There are many vegetables that can be grown from complete waste, parts that would be put into the bin or composted. They couldn’t be easier to grow into fully matured plants, so if you’re looking to save money on seed costs or you’re just looking for a fun little project, there’s something for you here.
You don’t need to put a whole potato into the ground to get a harvest, you can get a very nice harvest simply using some offcuts and scraps. If you have a potato with a little bit of damage or one that is bigger than you need, you can plant parts of these and grow a crop. Just make sure that part has at least one eye on it. Leave it to chit (grows shoots in the light) and plant like you would a seed potato.
Once the next harvest is ready, you can simply repeat the process.
When it comes to regrowing plants from scraps, Ginger is certainly one of the easiest among them. It’s really as simple as just planting a spare bit of the root (the part you cook with). Just put it straight into your garden or a plant pot with the shoots facing upwards and it will soon start to grow. Once the plant is established, you can take it up, cut a little piece off and plant again to give yourself another crop, once that’s used up.
Once you have used up your lettuce, you’re always left with the base to throw into the bin or compost. Well, instead of that, why not place it on a little plate or in a tub of water and watch as the leaves grow back, giving you a super fresh baby salad leaves. You won’t get a full size lettuce with this method, but it will give you some lovely leaves for salads and sandwiches.
How many of us have a spare clove left from the bulb, sitting in a cupboard, doing nothing. Well, why not turn that clove into a whole bulb to add flavour to your next kitchen masterpiece. Simple plant the clove into a small pot, cover with compost and watch it grow. You can even leave it sitting on your windowsill and use the same pot to plant a clove from each bulb you harvest, an infinite loop of garlic is created.
Yet another super simple crop to regrow from scraps, all you need to do it cut off the base, lay it in a little container of water on a sunny windowsill and wait for it to start growing. Once it starts to get established, move it outside and plant into soil or compost to give it that boost it needs for full growth.
When you’re cooking simply keep the root section from the bottom, leaving 1-2 cm’s attached to it, place that into some compost and thinly cover the top, a new bulb will form, as if you have planted onion sets.
Everyone wastes the pumpkin seeds right? Well, a few might toast them but I think they will generally be scrap. Keep them! Scatter them on the ground and add a cm of soil or compost over the top. This will allow you to have your own pumpkin patch. Maybe something you can do with the kids and let them grow their own pumpkins to carve for Halloween.
Pretty much the same as Pumpkins, you’re just going to use the leftover seeds to grow a new plant. Instead of putting them into the ground, try using some pots and compost. Leave these on the windowsill or put them into the greenhouse, if you have one. Water regularly and soon a pepper plant will grow and eventually fruit.
Growing fennel is pretty similar to celery, simply save the base, this time leaving about an inch intact. Put this into a little container filled with water onto a sunny windowsill. Once the fennel starts growing, again take it to the garden and plant on, to allow full growth.
Turnip, Beetroot and Parsnips
Simply keeping the top of these root vegetables after chopping, will allow you to grow a whole new one, magic, right!? Again, these need to be placed into a container with water in a sunny spot. Allow the roots to develop a little and then transplant into soil or compost outside. They will continue growing, until they have produced a whole new vegetable.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re not impressed by the circle of life for these few vegetables, then, I don’t know what will impress you. Try some yourself and feel free to let us know how it goes for you.