Regrowing vegetables from scraps

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How to Grow Fruits & Vegetables from Food Scraps

Don’t toss those food scraps! Did you know that you can actually grow new plants from common food scraps that are so often destined for the garbage or compost bin? The stems, butts and seeds from many common fruits and vegetables can be turned into a fresh new crop with soil, water, sunlight and a little know-how. Here are 11 grocery-store staples you can easily grow more of at home from the food scraps you already have. So reduce your food waste and get fresh produce at your fingertips with these, er, scrappy tips.

Related: 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Food & Start Saving Money on Food

1. Celery

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Remove roughly 2 inches from the base of a bunch of celery and place in a shallow bowl with water, spraying the top daily to keep it moist. Replace with fresh water every couple of days until a new root system emerges, then transplant into the ground.

Related: Healthy Celery Recipes

2. Herbs

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Most herbs will propagate through cuttings-snip at a node (where sections of the plant merge), and place the cut portion in a jar of water on a windowsill. Replace the water every one or two days until roots emerge, then transplant to a container or the ground.

3. Garlic

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Garlic is one of the easiest foods to grow from kitchen scraps-simply take cloves and place them pointy-side up in the ground, 4-6 inches apart. Plant them outside in fall before the first frost, and enjoy fresh garlic the following year. Plant them inside in a container any other time and enjoy garlic greens, but not a full head.

Related: Healthy Garlic Recipes

4. Ginger

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If you’ve ever bought the exact amount of ginger you need for a recipe, you’re our hero. If you’re like most of us and always have some left over, give it new life by planting it and growing more! Soak the root in warm water overnight, then plant it sideways in a container, cover with soil and place in a sunny spot. Keep the soil consistently moist, and within several months you’ll have enough ginger to harvest.

Related: Our Favorite Ginger Recipes

5. Green Onions

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If you’re only using the green part of the onions, retain the white part with a small amount of pale green and place it in water on a sunny windowsill. Refresh the water regularly and use green portions as they grow, or transplant into a pot with soil for more extended use.

Related: Healthy Scallion Onion Recipes

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If you typically throw out the base of a head of lettuce, cut it away from the leaves and place in a bowl of water. Replace the water every one to two days, and within two weeks you’ll have enough fresh new leaves for a sandwich or side salad. Note: This will not regenerate a new full head of lettuce, but it will help extend the life of what would have otherwise become compost or trash.

7. Peppers*

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Save the seeds from your next bell or hot pepper. Plant them directly into soil, and water them regularly. Once a new plant emerges, transplant it to a larger container or outdoors, where it will thrive best in direct light and warm temperatures.

Related: Healthy Pepper Recipes

8. Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes

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Plenty of us have started growing new potatoes by accident-raise your hand if you’ve ever left a bag in the back of the pantry for too long, only to find them covered in sprouts. Take a more intentional approach by cutting potatoes into 2-inch pieces and letting them sit on the countertop for a couple of days to dry. Sow directly into the ground in early spring, and enjoy buttery homegrown potatoes in early to midsummer.

Related: Healthy Potato Recipes

9. Strawberries*

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Carefully cut the outer skin (containing the seeds) off the berry, or extract seeds using tweezers. Place the skin or seeds in a container with soil, cover with soil, place in a sunny spot and water regularly until sprouts emerge. Transplant the sprouts to a strawberry pot or outside garden in springtime.

Related: Sweet & Satisfying Strawberry Recipes

10. Tomatoes*

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Simply plant the seeds from your store-bought tomato into a small pot, keep well-watered on a windowsill, and wait for a new plant to emerge. Once the plant reaches several inches tall, transplant it to a larger pot-or outside once the threat of frost has passed.

Related: Summery Tomato Recipes

11. Turmeric

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Like ginger, turmeric is a rhizome, meaning you should plant it sideways to allow its root system to spread horizontally. A tropical plant, turmeric will thrive best indoors in most parts of the United States. Put it in the warmest spot in the house-it prefers temperatures well into the 70s and 80s. You may need to place it under a grow light and/or heating lamp, or purchase a germination kit with an incubation lid, heating tray and light. Keep the plant consistently moist, spraying and watering it regularly. Harvest when the plant begins to dry out after several months.

*Note about regrowing grocery store produce from seed: Many of the fruits and vegetables grown and sold on a large-scale basis are hybrids, meaning they contain genetic components of more than one variety, and are not designed to be replicated through seed. Hybrid seeds from conventional produce may be sterile (will not grow) and if they do grow, will not give you an exact copy of the parent plant, but rather something closer to one of the varieties used to create the hybrid. For more predictable produce from harvested seeds, purchase nonmodified, heirloom varieties.

How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps

Tips for turning kitchen compost scraps into pretty spring greens.

Even thought my daughter is just six years old, it’s clear that I’m raising a little environmentalist.

Clara carries a bag and picks up garbage on our forest walks, aghast at people who litter. Of her own free will, she turns off the water in the shower when soaping and is keenly aware of water conservation. She wants to know about everything from global warming to water pollution and is fiercely protective of nature.

This simple kitchen project started as a way to demonstrate to Clara how not all vegetable scraps need to end up the compost bin – many can sprout again if given the chance. You all know how I love a good lesson from the kitchen, especially if it promotes food sustainability.

Once you start looking, there are a thousand little ways we can make environmentally friendly choices in the kitchen. Regrowing vegetable scraps is just one of them.

Pictured from back left: green onion, green garlic, beets, romaine lettuce, carrots, turnip, red onion, celery and Napa cabbage.

As a kid, I can remember watching celery magically regrow and carrot tops send up tall green fronds when placed in water. It’s fascinating to see what still holds life from the produce drawer, even when it’s cut down to a mere stump.

A few weeks ago I snapped the iPhone photo above and shared it on Instagram, thinking that my followers would enjoy the inspiration for a little greenery in February.

My readers responded enthusiastically and had so many questions that I decided to follow up the photo with this post. Now these tips can live on here and you can reference it as needed, because I hope you will all start regrowing your veggies.

Not only is this a fun science experiment, but I’ve been cooking these little shoots as they sprout. Green onion, Napa cabbage, onion and green garlic are all delicious in a stir-fry or fried rice. Baby beet greens, celery shoots and romaine lettuce is harvested for salads, and carrot tops can be made into pesto.

