The 10 Easiest Veggies to Grow from Scraps

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Do you throw out the veggie scraps when you prep for dinner? Did you know the pieces you consider waste might be another precious resource?

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Rather than toss or compost the leftover vegetable pieces, like lettuce heads, reuse them.

You have probably seen images and posts online lately about regrowing food from kitchen scraps. As the pandemic created new issues in our society, many people are moving toward self-reliable sources for necessities.

Unlike some of the misleading information you may have seen online recently, there is a specific process involved with growing each vegetable — whether you use water or soil. Not all scraps work.

That’s why I put together this extensive list of the easiest veggies to grow from scrap. Each listing below includes the only vegetables that start growing in water.

Never rebuy these ten vegetables! I will explain the steps you need to follow below.

What is Urban Gardening, and Why Should I Care?

Photo by  Elias Morr  on  UnsplashPhoto by  Elias Morr  on  Unsplash

Photo by Elias Morr on Unsplash

Urban gardening is becoming more popular today. According to Ecolife, it’s “the process of growing plants of all types and varieties in an urban environment.” Settings like city apartments and suburban yards can become an urban garden.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a yard, patio, or any bit of outdoor space to grow food. Container and indoor gardening are also urban gardening concepts.

But containers and soil aren’t even required for gardening. Growing a food source from the pieces you would normally throw in the trash is surprisingly fast and painless. Beginners follow the straightforward procedure too.

Some plants grow again, but not all. The process involves roots, stems, seeds, or even leaves — depending on the plant. Others partially regrow in water or never grow true to their parent plants.

Carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, and beets are a few of the most common misrepresentations. These plants do regrow in water or soil, but the result is edible leafy greens. The part of the veggie people eat does not reproduce because the roots don’t regrow.

So Why Regrow Veggies?

Regrowing food scraps is one of the best ways to embark on a zero waste lifestyle or save money. It is a highly self-sustainable way to live. You don’t need a large garden patch (or even a yard) to regrow vegetables in water. However, don’t expect to survive from food scraps alone.

You won’t regrow enough produce to feed the entire family, but the purpose here is to have fun with gardening and reduce food waste. Using every possible edible portion of the plants in your veggie patch reduces food waste than we realize. Children learn how plants grow and can participate in the process too.

10 Easy Vegetables to Regrow in Water

Photo by  Francesco Gallarotti  on  UnsplashPhoto by  Francesco Gallarotti  on  Unsplash

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

With only water, certain vegetable scraps grow once more. You don’t need soil or seeds to get started with these ten easy veggies. All you need is water and a shallow pan or jar. You may, however, need soil or a container to continue the growth process later.

For the best results, begin with organic and healthy vegetables. Many store-bought veggies contain growth retardants to keep them from sprouting. Make sure to offer the right growing conditions for each plant, and harvest them at the right time.

1. Green Onions

Although there is a difference between green onions and scallions, the two plants look exactly alike. Regrowing onions greens is simple.

Place water in a shallow glass or jar, and suspend the onion over the top. The roots should reach the water while the heads remain dry. Replace the water every other day. Cut off what you need from the tops of the onions as you cook. The plant keeps growing with proper care.

2. Garlic

If you have garlic from the store, you can replant a few bulbs to keep up the momentum. Many people don’t recommend regrowing garlic from the grocery store. They say you can’t know for sure what the variety is or if the type grows well in your planting zone.

However, I have never had trouble. Garlic regrows in either water or soil flawlessly.

The trick? Full sun. Move your garlic to a container and place it outside. Otherwise, the plant produces edible leaves only. You must also remove the long stalk when it sprouts from the garlic bulb so the plant will grow large, tasty bulbs.

Bonus: planting garlic and lettuce together helps keep pests from your crops.

3. Leeks

Leeks, onions, and celery grow similarly. With leeks, however, your harvest is much more abundant.

Grab a shallow container or glass of lukewarm water. Submerge the root-end in the water, leaving two inches of roots over water. Keep the glass on a sunny windowsill and change the water every few days. The leeks regrow from the center section in about a week.

4. Celery

Celery is one of the most natural veggies to regrow. Celery grows when you place the stem in water.

Begin by cutting off the main base of the celery plant (around an inch or two from the base), placing it face-down in a container or bowl with warm water. Place the bowl in a sunny, warm location. The leaves grow after a week, then transfer it to a full sun area of the garden. Water generously for tall, healthy stalks. Harvest your full-size celery later.

5. Bulb Fennel

Like celery, you can start growing bulb fennel in water and move it to the garden for further growth.

Place the root-end in a container or bowl of water. Leave at least an inch of the base with intact roots for proper growth. When green shoots appear near the middle, move the fennel to a traditional soil garden.

6. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is the best type of leafy green to regrow from scraps. Many types of lettuces are available, but romaine is fast-growing and productive. You can cut what you need, and the head re-forms to grow more leafy greens, or transfer the plant to the soil for a larger Romaine shrub.

Save the bottom two-thirds of your romaine, placing the roots in a bowl of water. Set the plant in a sunny spot on a windowsill, changing the water as needed. Harvest the second round of leaves when you need them. If you have extra garden space outdoors, move the plant to the soil for added growth.

7. Napa Cabbage

A few cabbage varieties, such as Napa cabbage, regrow in water or soil. The process is similar to lettuce.

Cut off the head of the cabbage, placing the base on a cutting board. Next, cut a cross into the bottom. Place it in a container or bowl of water. The head should sprout, without needing to transplant. Replace the water when it appears cloudy, and harvest the plant’s new leaves as required.

8. Bok Choy

Bok choy is a super easy-to-grow Asian green. All you need is the base of the veggie and water.

Follow the same method for growing bok choy as with celery or romaine lettuce. Leafy crops also regrow from single leaves. Keep the bowl in a sunny place, misting the leaves with water every so often. New roots appear after a week. Then the bok choy is ready for transplant to soil if you want.

9. Potatoes

If your yard offers enough room to grow potatoes, start raising the veggies indoors from kitchen scraps. Use the bottom part of the vegetable you would typically throw away or cut an inch piece of potato with a few eyes, which is where the plant will sprout.

Both tuberous roots and the stems will regrow, producing an entire potato plant. Allow the skin to dry before you start entirely. Suspend the potato over water using toothpicks to hold it in place or add the potato section directly into the soil. Make sure the eye faces upwards.

10. Sweet Potatoes

Like regular potatoes, you can replant a small chunk of sweet potato as long as it has 1-2 eyes. An entire new sweet potato plant will grow.

The process is the same as regular potatoes. You may also try suspending the sweet potato over a glass of water by suspending it with toothpicks until the roots sprout, then transfer it to soil.

Reduce Your Food Waste Further with Root Crops

Photo by  Jonathan Pielmayer  on  UnsplashPhoto by  Jonathan Pielmayer  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

Root crops, like carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and radishes, may not regrow the entire vegetable from scraps. However, you can grow the leafy greens in water and add them to dinners. The edible greens contain nutrients.

They also help you reduce the amount of waste you generate. You could even save the seeds from plants like radishes for planting next season.

What crop are you planning to try regrowing in water? Have you had luck with any of these veggies more than others? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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