The next time you’re dicing up veggies for a meal, don’t throw away the roots or stalks. As strange as it may seem, you can actually regrow new vegetables from those bits of green. It’s a great way to save money, jump start a little vegetable garden, and even provide a science lesson for your kids.
Many vegetables can re-sprout under certain conditions. All it takes is some water, roots or stalks, sunshine, and time.
Jumpstarting the regrowth process is very similar for vegetables with roots and stalks: simply submerge the root in water, and put by a window for some sun. Within weeks, sometimes days, you’ll see new sprigs forming.
Green Onions. These are so ridiculously easy to grow. When cutting, reserve about an inch of stalk above the root. Put the stalk pieces in a small glass and cover them halfway with water. Put the mason jar or glass by a window. Within a few days, you’ll see some new green on top. Transfer to a pot of soil.
Celery. Usually, when we prepare celery we separate each piece from the base. Instead, use a large knife to cut all the stalks off and keep the base intact, about 3 inches or so. Put the root in a bowl and cover it halfway with warm water, and expose to sunlight. After about a week you’ll start seeing roots, which means you can transfer it to a pot with soil.
Potato. Have you ever forgotten a potato deep in your cupboard or pantry? And when you finally found it, there were roots growing from the eyes? The next time this happens, take the potato and cut it into pieces. Bury each piece in the ground, and in a few months you’ll have new potatoes.
Carrots. Although you won’t be able to grow a new carrot, you can still get something delicious out of it. Take the carrot tops and submerge them halfway in some water, then put by the window. In no time, you’ll get little carrot leaves, which are quite tasty, particularly in soup.
Ginger. Choose healthy pieces with intact buds. Soak the pieces in water overnight. In the morning, cover the ginger in soil with the buds down, and water. Stick the pot in a warm, sunny spot as ginger likes a lot of sunshine. It should take about three months before you start seeing green tips peeking through the soil. Ginger is worth growing at home as it is extremely beneficial for your health, check out why!
Avocado. This will take considerably more work and time since the result will be a whole tree. You may have done this in elementary school as part of a science project. Take the pit carefully out of the avocado. Wash the pit gently to remove all avocado residue, but don’t tear the brown skin. Then, identify the top (where it should remain dry) and bottom (where the root will come out).
The top is usually slightly pointed, and the bottom is somewhat flat. Stick four toothpicks in the pit to submerge it halfway in a glass of water. It’ll take about two months, but you’ll eventually see a little root emerge from the bottom of the pit, and the brown skin peel off.
When the root is about 6 inches long, trim it down to half the length. Once it reaches this length again, transfer it to a pot with soil.
Avocado trees can take years, so don’t expect to make guacamole from your garden any time soon. In the meantime, check out our article on the benefits of avocados and the different of using them in your daily meals.
Basil. Basil and other cut herbs with stems are very easy to regrow. First, make sure that the stems are about four inches long. Place the basil in a glass of water but make sure that the leaves stay high and dry above the water level. Put the glass in indirect sunlight, and in a few days you’ll start to see roots growing from the stems. Wait until the roots are a few inches long before transferring to soil.
Many of these vegetables can be simply regrown in a mason jar or a glass cup. If you love gardening but you just can’t find the space in your house for it. This is a great way to do it!
If re-growing vegetables just doesn’t satisfy the green thumb, check out vertical gardening, another great way to start from scratch and grow your own vegetables without needing a large backyard to do so!