How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps: Myths Debunked

For starters, please note that this windowsill kitchen garden is not *really* to supplement your diet. Sure, you’ll be able to nibble away at your greens, but we’re not producing tons of vegetables here. I’ve seen a few articles on vegetable regrowth that claims it ‘builds self-sufficiency’. Ahem. Regrowing enough vegetables to support your diet would take a lot of space and time. And, well, a garden.

For me the goals here are part kid’s science project, part zero waste initiative, and part edible kitchen mini garden. And it’s lovely to have a bit of greenery around in the middle of winter, especially when there’s a snowstorm outside.

This also needs to be said: we are not regrowing root vegetables. When beets, carrots , turnips, etc are placed in water, they send up green shoots and it is these leafy tops that we are enjoying.

However, it is possible to completely regrow some whole vegetables. Celery, for example, if tended to properly, will regrow into full stalks. Boc choy, Romaine lettuce, green onions, fennel and leeks will all (eventually) regrow to be full sized, as well.

Starting your windowsill garden is as easy as placing the ends or tops of a few kitchen produce scraps in about an inch of fresh water and setting them in partial sunshine. Your only maintenance is to change the water daily – now you see why this is such a good project for kids.

For an easy start with quick results, begin with green onion and garlic. Place about 3 inches of the white part of green onion – with the roots attached – in a jar and in a few days, you’ll start to see regrowth. For garlic, choose a whole bulb or individual cloves that have started to send out green sprouts – we tend to see this a lot in the winter months as the garlic gets older.

A few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Keep the regrowing vegetable away from a direct heat source or they will just bake instead of grow.
  • Not everything will sprout. If you’ve waited a week and seen no sign of life, try again.
  • The taste on the regrown vegetables will be milder than from fresh vegetables.
  • Slimy bottoms are normal.

Which scraps to regrow

If you’re wondering which end of the vegetables to keep and place in water and which to toss in the compost, here’s a quick cheatsheet.

Grow these tops:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnip
  • Radishes
  • Daikon

Cut off about 1-inch of top and place in water but do not submerge.

Grow these roots/ends:

  • Green onion
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Lemongrass

Cut off about 1 -3 inches of bottom and place in water but do not submerge.

A few of these, like fennel and celery, may be transplanted to a garden once springtime arrives, but I feel like that is a whole new post. There’s certainly lots of information on the web around this topic, so seek it out for yourselves. Happy growing!

Have you ever regrown vegetable scraps? Share your experience in the comments.

04 Mar Avocado, Lemongrass, and Other Foods To Re-Grow From Scraps

Posted at 18:55h in Gardening by kellogggarden

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 pocket book 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:

Peppers

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!

Lettuces

Lettuce, cabbage and Bok Choy are easily re-grown. Take some “throw-away” leaves, put them in a bowl with a small amount of water and place them in direct sunlight. Lightly mist them a couple times weekly. In 3 – 4 days, roots will appear, at which point, you can transplant them into good, organic soil.

Celery

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!

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is wonderful for cooking and for home brewed teas. It’s also simple to re-grow. Take some leftovers that still have intact roots. Put them in a glass jar or bowl, making sure to cover the roots with water. Place in direct sunlight and you’ll see new growth in about a week, after which you may transplant your new lemongrass.

Pineapple

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.

Avocado

Simply wash the large seed 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 one inch 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.

Potatoes

We’ve all seen “eyes” growing on potatoes. You can use these to re-grow potatoes from peelings. Take peelings of about 2″ that have about 2 – 3 eyes each. 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.

Sweet Potatoes

Re-growing sweet potatoes is a 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.

Ginger

It’s super simple to keep a supply of this super food on hand. Take a piece of ginger with buds on it and plant it, buds facing up. 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!

Garlic

All it takes is one clove to re-grow garlic. Take one clove from the head you get when you buy garlic. Plant it, roots down in direct sunlight. If you can, keep it outside during the day. Soon, you’ll see new shoots. Once the shoots have developed, cut them back. This causes the plant to grow a new bulb of garlic. Harvest it, use it and save one clove to re-grow more!

Onions

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.

Bean Sprouts

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.

Tomatoes

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.

Basil

All you need is one stem, about 4″ long. Put it in a jar of water, keeping the 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.

Cilantro

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.

Cherries

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.

Peaches

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. Dry the seeds very well and plant in nutrient-dense soil in direct sunlight. Then wait.

Lemons

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 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.

7 Additional Foods You can also Re-Grow:

Fennel

Apples

Pumpkins

Mushrooms

Turnips

Chestnuts

Hazelnuts

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!

For those of us who live in an apartment or without a yard, we’re always envious of those who have their own gardening areas for planting and regrowing vegetables. It’s the accessibility, the cost savings, and the knowing that nothing toxic is going into your food.

But did you know that there are actually many vegetables out there you can regrow from scrap even without a garden? It’s fun, free, sustainable, and delicious. So before you throw out those food scraps, check to see if it’s something that you can regrow in your home. Make it a fun experiment for the family!

Regrowing vegetables from scrap can be very simple:

1. Green Onions

Green onions are arguably the easiest and most popular vegetable to regrow. All you have to do is cut them from about an inch from the roots, and leave them in a glass of water.

Cut off the celery, and leave about an inch or two from the base. Place the base in a bowl of water and leave it where it can get adequate sunlight. As new leaves begin to sprout from the middle, allow for it to gain thickness for about a week before transferring it into a pot of soil.

3. Romaine Lettuce, Bok Choy, Cabbage

Romaine lettuce is as easy to regrow as celery! Leave the stump of the lettuce in a bowl and fill the water halfway. And once the leaves have regrown for a few days, transfer your the stumps into soil.

4. Carrots

Okay, we’re not exactly regrowing the carrot itself, but actually the carrot top, which surprisingly comes with a wide range of uses. You can turn it into pesto, add it to soup, or even saute them. Simply leave the top of the carrots–with a bit of the carrot attached–in bowl or plate of water, and place them where they can receive adequate sunlight.

5. Leeks

Leeks regrow the exact same way as green onions–although they might take a little longer based on their sheer size. Leave about two inches of leek from the bottom, and place them in a bowl of water.

