After you've cut up your salad pieces and chopped up your soup ingredients, you've got a small pile of vegetable ends or fruit scraps to dispose of. But instead of sliding that pile into your garbage or compost bin, take a chance on those abandoned scraps, and regrow them, with these helpful regrowing tips from Hometalk.
Growing your own veggies and herbs is a low-cost and healthy way of getting your produce, because you get to control what goes into the process. Some vegetables will need to be replanted in the ground after they sprout healthy roots, but some of your scraps, like the herbs, can be kept inside in small containers.
Though regrowing and replanting some scraps may not yield results for a couple of months, it's an easy method for starting your own free produce, so what have you got to lose? Start with some of your favorite herbs or veggies to get the hang of the process. To give you a hand, here are our 6 favorite scraps to regrow and how to go about it:
Tip #1: Regrow Basil
Photo via Lavende and Lemondae
Basil is one of the easiest plants to regrow in your home. Collect your leftover basil clippings (make sure you've got about four-inches of stem), place them in a glass of water, and put them on the sill in direct sunlight. If you have a plant already, propagate it, by cutting off a small clipping, pulling off the lower leaves, and placing the bare stem bottom in a container of water. Change the water every few days, so that it stays fresh. After about a week, you should see some tiny roots beginning to sprout. Wait until your basil roots are two inches long before you plant them in a pot or garden.
Tip #2: Regrow Garlic
Photo via The Seasoned Homemaker
You know how your garlic will sometimes sprout some greens before you've gotten a chance to use it? Well, if you'd like to have a garlic plant, snatch those sprouting bulbs up and plant them in a small pot of soil, sprout end up. Next time you find your garlic starting to re-sprout, plant it in a small pot with the sprouted tip facing towards the top of the soil. Keep your soil moist and in a warm place with some sunlight. It can take up to six months to grow nice, tasty garlic, so look out for those green shoots and hang in there—it's worth it!
Tip #3: Regrow Celery
Photo via Living Ledge
Celery is a great vegetable to regrow, because the heavy base part is usually not eaten anyway. Instead of tossing that pretty green base into your bin, place it in a bowl with the cut stalks facing up. Then, add enough water to cover the bottom of the base, but not the whole bulb. Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a bowl of water with the stalk tips facing up. Be sure your water only covers the bottom of your celery, not the entire bulb. Keep your celery in a warm spot, but not in direct sunlight.
After about a week, the inner leaves should have turned from yellow and small to green and growing slightly. Your celery is ready to be transferred to a container of soil, or to your garden. After a couple of months, your celery can be harvested as needed.
Tip #4: Regrow Ginger
Photo via The Gardening Cook
When your ginger root gets down to the nubby ends, plant it in a pot of soil and regrow it. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy, place your pot out of direct sunlight, and wait until it begins to sprout. Once you see sprouts, you can dig up your root, cut some off for use, and then replant the whole thing in a fresh pot of soil.
Tip #5: Regrow Green Onions
Photo via Pixie's Pocket
Keep the white, hairy bulbs of your chopped up onions, for a super easy and quick new plant. Place your scraps bulb down in a glass of water, and sit it on a window sill in direct sunlight. Change the water often to keep your plants fresh, and in a few weeks, you should see perfectly usable onion stalks, ready for cooking!
Tip #6: Regrow Romaine Lettuce
Photo via Nava Beginsky
The easiest type of lettuce to regrow, Romaine lettuce is basically foolproof to grow. Simply use the chopped off base, or "heart," of your lettuce, and, like with the celery, place it in a bowl of shallow water (just enough to cover the bottom). Change the water daily, so that it stays fresh. Within a couple of days, fresh green lettuce leaves should begin to shoot up from the center of your base. You can continue to grow your lettuce in just water, or you can now plant the base in a garden or container. As the leaves grow bigger and fuller, you can harvest your lettuce, removing the outer leaves, like you would with a store bought head of lettuce.
The best thing about regrowing your veggies? After they're full size, you can harvest them and regrow those scraps again. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy your last ever store bought supplies, and then enjoy your household herbs and vegetables.
For more container gardening tips, tricks, and how-to's, check out our container gardening page on Hometalk.
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