12 Apr Best Way To Plant Lemongrass From Kitchen Scraps
VEGETABLES YOU CAN REGROW FROM SCRAP
There’s no doubt about it: groceries are one of the most expensive necessities we regularly purchase. A great way to reduce expenses at the checkout counter is to grow your own food. Start a garden, small or large- your tummy and your pocketbook will thank you for it. Here’s another idea; have you heard of re-growing your fruits and veggies from scraps? If not, you’re in for a treat!
We don’t live in a Star Trek world where we can simply ask a food replicator to make a salad from thin air. However, we can regrow some favorite foods from the bits we’d normally throw away. This is a great project for the kids! Read on for a list of delicious foods you can re-grow from kitchen scraps.
18 Fruits & Vegetables You Can Re-Grow from Kitchen Scraps
Bok choy is easily re-grown. Cut off the base of the plant and place it in a bowl, bottom side down, cut side up. Add a small amount of water, up to ¼” above the base, and replace the water every few days. In about a week, you’ll see regrowth from the center of the base — at that time, you can replant it outside by covering everything except the new growth with soil.
What grows back: the entire plant in about 4-5 months
This is one of the easiest veggies to re-grow and it’s done using a part we almost always discard. Cut off the base of your celery (where all the stalks join). Put it in a bowl with a small amount of warm water and place that in direct sunlight. Within a week, leaves should appear & thicken at the base. Transplant it then and you’ll soon have fresh celery!
What grows back: celery leaves and a few smaller stalks
Lemongrass is wonderful for cooking and for home brewed teas. It’s also simple to re-grow. Cut the tops off lemongrass stalks and place them in water. Change the water every couple of days, and in 2-3 weeks you’ll see roots develop. When a good root system has developed, plant the stalks outside in the garden in full sun.
What grows back: the full lemongrass plant, with stalks to harvest
Lop off the top of the fruit, strip of some of the lower leaves, exposing about an inch of the base. Let this dry out for a couple of days. Now place this in a jar or wide-mouthed cup of water. Fill the water so it just touches the base of the pineapple. Place in direct sunlight. You can even set it outside if the days are warm but bring it inside at night. Change the water every other day, keeping the level such that it just reaches the base of the pineapple. In a week or so, you’ll have roots and can transplant it. If you’re in a cooler area, grow your pineapple inside.
What grows back: a new pineapple plant, but it can take up to 2 years for the plant to bear fruit
Simply wash the large pit after you remove it. Using toothpicks or other support material, balance the seed over a jar or bowl of water. Make sure the water covers the bottom half of the seed. Keep your seed warm, but don’t put in direct sunlight. Check daily, adding water to keep the bottom inch covered. In about 6 weeks, roots and a stem will grow. Let the stem grow to 6″, and then cut it to 3″. Leaves will follow shortly, at which point you can transplant the seed. Leave about half of the seed above ground.
What grows back: Not every pit regrows, so plan to experiment with several at a time. For those that “take,” you’ll have an avocado sapling that will produce avocados.
We’ve all seen “eyes” growing on potatoes. Cut the potato in half, making sure each half has about 2 – 3 eyes. Dry them overnight and plant them 4″ deep into the soil with the eyes facing the sky. In a few weeks, you’ll see new potato plants.
What grows back: a new potato plant with potatoes to harvest
Re-growing sweet potatoes is like a mix of potatoes and avocados. Cut the sweet potato in half and balance it over a bowl of shallow water. In a few days, it will grow roots and start sprouting on top. Twist off the sprouts when they’re at least 4″ long and put them in a bowl of water. Roots will grow from the sprouts. When they’re about 1″ long, plant them.
What grows back: a new sweet potato plant with sweet potatoes to harvest
It’s super simple to keep a supply of this superfood on hand. Take a piece of ginger with buds on it and plant it, buds facing down. About a week later, you’ll see new roots and shoots. Pull it up and use your fresh ginger. Be sure to save a piece to repeat the process!
What grows back: new ginger root
All it takes is one clove to re-grow garlic. Take one clove from the head you get when you buy garlic. Plant it, pointed end up, in the garden direct sunlight. Soon, you’ll see new shoots. Some garlic varieties send up a flower stalk — cut them off so that the plant’s energy goes into the developing garlic bulb rather than the flowers. Harvest it, use it and save one clove to re-grow more!
What grows back: another garlic bulb
Just cut off the onion’s root, leaving a half-inch of onion attached. Lightly cover this with soil and place in direct sunlight. Green onions are also easy: take the white part, with roots attached, and put in a jar of water in direct sunlight. Change the water every three days or so; the green part will grow. Cut what you need for use and let it continue growing.
What grows back: fully grown onions
Bean sprouts are easy to grow. Take about a tablespoon of your chosen beans and put them in a jar. Add just enough water to cover them and leave overnight. The next morning, drain the water and replace the beans in the jar. Cover the jar overnight using a towel and rinse the beans the following morning. Repeat this until they sprout and grow to the desired size. Many people do this with wheat berries and mung beans.
What grows back: bean sprouts
Just like peppers, tomatoes can be re-grown from seed. One difference is that you need to rinse the “gel” off and dry the seeds. Plant them in containers. When you see new growth of about a few inches, transplant them into your outdoor garden. In colder weather, just do this indoors in direct sunlight and water about three times per week.
What grows back: a full tomato plant with tomatoes to harvest
All you need is one stem, about 4″ long. Strip the stem of about 75% of the leaves, and put it in a jar of water, keeping the remaining leaves above the water. Make sure it has plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2″ long (a few days to a week), transplant your new basil.
What grows back: the entire basil plant with leaves to harvest
Again, all you need is a stem. Put it in a jar of water in bright light (windowsills are great!). When you get roots of about 2″ long, transplant it and in a few weeks, you’ll see new, harvestable sprigs of fresh cilantro.
What grows back: a fully grown plant with cilantro leaves to harvest
Regrowing Fruits and Vegetables from Seeds
Perhaps the easiest veg to re-grow, all you need to do is collect the pepper seeds! Plant them in pots in direct sunlight, or outside if it’s warm enough. They grow fast and don’t need a lot of attention. Just make sure you save some seeds from your harvest to repeat the process!
What grows back: the entire plant with peppers
This one takes some time. Keep the cherry pit in cold storage to encourage germination. This is easy: clean it well, bury it in rich, nutrient-dense soil and put it in a covered container in your fridge. In about 12 weeks, you can transplant it outside.
What grows back: While a new cherry tree will grow back and produce cherries, the fruit will likely not be 100% the same as the original fruit from which your pit came. This is because fruit trees have both a rootstock and a specific cherry cultivar, which your new tree will not have.
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This is an even longer-term project than cherries, but worth the wait. It works for peaches, plums, and nectarines. You won’t see fruit for a couple of years, though. Crack the pit with a vise or a nutcracker and remove the seed. Dry the seeds very well, and chill in the refrigerator (or outside in a planter with potting soil) starting about 4 months before your last spring frost date.
What grows back: a peach tree with peaches to harvest
Like cherries and peaches, you’ll need patience for this project. Clean and dry the seeds very well. Plant them in nutrient-dense soil and wait for a couple of years to get fruit. If you live in a colder area, you can do this inside! Just choose Meyer lemons, which are smaller plants. It will still take a couple of years to get fruit from these dwarf trees.
What grows back: a lemon tree with lemons to harvest
7 Additional Foods You can also Re-Grow:
So, the next time you think of just throwing away certain food scraps, remember that you can re-grow some fresh fruits and veggies with those scraps and save on the grocery budget. Have fun experimenting!
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