6. Onions

You can also regrow spring onions from an onion bulb. Make sure the root part has about half an inch of grown attached. Place it directly in soil and cover it with a layer of soil. Water it periodically to keep the soil moist. Just keep cutting the green sprouts off when they’ve regrown. You’ll never have to buy spring onions again!

7. Basil, Mint, and Cilantro

A lot of herbs can easily be regrown. Make sure there’s about 2-3 inches of stem. Place the stems upright in a glass of water. When the new roots begin to sprout, transfer the herbs into a pot of soil and let the aroma flourish.

8. Pineapple

Okay, not a vegetable, but imagine regrowing a pineapple in your home. How amazing and exciting would that be? And not to mention it’s also easier than you think. It just takes a bit of patience, as pineapple can take up to two years to bear their first fruit.

The trick is to grab a hold of the pineapple crown by the leaves and twist and pull it off so the stalk is still attached. Remove some of the lower leaves to expose the stalk. Make sure there is no fruit flesh as that will rot the stalk.

Place the pineapple crown in a glass of water and allow new roots to sprout–this usually takes about three weeks. Then transfer to a pot with fast-draining soil. The plant should begin to resist gentle tugs at about two months. At this point, it means that your replanting worked, and that it’s time to look into pineapple plant care!

9. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are super easy, but you will need some serious real estate–it’s probably not suitable for an apartment. Stick toothpicks around a sweet potato to prop it up in at the rim of a glass, only half-emerging it in water. When the roots reach about three to four inches, plant it in soil.

10. Potatoes

Just leave your spud in a dark corner, forget about it, and it’ll just sprout. I know we’ve all been there. But there’s probably a quicker and healthier way to do it. Cut a potato in half. And where you see the dented “eyes” on the skin, plant the potatoes in soil with the “eyes” facing up. That’s where the plant will begin to sprout in a couple weeks.

Regrowing vegetables that you’ve half-consumed can be really fun and save you money. Have you tried regrowing your own vegetable scraps? Share with us your experiences!

Grocery shopping is both expensive and tiring. But then, it is always important to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for serving healthy foods. The latest trend is to consume organic foods that are made of organic groceries. There are then a lot of ways and methods for people to plant vegetables and herbs in the tiniest yard. Besides, people can now learn how to grow plants in simple medias. We need to try regrow kitchen scraps and love it.

Besides, planting can be a good habit for relieving stress. We can spend much time at home with advantageous hobby will worth the time and energy. Besides, the plants can be a decorative feature for our garden and kitchen. We do not have to use a large outdoor space to regrow kitchen scraps. There are many herbs, vegetables, and fruits which can regrow.

1. Carrot

Image Source diynetwork.com

Carrot is a root plant. Similar to turnips, carrots will easily grow by their leftover scraps. We need to only keep the tops of the plant to put in a container with water. After some days, the top will grow new green tops. When the scraps grow roots, the scrap is ready to grow in the ground.

Instructions via : Gardening Know-How

2. Bok choy

Image Source youtube.com

Growing bok choy is relatively easy. We do not have to use a seed to grow this vegetable in our garden. We can use the leftover. Place the bottom of the vegetable over water and let the roots grow.

Instructions via : My Heart Beets

3. Celery

Image Source realselfsufficiency.com

Celery provides excellent benefit for health. We can sprinkle it on our noodle and also use the leaves for a healthy smoothie. Therefore, we need to regrow kitchen scraps with celery bottom. Cut the bottom and lay it in a bowl. Use warm water for growing leaves. It is also recommended to expose the bowl to a direct sunlight for growing the leaves faster.

Instructions via :17 Apart

4. Garlic sprouts

Image Source beesandroses.com

Garlic is the most useful ingredient for various meals. So, we have to regrow kitchen scraps from garlic. We will usually get several cloves when buy garlic. Leave one off and plant the roots facing down. We can directly in the soil. We can use pots so we do not have to worry if we do not have backyard for gardening. It is important to place the potting soil outside since garlic likes warm weather. Direct sun is important. New shoots and bulb will appear and we can reuse them in no time.

Intructions via : Simple Daily Recipes

5. Romaine Lettuce

Image Source gardenseason.com

Romaine lettuce is relatively easy to regrow. Never throw away the leftover leaves. Just place it in a bowl with small amount of water in it. The vegetable needs sufficient amount of sunlight. Root will start growing and leaves will be thickening as well. After that, we can transplant the lettuce in the soil.

Instructions via : Lifehacker

6. Scallions, fennel, and leeks

Image Source woohome.com

Regrow kitchen scraps from the bottom parts of scallion, fennel, and leeks easily. Simply let the leftovers and plant them in the soil. Within several days, the bottom parts of the plants will grow leaves and we can always reuse them.

Instructions via : Living Green Magazine

7. Onions

Image Source wisebread.com

Just leave the bottom parts of onion to grow the roots. Leave half an inch of onion and plant it in potting soil. Placing it outside so it receives a lot of sunny area. For green onions, we have to grow the roots over a container of water. Remember to change the water every few days to give a better nutrition. Snip the leaves when you need and let it regrow all over again.

Instructions via : Lifehacker

8. Tomatoes

Image Source davesgarden.com

If you really love tomato juice, you will love to regrow kitchen scraps of tomato. Take some of the seeds and dry them. After that, place the seeds in the potting soil. When the seeds grow and reach several inches, we can transplant them in our garden. We can even use a poly bag for planting tomatoes outdoor. Shower the plant well and keep them under plenty of sunlight.

Instructions via : DIY & Crafts

9. Peppers

Image Source theselfsufficientliving.com

To regrow kitchen scraps is never hard since we only need to dedicate our leisure time to do it. Take some seeds of peppers and grow them in the potting soil. Direct sunlight is needed. When the seeds grow, we can move them in our soil garden. Surprisingly, peppers can grow fast. However, we need to wait for some times for the plant to grow new crops.

Instructions via : Peppers Joe

10. Pineapple

Image Source bakker.com

Pineapple is tropical fruit. But this fruit is possible to grow in any countries. We need to cut the top off. Insert some toothpicks and suspend it over a container with water. Again, this method works for pineapple. We need to keep the container under a direct sunlight. We have to manage the water and replace it every two days. Roots will appear within a week and it is ready to transplant in the potting soil. It is possible to use it as a kitchen ornament since pineapple is best to grow indoors.

