- How to Regrow Vegetables from Scraps
Did you know that there are many herbs and vegetable scraps that you can regrow easily in water? Once propagated, simply plant in soil. No garden? You can use a container of your choice and place on your porch or deck.
Bulb Vegetables: Green Onions, Leeks and Fennel
Bulb and bulb-like vegetable scraps can be easily regrown just by putting them in water. Cut 1” to 2” of stem above the roots, place them in water. Water should cover the roots, but not the top. Change the water every few days. I use a Mason Jar. In 30 days or so you will have fresh green onions, leeks, or fennel to enjoy.
Lettuce and other Leafy Greens
Leafy scraps will grow in water if you place them in a sunny location. Cut the leaves about 1” from the bottom and place stem into ½” of water. Place on a windowsill or other sunny location. Replace the water every few days. Once new roots have sprouted and you see new growth, you can transplant them into soil and enjoy fresh lettuce all year long.
Cut 2” off the root end of a stalk of celery. Insert toothpicks around the sides to prevent the celery from touching the bottom of the bowl or jar. Add enough water to submerge the root end. Place in a location with natural light and change the water every other day. New stalks should start growing in only a few days. Once sprouted and the roots reach about an inch long, replant in soil. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Do not fret if the stalks around the base start to rot, this is normal. However, if you leave them for too long in water, they will completely rot. So, transplant them into your garden or container before the deterioration takes over. Celery prefers cooler temperatures and rich soil. Giving it shade during the hottest part of the day is beneficial
Place the base into a shallow bowl of water. Place in a light filled location and change the water every few days. Roots should start sprouting within 3 to 4 days. If you transplant into to soil it will need 6 hours of sun per day.
Carrots, Turnips, and other Root Vegetables
Preferably, start with vegetables that have the greens still on them. Organic is best, but if using the basic grocery store variety, be sure to wash thoroughly. Cut off the top, 1” in length. Fill container with water until it just touches the bottom of the stump. (You can also insert toothpicks, so the vegetable is not on the bottom of the container. Covered completely in water, they will rot). Place the container in a warm and shady area. Check the water level daily and change the water every 2 to 3 days. You will not get the actual vegetable to regenerate in water however, once small roots have sprouted, you can then transplant them into soil.
Regrowing herbs from the leftover scraps is an excellent way of having fresh herbs available year-round. First cut off the top 3 to 4 inches from the fresh stems. Remove any lower leaves, leaving only the ones on top. Fill container with water making sure to cover the nodes (the area where the lower leaves were removed). When roots reach at least 1” in length (2 to 4 weeks depending on herb) transplant into soil. Note: for rosemary, sage, and thyme, cut stem at a 45-degree angle. Rosemary can take up to 2 months to produce roots.