You might already know that many of the vegetables and herbs bought from the grocery store can easily regrow in soil or water. Window sill indoors can be used to regrow fresh greens. Also, you can start with an edible plant garden with the aid of kitchen scraps.
Yes, you heard right it’s kitchen scraps. Several kitchen scraps which are destined for the garbage or compost bin can be turned into new plants. They can be anything like stems, seeds, and butts. So, let’s have a look at plants you can grow from kitchen scraps.
Table of contents
How to grow edible plants from kitchen scraps?
1) Gather your kitchen scraps
Start by collecting scraps from herbs and vegetables such as onion bottoms, lettuce stems, carrot tops, herb cuttings, etc. But those scraps should be healthy and fresh without being exposed to disease or rotten.
2) Prepare containers
Look for suitable containers for planting, like trays, pots, jars, etc. To prevent waterlogging, you can find containers having drainage holes. You can minimize the disease risk by sterilizing and cleaning the containers.
3) Choose the right scraps
You can’t regrow each kitchen scrap. That’s why we have mentioned some of the kitchen scraps that can regrow:
- Leafy greens: Bok choy, spinach, lettuce, and kale.
- Root vegetables: Beets, garlic, turnips, radishes, carrots, and onions.
- Herbs: Parsley, mint, basil, and cilantro.
- Stems: Green onions, celery, and lemongrass.
4) Regrowing methods
- Water propagation: Use a container to place the scraps, and while watering them make sure that they cover enough base, but there is no need to submerge leaves. It would be better if you change their water regularly and place it at room temperature. Just wait for a week, and boom the roots will start developing.
- Soil propagation: In this case, use a well-draining potting mix to fill the containers. Now, plant the scraps in the soil and ensure they are covered to the proper depth. To keep it moist, you can lightly mist the soil but don’t waterlog it. Now, keep the container under grow light or in a sunny location.
5) Care and maintenance
- Watering: Keep your soil moist consistently, but there is no need to over-saturate them. You can water them only when the soil’s top inch feels dry. If you’ve water-propagated plants, then change their water regularly to prevent any kind of stagnation.
- Light and temperature: Look for a location that generally receives adequate sunlight. For most edible plants there is a need for around 6-8 hours of sunlight which can be direct or indirect daily. According to the plants you’re growing, just maintain their suitable temperature range.
- Fertilizing: Compost tea or organic fertilizer are two of the best way to provide your growing plants with necessary nutrients.
As your plants start growing, you can harvest their edible parts. Like in the case of herbs and leafy vegetables, you can leave their inner parts intact for continued growth and harvest their outer branches or leaves. But in the case of root vegetables, you can harvest them once as they hit the desired size.
7) Regrow or start anew
Some kitchen scraps have only limited regrowth potential. That’s why it is better to start new plants periodically from fresh scraps. With this, you can maintain a continuous supply of your fresh produce.
Easy edible plants to grow from kitchen scraps
Save the lettuce head, which should be around an inch from the bottom. Now, place it in a container with water but make sure the base is submerged but not leaves. Every few days change the lettuce head water. The center part will sprout new leaves, which you can harvest with their growth.
2) Bok Choy
In this case, you’ve to cut off the bok choy bunch bottom and just like lettuce keep it in the water container. It will also regrow from the center, and its outer leaves can be harvested.
Take a container filled with water and place spinach stems having few leaves. With time, new leaves will start emerging, and as they grow you can harvest them.
From the basil, cut a 4-6 inch stem present below a leaf node. Take a glass of water and place the stem by ensuring that their nodes are submerged. When its roots develop you can transplant it into a pot full of well-draining soil. Don’t forget that basil loves warmth and sunlight.
Take a mint stem having a few leaves, then place it in water. Its new roots will start growing from the submerged nodes. You can transfer it to a pot full of soil after its roots develop fully.
Cut the stem with a few leaves of cilantro, then place it in water. After you spot roots, you can transplant them into a well-draining soil pot. It would be better if you place it in partial shade and cooler temperature.
While cutting off the carrot’s top inch, make sure the green foliage is attached. Then place it in a shallow dish having enough water to submerge the cut end. Green shoots will start emerging within a few days. After that, you can transplant it into a garden bed or pot, and when the new carrot greens they become ready to harvest.
8) Green Onions
Green onions have white root ends, which you can save with a bit of the bulb. Then place green onions in a jar or glass full of water. With time, new green shoots will regrow. You can snip off whatever is required for cooking and don’t worry about them, as they will keep growing.
It is easy to cut off the celery stalks, but at least two inches should be left from the base. You can place them in a shallow water dish or jar. Keep an eye on the center as new stalks will regrow from them. Once roots and leaves develop, they can be transplanted into the soil.
Take a lemongrass stalk, and trim the few inches from the bottom, then place it in water. Its roots will start growing from the base. You can transfer it into a pot full of well-draining soil once its roots establish. Make sure to place lemongrass in sunlight and warmth.
By following our step-by-step guide to growing edible plants from kitchen scraps you can save your money. Make sure that regrowth might vary according to factors such as environmental conditions. So, start experimenting with distinctive food scraps and enjoy the growing process of food from kitchen scraps.