Instructions via : 17 Apart

11. Fennel

Image Source gardenseason.com

To regrow kitchen scraps is an art. The same things occur when we are growing fennel. We need to keep the roots intact. Add a cup of water and leave it under sunlight. We can place the jar on the windowsill and roots will grow strong in o time. Again, once the shoots come up, we can transplant the plant into our garden soil or potting soil.

Instructions via :

12. Potato

Image Source amazon.com

Regrow kitchen scraps is easy with potatoes. We can use the potato peelings with eyes. How to do it? Peel the potato into two-inch pieces with two or three eyes. Dry it overnight. After that, plant the scraps in the soil. Dig the soil four inches deep. Plant the scraps carefully and place the eyes facing up. You need to take care of the scraps well since it needs several weeks for the potato to grow.

Instructions via : Cooking Stoned

13. Sweet Potatoes

Image Source coolman.club

The method is quite similar to potatoes. Regrow kitchen scraps is never hard if we know how to do it. For potatoes, we need to cut it in half size. After that, we can suspend it with toothpicks over a water in a container. Within some days, the sprouts will grow and roots will appear as well. When the root reaches an inch, we can move it to soil.

Instructions via : Home Joys

14. Lemongrass

Image Source gardenbetty.com

Lemongrass is called Lemongrass because it is a grass. Therefore, it is easy to regrow kitchen scraps of lemongrass just like growing grass. We can simply place the leftover in a glass of water. Leave the lemongrass scraps under the sunlight. Within a week, new growth will happen. We can use the plant as herb garden in our kitchen. It will look beautiful and useful at the same time.

Instructions via : Suited to the Seasons

15. Ginger

Image Source diytag.com

Ginger is beneficial for drink and food. We can regrow kitchen scraps and reuse ginger all over again. Ginger is a root so we can start to regrow it as we plant the root in potting soil. We need to make sure that we put the plant facing up. When new shoots and roots grow, we can pull it up and reuse it.

Instructions via : wakeup-world.com

16. Basil

Image Source thecafesucrefarine.com

This herb is easy to grow. Leave the stem to regrow. We need at least 4 inches high and place it in a glass of water. We need to place the leaves above the waterline. Don’t expose the glass to a direct sunlight but still place It in a bright light area. The roots will grow in a few days. After the roots reach two inches or more, we can transplant it in soil.

Instructions via : The Urban Gardener

17. Cilantro

Image Source alfastories.com

Cilantro is no different. It is a good herb to regrow. Regrow kitchen scraps from cilantro with a glass of water. Place the bottom of the stem and place in a bright area. New springs will come as we transplant it after the roots grow.

Instructions via : wonderhowto.com

18. Pumpkin

Image Source hgtv.com

Once you are done with the Jack-O-Lantern, it is time to regrow the seeds. We need to spread the seeds out and cover with healthy soil. We can even plant the entire pumpkin when Halloween is over.

Instructions via : DIY & Crafts

19. Lemon

Image Source medicinaalnatural.com

Clean and dry the seeds before planting. Lemon trees will grow well in the area with cold winters. We can even grow dwarf trees and harvest lemons in no time. However, the tree will not produce fruits within a year.

Instructions via : Garden season

20. Avocado

Image Source gardenseason.com

We all know that avocado is one of super foods. After peeling and taking the flesh, we can wash the seed. Use toothpicks to suspend the seed over water. We need a bowl or jar so we can hand the seed over the water. The water needs to cover the bottom inch of the seed. Keep it away from direct sunlight but we should keep the jar in a warm place. The water will get lower so we need to check the water volume. We need to add more water if it is reduced. The stem and root will appear within 6 weeks so we need to be patient. After the roots are ready and the stem reaches approximately 6 inches, we need to cut it down to its half size. When planting it in the ground, we need to let the leave above the ground.

Instructions via : The Hungry Mouse

21. Radish

Image Source pennington.com

Radish is one useful vegetable for various dishes. We can also regrow it by leaving the top of it. Use toothpicks once again and let the bottom grow roots before transplanting.

22. Beet Greens

Image Source gardenseason.com

Beet greens are almost similar to radish and carrot. We need to keep the top. Leave the scraps about an inch and let them float on a bowl with water. We can directly plant the scraps after the roots grow.

23. Peanuts

Image Source prep-blog.com

It will be beautiful to regrow kitchen scraps with peanut seeds. Grow the seeds directly in the soil and let the peanut seeds grow its leaves and stems. We have to use soil fertilizer and regular spraying for speed up the crops.

24. Apricot

Image Source somedaywewillsleep.com

Growing apricot is not easy and fun. We can place the seeds directly in the potting soil or use wet cotton to grow apricot sprout. After several days, roots and leaves will grow. We can transplant the seeds to our garden soil and take a good care of it.

25. Mushrooms

Image Source theselfsufficientliving.com

Mushrooms are a little difficult to regrow. This is so because mushroom should be regrown in a warm area and rooms with a lot of humidity. The soul should be rich in nutrients. We better use a pot instead of the ground because we need to control the humidity and temperature. We need to cut away the head of the mushroom and directly stem in the soil. Leaves will grow as we use healthy soil and manage the room humidity well.

Instructions via : My Heart Beets

To regrow kitchen scraps will worth the time and hype. Our kitchen will be productive and we will obtain financial benefit as well. Moms all love to make a saving and to regrow plants is a brilliant idea. We can even use the plants as a perfect decoration for our kitchens.

9 Foods You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps

Are you growing an edible garden? One easy way to save money is to grow some of your plants for free. How? From leftover food scraps that are often thrown away!

9 Foods You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

You may already be composting your kitchen ‘waste’. That’s a great way to build a healthy soil. However, it may save you money to be selective before throwing everything into your compost system. There are many plant parts that can help you propagate new plants. For minimal effort and no cost.

Why Should You Only Regrow Organic Food?

  • First, a word of warning! For health reasons, I suggest you select organic vegetables, fruit and herbs. Too expensive? So is the cost of poor health! I think safe food is one of the best investments we can make.
  • Sadly, non-organic produce is grown using chemicals. Not just one spray either. It’s commonly a cocktail of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and other -icides. These are applied during the growth cycle and even after harvesting. These are often systemic chemicals. That means you can’t wash them off the skin.
  • The chemicals are absorbed internally into the plant tissues through soil and water. Root crops like potatoes are especially vulnerable. Other crops are genetically modified or imported and radiated.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Grow Safe Food

  • For example, non-organic potatoes are treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides at harvest time. Then more fungicides to stop the ‘eyes’ sprouting. This extends the shelf life in supermarkets, to boost profits at the expense of your health.

