Growing Vegetables from Scraps is Fun & Easy

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Have you ever heard of growing vegetables from scraps? Not only is it fun and easy to learn, but it’s a great way to engage your kids in gardening and grow food without spending any extra money.  

My daughter growing vegetables from scrap.

Growing Vegetables from Scraps is Fun & Easy

Growing vegetables from scraps is not as difficult as it may seem at first. In fact, it’s quite easy to do once you know what you’re doing.

What Vegetables Can You Regrow From Scraps?

To get started growing veggies from scraps, you’ll need to know which foods you can regrow. The list is quite long but a few easier ones to start with are green onions, celery, garlic, regular onions, lettuce, potatoes, and pineapple. Growing vegetables from scraps does not require a ton of supplies either. Usually the only things you’ll need are water, a glass or place to start your regrowth and later on, potting soil and a planter.

regrowing veggies in water

Regrowing food from scraps is also a great way to keep a small container garden. It’s an especially good way to grow some of your own food even if you do not have a lot of space to do so. Several vegetable types grow very well in water right on your counter. My kids really enjoy watching food grow this way!

how to regrow vegetables in water (1)

Vegetables You can Grow in Water on Your Counter

Our favorite vegetable to grow from scraps is green onions. They can be grown in water, right on your kitchen counter. To grow green onions, just save the white part of the onion and place them in water. Change out the water every day as it does get nasty after a while.

growing green onions in water

To eat, simply snip the green onions and use. We find two or three re-growths is a good number before the green onions need to be put in the compost pile.

To regrow celery from scraps, cut the individual stalks off leaving 1-2” on the bottom. Take the lump of stalk and place it in a glass with clean water. Leave it to sit in a sunny spot for a few days. After a week or so, you should begin to see new growth form from the center of the stalks.

At this point, take it and plant it in potting soil, water well and give it plenty of light. The process for re-growing lettuce is the same as celery except instead of cutting the stalks, you will remove all except the center leaves.

pineapple in a pot

Vegetables You will Need to Plant in Dirt

Several vegetables grow easily from scraps but will eventually have to be planted in dirt if you’d like to harvest eventually. You may notice some of your store bought vegetables sprouting and wonder what to do with them. Here are a few of our favorites to plant in dirt to regrow!

Growing Garlic from scraps is one of the truly easy ones as you grow from bulbs that have sprouted. To do so, plant the whole bulb with the paper on approximately 3” inches deep into potting soil. Water well and allow it to grow. Garlic grows best in a well lit, but cool area since it is considered a fall/winter crop.

Potatoes are very easy to regrow from scraps and in fact, even farmers who have potato crops grow potatoes from other potatoes. To do so, allow the potato to sit until it sprouts individual “eyes.” 

Learn how to plant your potatoes in the ground in this post with everything you need to know about growing potatoes. Just an fyi, you’re serious about growing potatoes in your garden, it’s better to purchase seed potatoes or save your own specifically to be used as seeds. Potatoes are often sprayed with a sprout inhibitor hormone which is why I buy organic potatoes. Non-certified seed potatoes can carry disease you don’t want to introduce to your garden.

Pineapples can be grown from scrap but it will take years for a harvest.  Take a ripe pineapple with only green leaves and twist the top off.  Peel the bottom 2″ inches of leaves off and allow the base of the crown to dry for a day or 2 on the counter out of direct sunlight.  You’ll notice the base of the crown is grey and dry and can be planted into a pot of soil.

What Other Vegetables Can You Grow from Food Scraps?

Sprouting carrot

Other vegetables scraps that can be regrown do not always regrow specifically from a scrap. For instance, seeds harvested from strawberries, peppers and tomatoes are considered scrap but are able to regrow into new plants if they are heirloom varieties. Doing this can be a great way to expand your garden without spending a ton of money on seeds or plants.

In some cases, you can also regrow from cuttings. Certain berry bushes, such as elderberry, aloe vera and even roses are all grown from the cuttings of another plant. Again, this is a fantastic way to expand what you’re growing while making the most of the other plants you have already grown.

Growing a kitchen scrap garden is also a great way to reduce waste. What better way to upcycle what would normally be compost into fresh, nutritious food for your family?

Have you ever tried this?  What is something you want to grow?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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