mother plant. Replace the water every couple of days.
Save the seeds- From pumpkin seeds, and green beans to strawberry seeds, saving seeds from fruits and vegetables is another great way to regrow food you have consumed. Although you will have to wait until the right season to plant them, it can be very rewarding to know that you have produced food from seed to the dinner plate.
Gently wash the seeds and spread them over some paper towel and wait until they are completely dry. Keep the seeds away from direct sunlight as this can overly dry the outer coat and it won’t be able to germinate once planted in soil. Store the dried seeds in an airtight bag or container. Do not freeze the seeds as this will kill them.
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