“I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.” – Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

  • Aside from the chemicals, conventional crops are often nutrient-deficient. Farmers focus on N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) fertilisers. However, these create weaker plants because minor minerals and trace elements are overlooked. That means chemically-grown plants are lacking ALL the minerals required for plant and human health.
  • If you are not yet growing your own food, consider supporting your local organic growers or retailers. Or join a local gardening, seed saving, crop swap or Permaculture group. Members often swap/share home grown produce. A healthy diet starts with eating and growing safe food.
  • If growing from seed, use certified organic or heirloom, GMO-free seed and plant material. Then you know you’re eating safe food.

I propagate free food regularly from my own garden. Why not give these foods you can regrow a try too?

CLICK BELOW for helpful safe seed resources

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9 Foods You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps

1. Sweet potatoes and potatoes

Potatoes develop ‘eyes’ or sprouts. These eventually grow into stems and leaves. Once potatoes start sprouting, they go past being edible. That’s nature telling you they’re ready for planting!

Bury the sprouted tuber deep in your soil with some compost. Mulch well and keep watered. Keep covering the stems as they grow. This helps encourage more potatoes/sweet potatoes to grow.

Depending on the variety, one potato or sweet potato can yield you a minimum of 1kg+ of free home grown food. My sweet potatoes are often 1-2kg each. Not a bad return on investment!

When potatoes and sweet potatoes develop ‘eyes’ they are ready to plant

2. Pineapples

Growing a new plant from a fresh pineapple is just so easy! Twist the top gently off a ripe pineapple. You may need gloves, as the leaves are spiky! Then remove a few small leaves from the base or under side of the leafy top.

You will see small brown hard ‘dots’ or ‘rootlets’ appear. Dry this leaf section out for a few days, so it won’t rot. Then replant it in well-drained soil in full sun. Roots will develop.

Regrow a pineapple from a pineapple top to save money

In time, a new plant will grow. Pineapples are very slow growing, but are very drought hardy. It takes 18 months – 2 years until they fruit.

The plant will also produce slips and suckers. These produce more new fruit in 18 months. Beautiful flowers form before fruit.

Water your plant well initially, add mulch and organic slow release fertiliser or compost. Apply liquid seaweed every fortnight until it is established. Then be patient! The sweet reward will be worth it.

Do you have unused garlic cloves? Don’t waste them! Separate each clove from the bulb and plant individually. Each clove will yield one new bulb. A great value investment. For an easy tutorial, see my 5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic.

4. Leeks

If you buy leeks, select those that have the roots left ON. Cut the leek about 2cm above the roots and use the stem in your cooking. Soak the remaining root end in water overnight.

Leek regrowing after being in water for a few days

When the leek re-shoots, plant deeply, making sure to build up a little hill around the base. Put a stake in to keep the plant stable and watch the leek grow again.

When it flowers and forms seeds, save these and you will have more leeks to grow again for free! If you are harvesting leeks from your garden, leave the root in the soil. Use a knife to slice the base of the stem. Keep watered and you’ll have a new leek in far less time than growing from scratch.

5. Spring Onions/Shallots

Have you ever bought a bunch, only to find they are still in the fridge days later going waste? Just like leeks, if you trim the white stem about 4-5cm above the roots, it will regrow.

Put spring onion/shallots/scallions/green onion stems into a glass of water in a well-lit spot. Refresh water daily. The stems will re-shoot in just days. Enjoy this delicious herb in your meals right from your kitchen bench or plant out in the garden.

Follow my easy Guide to Growing Spring Onions tutorial for more tips.

6. Celery

Did you know celery will regrow if cut above the base of the stalks? Add the cut base to warm water in a shallow dish for a few days in a sunny spot. Wait until roots and new tiny leaves appear. Then plant out into well composted soil. Mulch and water well.

Celery needs a moist, sunny position and will keep you in luscious salad leaves for months.

Celery regrowing new leaves and roots from the base after sitting in water

7. Lemongrass

This fragrant herb is a favourite in Asian cuisine and herbal teas. Buy organic lemongrass stalks that still have a small root at the base. Avoid those that are trimmed off.

After you have used the top, more leaves can regrow! Put the stem in a glass or jar with a small amount of water to cover the root. Place in the sun until the plant re-shoots new leaves. Keep fresh water topped up. Plant out in your garden.

Lemongrass also makes a wonderful fragrant, pest-repellent mulch.

8. Ginger and Turmeric

Both these root vegetables can be grown from a rhizome or piece from a larger knob. Each ‘thumb’ piece should have two ‘eyes’ or buds developing.

Push the piece of ginger or turmeric gently into well-drained soil about 5cm (2 in) deep. Lightly cover with mulch. Position the buds facing upwards so these will grow shoots. The best time to plant is in spring.

Both appreciate some shade protection in warm climates. After 8-10 months, the plants will develop many new roots that you can break off. Enjoy using these, sell them or save more for replanting.

Ginger Growing Tips – From my experience, these are a few tips to growing an abundant ginger plant

Basil is sucha popular herb and is so easy to regrow. Just put the stem into a glass of water in a well-lit position. Make sure no leaves are below the water line. After the stem starts to grow new roots, transplant into a pot or your garden to grow a new basil plant.

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.” – Thomas Fuller

There are lots more foods you can regrow and ways to save money on plants. Check out my article ‘Frugal Gardening – How to Get Plants for Free’ for more ideas!

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Regrowing Vegetables In Water: Learn How To Root Vegetables In Water

I’m betting that a lot of you have grown an avocado pit. It was just one of those class projects that everyone seemed to do. How about growing a pineapple? What about vegetable plants? Regrowing vegetables in water is a cost effective and fun way to grow your own veggies. Of course, some of them grow better than others, but it’s still a neat experiment to grow windowsill plants form kitchen scraps. So what are the best plants to regrow vegetables? Read on to find out how to root vegetables in water.

