Forget about composting. Okay, maybe not entirely, but many parts of the produce we tend to toss away as inedible can be regrown. Here are my top 5 favorite plants that can easily be regrown from kitchen scraps.
1. Green onions – Green onions are extremely easy to root. Just take the white root end of the vegetable you would normally discard and put it in a glass of water in a sunny area. In no time, the green leafy end will begin to grow. When you want to use the green onion, just snip some off, leaving the white root end in the water to continue growing. Maintenance couldn’t be easier, just replace the water each week. You’ll never have to buy green onions again! Leeks, spring onions and fennel can all be regrown in this manner.
2. Celery – Another easy veggie to regrow is celery. When you are done using the celery stalks, save the bottom end of the celery and place it in a bowl of water. Situate the bowl in an area that gets as much direct daylight as possible. After a week or so, you’ll begin to see leaves growing from the base. At this point, transplant the celery in soil and allow it to grow until the stalks become full length.
3. Basil – Although there are many things you can regrow, I’ve got to include my favorite herb, basil. Basil, too, can easily be regrown. Choose a few 4-inch stems from a bunch of basil and strip 75% of the leaves from them. Place the stems in a jar of water and put them in a sunny place. Change the water every 2 days. In no time, the stems will begin to root. Once the roots are about 2 inches long, plant each stem in a 4-inch pot. Put the pot in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day and water regularly.
4. Ginger – I love my herbs and spices, so I’m including regrowing ginger. Easy peasy; after all, it’s a root (rhizome). Plant a piece of ginger rhizome in potting soil with the newest (smallest) buds facing upward. Place the root in a warm area with indirect sunlight. Pretty soon, it will begin to sprout new shoots. When the plant is more mature, you can pull the entire thing up and harvest the rhizomes for use. Reserve a bit of the rhizome to replant and then start the whole process over again. The neat thing about regrowing ginger is that it makes a lovely houseplant while those rhizomes are growing.
5. Potatoes – You’ve probably let a potato or two linger a bit too long before cooking and notice the spud growing eyes. Don’t throw it in the compost! Grow it. Cut the potato into 2-inch pieces, including 1-2 eyes in each piece. Let the cut pieces sit at room temp for a day or so to allow them to cure. Plant the cured pieces in compost rich soil, 8 inches deep with the eye upturned. Cover with 4 inches of soil. As the plant begins to grow, add more soil until you’ve built a mound around the growing plant, which will help support it.
These are just a handful of ideas when it comes to regrowing produce from kitchen scraps. You can go totally nuts and grow citrus, avocado, apples, cabbage, garlic, the list goes on. Never compost again!