How to Root Vegetables in Water

Regrowing vegetables in water is generally as easy as taking a portion of the veggie and suspending it in a glass or other container of water. The portion needed to regrow vegetables in water is usually a stem or the bottom (root end) of it. For example, you can regrow cilantro and basil from a sprig. Just place the stem of either herb in water in a sunny, warm area and wait for a few weeks until you see roots. Once you have a good healthy root system growing, plunk it in a container of soil or back out into the garden.

Let’s revisit the aforementioned avocado just in case you haven’t tried to grow one from seed. Suspend the avocado seed over a container (toothpicks make a little sling to hold the seed up) and fill it with enough water to cover the lower portion of the seed. In about a month and half, you should have roots that are about 6 inches long. Cut them to 3 inches in length and wait for leaf emergence. When the leaves appear, plant the seed in the ground.

How about the pineapple mentioned above? Cut the top off a pineapple. Eat the rest of the pineapple. Take the top and suspend it in a glass of water in a warm area in direct sunlight. Change the water every day. After a week or so, you should have roots and can plant your new pineapple. Keep in mind that it will probably take at least three years until you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, but it’s still fun.

So what are some of the best plants to regrow from veggie cuttings?

Regrow Vegetables in Water

Plants that are tubers or roots themselves are easy to regrow in water. Examples of these are potatoes, sweet potatoes, and ginger. Cut the potatoes in half and suspend them over water in a sun filled window sill. The same with ginger root. Soon you will see roots begin to form. When the roots are four inches long, plant into a pot of soil or out in the garden.

Lettuce and celery regrow easily from their bases, the part where the roots were pared off. This usually goes into the compost anyway, so why not try to regrow this vegetable in water. Just place the root end into water, again in a sunny area. After about a week, you will see some roots and new leaves will begin to push up out of the crown of the celery. Let the roots grow a bit and then plant the new lettuce or celery. Bok choy and cabbage regrow easily in water as well.

Lemongrass, green onions and garlic can all be regrown in water. Just stick the root end into water and wait for roots to grow.

See how easy it is? There is no excuse not to regrow vegetables in water. You will be saving plenty on your grocery bill with just a tiny bit of effort on your part. And you will end up with lots of lovely windowsill plants from kitchen scraps that you otherwise might have either composted, put down the disposal or just plain thrown away.

A couple of weeks ago, I began a rather ‘unorthodox’ winter garden experiment; growing indoor plants from kitchen scraps. The best part of this experiment is that I did not have to go out to buy any plants to brighten my windowsill, since I was using kitchen scraps that would have normally been thrown out or tossed into the compost pile.

I started out by planting lentils, a radish, garlic cloves, green beans and a sweet potato. I blogged about how to prepare and plant the kitchen scraps when I started this experiment 2 weeks ago (you can read about it here).

Well, I must admit that I am really surprised at how great my kitchen scraps are growing, with the exception of one plant that didn’t sprout.

This is what they look like just 2 weeks after planting…

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Below, are photos of each type of kitchen scrap I planted and how they have progressed from planting to how they have grown 14 days later.

Lentils…

I love how delicate and airy the lentils look, don’t you?

Now, for my radish top…

To be honest, I wasn’t sure my radish top would grow because it was rather small after 1 week. But, look at the difference 7 days more makes! I am hoping my radish flowers, because it is supposed to be pretty.

Garlic is next up…

I am happy to say that garlic grows as easily inside as outside. I plant to use my garlic greens as a garnish, similar to how I use green onions (scallions).

It is now time to see how my sweet potato is doing…

My sweet potato has been growing very slowly. The reason for this is that I used a regular sweet potato from the grocery store where most of them are treated so that they won’t sprout. When I researched growing sweet potatoes, some people stated that you need to use an organic sweet potato that hasn’t been treated. BUT, most of what I read said to use a regular, grocery store variety sweet potato, which is what I did. As you can see, the roots are beginning to grow and I am excited to see green vines appear on the top of my sweet potato.

I wish that I could say that all my kitchen scrap plants grew, but there is one that hasn’t…

My green beans never came up.

According to the book “Don’t Throw It, Grow It” 68 Windowsill Plants From Kitchen Scraps” by Deborah Peterson & Millicent Selsam: you can grow green bean plants from the seeds. They also state that you can grow beans using regular dried beans as long as you soak them overnight before planting.

I’m sorry that my beans didn’t make it, but one of the things I enjoy about gardening is not always knowing what will happen when trying something new.

Overall, I am thrilled with the results of my ‘unorthodox gardening experiment.”

Who knew that these kitchen scraps could be used to grow attractive indoor plants?

Have you ever grown plants using kitchen scraps? Well, if you are tired of not being able to garden outdoors during the cold winter months, how about growing some kitchen scraps of your own? I promise to update you in a few weeks as my plants keep growing and hopefully some will even flower.

After a long hiatus since their 80s heyday, houseplants are now well and truly back at the forefront of horticultural fashion. Hallelujah! Yet the choices available in British garden centres are still either restricted to the same boring old suspects (think weeping figs and kentia palms) or are quirky but super-pricey living works of art, such as trailing succulents and mature cacti. However, there is a way to get really unusual, essentially “unbuyable” houseplants for free, all in return for just a little patience. Here are my favourite exotic houseplants, growable from kitchen scraps.

Pineapple

This fruit from the South American jungle is surprisingly easy to grow in the average living room. Simply cut off the leafy top of a shop-bought fruit and remove any of the lower leaves. Sit the cut top on a bright windowsill for a day or two to allow the excess moisture at the severed end to dry out and plant it cut-side-down in a pot of ordinary houseplant compost. A sunny windowsill makes the perfect habitat, and at about two to three years of age these plants can even start to bear fruit of their own.

Avocado

The glossy, dark green leaves of this new world tree are wonderfully ornamental. All you need to do is bury an avocado stone, pointy end up, in a pot of gritty seed compost, about 5cm deep. Place on a warm windowsill, water in well and within 2-4 weeks you should start to see the shoots breaking through the soil’s surface. Once large enough, avocado plants can take a surprising degree of frost so, when they eventually outgrow your living room, it’s worth a gamble outdoors if you live in a mild, urban area. There are dozens of mature fruiting trees, for example, outdoors on council estates near me in west London. I have even spotted one in central Dublin.

Lemon, orange and grapefruit

Almost all citrus fruits will sprout very readily from seed to form lovely, evergreen houseplants. They will, however, take forever to fruit from seed, and most will not come true to type. This means the quality of the fruit (even once you get it) will not reflect that of its parent. However, do not let that put you off, for these plants will give you a harvest that is far more costly to buy. Orange and lemon leaves are also traditionally used as a culinary herb in an identical way to bay leaves in the cuisines of Latin America and southeast Asia, imparting a fresh, uplifting citrussy aroma that is very different from the peel of the fruit. All that from pips that would otherwise go to the compost heap.

Email James at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Botanygeek

There are herbs and vegetables that regrow in water INDOORS , you can grow them from scraps and use in salads and toppings. Take a look!

In this article, you’ll learn about the herbs and vegetables that can re-grow (for a while) without soil, using just water and water, good for those who have no space to grow their own food, growing plants in water also help if you want to grow the roots of these scrap food plants for propagation.

Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is one of the trendiest thing in the gardening. Growing food generates anticipation, curiosity, and interest, as well as it is fundamentally healthy- organic and free from harmful chemicals that are often used in producing large crops.

In addition, it’s much more rewarding! There is nothing better than a meal made with organic fruits of your own.

1. Carrot Greens

Although you can not bring back and GROW carrots in water but instead of throwing away the green ends from the top, put them in a shallow container of water in a bright spot to regrow the carrot greens. Keep changing the water every other day and in a few days, you’ll be able to see tiny green leaves, a wonderful addition to a salad, pesto or chutney.

2. Green Onion

Noodles, Salads, and Pasta or even much more, there’re so many recipes in which you can try green onions. Isn’t it better to grow them fresh in your home?
Growing green onions in water is super easy, too. You don’t need a garden for this; all you need is a sunny windowsill, transparent jar or glass, and green onion bulbs. Read more about this here!

3. Bok Choi

Bok choy, Bok Choi or Chinese cabbage is a green vegetable widely consumed in many Asian countries. Can be eaten raw, in salad and cooked. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals. To regrow again, cut the base of the stem and place this in a small bowl of water. It’s that simple! You will see how the new growth begins in only 2 days. See the tutorial! Either use the young leaves or transplant the regrowing Bok Choi in a container.

4. Celery

Celery is a herb that has been used since ancient times for its natural medicinal qualities. It is characterized by having a diuretic, digestive, purifying and anti-inflammatory action. To grow again, use the base! Place that in a small bowl of water. You will see how it grows back in 3 or 4 days. Young leaves can be used again or plant it if you have a small pot.

Also Read: Cool DIY Planter Ideas from Household Items

5. Fennel

Fennel looks similar to dill, it can be a great addition to your cuisines. You can regrow it as easily as celery. Take a fennel bulb and set it in a cup or small bowl of clear water, a level of water should be at the level of the bulb. Keep the bowl in a spot that receives some sun and change the water in every couple of days.

6. Lettuce

Lettuce taste best when fresh! However, growing lettuce in water won’t satiate your lettuce needs but you’ll love growing it that way. You can use this tiny supply in your salads or top the sandwiches with it. To regrow, eat your purchased lettuce, cutting the leaves at about 1 inch from the bottom. Place remaining stem in a shallow dish of water (about 1/2 inch). Now place that on a windowsill or under grow lights. Change water in a bowl every 1 to 2 days. Read more on Getty Stewart’s site!

7. Lemongrass

Get the lemongrass stalks and keep them in water in a bright spot that receives some sun, change the water every day, and watch as new leaves begin growing almost immediately. The roots start emerging after a week, and the stalk eventually divides itself (via offshoot stalks) after a few weeks. You can either use it or transplant that in pot.

8. Garlic Sprout

To make it grow, find a garlic clove with green sprout and keep it in a glass. Fill the water up to the level of clove. In 2-3 days the sprout will start to grow and the clove will produce roots. When the sprouts are 3 inches in height, you can cut it for use leaving 1/3 of the shoot. It can be used in salads baked potatoes, or to spice up any preparation, because it has an aroma and garlic-like flavor.

9. Beet Greens

Beetroot is a highly nutritious vegetable, but its green part is also very healthy. It contains more iron than spinach, also the vitamin A that helps strengthen the immune system and stimulates the production of antibodies and white blood cells. To regrow, slice off the top portion of a beet with a knife. Take no more than one-third of the beet. Fill a glass, mug or bowl with water. Place the beet top into the water, with the cut side facing downward. Set the glass on a windowsill, counter or table that is close to the window, so the beet top will receive adequate sunlight. Read more of it here.

33185459271_8563e9f43a_o.jpg

Plants take up water and nutrients that flow through a PVC pipe in the nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponics system.

(Photo courtesy of Barry Burnsides/OSU Extension Service)

CORVALLIS – Ask experienced gardeners what makes their garden grow and they’ll come up with the same response: great soil.

Good answer, but not the only one. The same crops grown in soil thrive in water, too, as long as there are nutrients and oxygen involved.

In fact, vegetables grown hydroponically root and grow faster than traditionally grown plants, said Barry Burnsides, an Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener. This ages-old system uses a mixture of water and nutrients to grow plants inside or out. He does both, but prefers the outdoors because there’s no need for lights.

“You can grow any plant in hydroponics if you use the proper system,” said Burnsides, who spent months researching hydroponics and building four of the six types of systems. He grows lettuces, greens, peppers, cilantro, cucumbers, basil and even tomatoes, melons, squash and cucumbers on trellises.

He said the easiest system is the floating raft method. In its simplest form, a floating raft system consists of a sheet of foam with holes cut in it for the net pots that will hold the plants. The foam floats on a tub containing water, nutrients and oxygen. The oxygen is added to the nutrients using an aquarium pump pushing air through a 1-inch porous soaker hose. More nutrient mixture is added as the plants take it up.

Burnsides also recommends the nutrient film technique. In that case, pipes with holes drilled in them for plants are positioned horizontally at a slight angle so the water easily moves through with the help of gravity. The nutrient solution is moved by a small fountain pump through a 1/2-inch line to the highest point and flows through the pipe and over the plant roots back to the storage tank. An aquarium air pump is used to add oxygen to the nutrients in the storage tank.

“Hydroponics is efficient,” Burnsides said. “It takes less water than growing plants in soil. In dry areas, it’s a big plus. The other place it shines is if you’re trying to grow in an area with poor soil.”

Hydroponic systems generally need grow lights and heat when used indoors, according to Burnsides, who will teach a class at 11 a.m. April 8 at the Josephine County office in Grants Pass. Cost is $85 for the public; $70 for Extension master gardeners. For those out of the area, he advises doing a search of the internet for resources. There are many how-to articles and videos as well as materials and kits to buy.

Though he grows inside – especially to start seeds or for cuttings of things like fuchsias, rhododendrons, coleus and hydrangeas – Burnsides suggests starting with a floating raft or nutrient film technique system outdoors. Be sure to give plants eight hours of sunlight and use shade cloth with 30 percent screening during the hottest part of the year and frost cloth for freeze and bug protection.

“It’s nice to set one up next to the kitchen,” he said. “You can harvest salad or stir-fry for dinner right out your back door. You don’t get any fresher than that.”

For most plants, Burnsides uses a fertilizer formulated for tomatoes, which is premixed with the correct amount of micro and macro nutrients. He adds it to the water and replenishes as plants take it up. Lettuce grown hydroponically is ready to harvest in 30 days rather than the 60-day cycle it takes when grown in soil. There’s also the benefit of no weeds, fewer diseases and pests and the need for less space. Of course, there’s always the best reason to grow vegetables in any kind of medium: the quality of the produce.

“You wind up with the ultimate, freshest veggies,” he said. “The flavor and crispness and quality of what you can grow is better than what you find in the store. And to see the growth stages and know you were part of that is rewarding.”

About Gardening News From the OSU Extension Service: The Extension Service provides a variety of gardening information on its website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/community/gardening. Resources include gardening tips, videos, podcasts, monthly calendars of outdoor chores, how-to publications, and information about the Master Gardener program.

Easy-To-Grow Aquatic Vegetables for Your Water Garden

Last week I was asked to write up an aquatic vegetable list for a water garden/hot tub pond. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest and tastiest.

Easy Aquatic Vegetables

Water Spinach/Kangkong

Kangkong covers the ground and can grow in moist soil or standing water. Photo credit.

Kangkong is a relative of sweet potatoes that you’ll only find in Asian markets. In some states it’s classified as an invasive so getting plants from a nursery may be impossible. Seeds are available online, though I don’t recommend growing it if you’re in a place where it’s illegal. The leaves and young shoots are edible raw or cooked. Steamed, they taste mild with rich mushroom and asparagus undertones. You can sometimes find these greens at Asian markets. They’ll eat your entire pond, so watch out. Very productive and VERY fast-growing.

Taro

Taro for sale! Photo credit.

I’ve written a little on taro before but haven’t grown it very much.

My friend Mart grows taro in his aquaponics systems and has been working on boosting his root yields. They love the water.

Be careful when cooking taro, however, because the oxalic acid crystals in the raw roots and leaves can mess you up. Look it up online and prepare it properly, then it’s a great crop.

Chinese Water Chestnuts

Chinese water chestnuts are an easy-to-grow aquatic vegetable that rapidly fills a space. They’ll choke out some of the competition, so plan accordingly.

The downside of Chinese water chestnuts is that they’re rather a pain to process; however, the flavor of the fresh corms is marvelously sweet and nutty.

Water Celery

Though not quite aquatic vegetables, clumps of water celery will yield lots of flavor for your cooking.“Oenanthe javanica1” by KENPEI

Water celery is more of an herb than a real aquatic vegetable.

Though water celery doesn’t set stalks, it does have a rich zippy celery taste that will spice up any batch of chicken soup. It’s a low-growing, clumping plant that spreads to fill up a space – keep it contained!

Bonus: water celery looks beautiful, particularly the green and pink variegated form.

Duck Potatoes

Duck potatoes are one of those aquatic vegetables you rarely see in cultivation. Photo credit.

Duck potatoes used to be a wild-harvested aquatic vegetable of the natives and is still sought after as an excellent wild food. They grow easily in a sunny pond and will yield tasty tubers for the table in the fall. Green Deane covers duck potatoes here.

Watercress

If you live further north, why not give watercress a try? This is one of the few commonly cultivated and wild harvested aquatic vegetables from outside the tropics.

Watercress is one of the best-known aquatic vegetables. Photo credit Wendell Smith

Watercress is in the mustard family and likes running water the best, though it’s not strictly necessary. I’ve gotten it to root in a glass of water from bundles of watercress I bought in the grocery store. You can also start watercress from seeds.

Aquatic Vegetables for Pond Margins

If you have shallow muddy areas along the edge of your pond, try planting a few of these semi-aquatic vegetables.

Malanga

Grow a garden in your pond and get malanga roots.

Malanga grows great with lots of water. It’s an easy root vegetable and tastes good. It also requires a lot less processing than its oxalic-acid rich cousin taro. Even the young leaves are edible when well-cooked, making it a root and a green. A friend of mine threw some roots in her pond once… and they kept growing, even though they were in standing water.

Though that’s not normally the way malanga grows, it sure didn’t mind it either.

Ground Nut

Ground nut, also known as Apios americana, is a native North American plant that likes to grow in moist areas. Provide it a trellis so it can climb and it will come back year after year and provide you with lots of tasty roots.

Yacon

Growing yacon roots isn’t hard, provided you have plenty of moisture.

Yacon seems to really like constant moisture. Try it along the edge of your pond – I’ll bet it will be happy. This crop from the Andes has tasty sweet roots that can be eaten like an apple or turned into a syrup with a remarkably low rating on the glycemic index. Though not truly a water vegetable, it should do great unless it’s totally soaked.

Now that you have a list of aquatic vegetable choices… what are you waiting for? Gardening in a pond is so easy you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it before. Two words: no watering.

Go hunt down some cool water vegetables and start planting.

One of my favorite sources for rare vegetables (which also contains more aquatic choices that are not on this list) is Eric Toensmeier’s book Perennial Vegetables.

Pick up a copy – it’s great reading and will open your eyes to the many wild and wonderful crops most gardeners overlook. Mine has been well-thumbed through and read in detail at least twice – and every time I pick it up I find something new I missed. Buy at my link and I’ll make a buck or so commission – and it doesn’t cost you a penny more.

So – how about you? Anyone growing some cool aquatic vegetables I left off my list?

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