Re-growing vegetables doesn’t cost money in fact when you re-grow your own organically you will save money! This year one of my goals is to reduce and recycle as much food waste as possible.
As you may know I do not have a green thumb – YET! Everything I’ve been doing in the garden has been an experiment. Since there has been no money involved in my experiments only time I’ve come to learn few things worth sharing, pleasantly surprised at some of my results.
I’m still working on re-growing an avocado tree from an avocado pit but one day I am optimistic it will happen!
Here are 10 veggies you can easily re-grow by cutting the bottoms off and re-rooting the vegetables.
- Grow your own lettuce.
Place the crown end of the lettuce in water. Then every other day, rinse off the lettuce crown and make sure you change the water. Place in the windowsill to allow light to make it grow.
- Grow your own celery.
Place the base of the celery into a 1/8 inch of water until the outside of the celery stalks start to rot. Plant the roots in the dirt to allow the roots to continue to grow. Make sure you give them plenty of water otherwise your celery may be bitter. It takes approximately 16 weeks / 4 months to re-grow a celery similar to what you would buy in the store.
- Grow your own sweet potatoes.
Slice a sweet potato in half and insert 3 toothpicks midway to allow the sweet potato to rest in shallow bowl of water. You want to keep a portion of the potato in the water and the other half exposed to air on a windowsill that allows it to get light. Roots will start to grow sprouting some stems.
Take these stems and place them in a glass of water to grow roots like the photo above. Aim to grow these roots about an inch long before placing them into soil. Plant the roots into loose fertile soil with the top leaves out.
Watch the sweet potatoes grow. They do take a while to grow and the sweet potato will not start growing until a purple flower begins to bud in the stem. One thing to note is that these stems can grow high.
- Grow your own basil.
Place the basil into a container or glass of water on the windowsill where it can get plenty of sunlight. Basil actually needs lots of sunlight to grow well. Wait a couple weeks and you will begin to see roots forming. Once the basil roots become sturdy transfer and plant the basil into fertile soil in a well drained pot.
- Grow your own onions.
By re-growing your onions you can grow a never ending supply of onions. Something worth while knowing especially if you use a lot of onions.
Instead of throwing away the onion bottoms place them in a well ventilated spot for a few days to allow for callousing. Try leaving approximately 1.5 to 2 inches of the onion bottom for regrowth.
In a container (or in the ground) fill about 2/3 full of soil and place the onion in the soil and cover the top with soil. Make sure you water the onion. Allow for a couple weeks for the onion to re-grow roots and the onion grows a couple leaves. At this point you may notice the onion growing two heads or more, if so separate them and remove old onion scales before planting in the ground.
To allow the bulb to develop cut back the leaves and repeat the process to re-grow your continues supply of onions.
Harvest the onion as a mature onion or use as green onions.
- Grow your own garlic chives.
When garlic cloves begin to get old and start to sprout, place it into a glass or bowel of water on the windowsill. These sprouted garlic cloves become to bitter to cook with however re-grow these sprouts until they form green shoots. These green shoots can be used in salads, pasta or as a garnish. They are a lot milder in flavour than actual garlic.
- Grow your own ginger.
Ideally to grow ginger the rhizomes should have a few buds forming on the tips of the ginger. Soak these rhizomes overnight in water and the next day plant them into a container with fertile soil or better yet potting mix.
Place the rhizomes on top of the soil with the buds facing downward, then press them into the soil gentley. Make sure the rhizomes are watered well throughout the process as they need to be well watered for them to grow.
For ginger to grow you’ll need to provide a warm, sunny and moist spot as they like hotter climates, after all they are a tropical plant. To create a humid environment cover the pot with plastic wrap.
Allow a few months to see signs of re-growth keeping in mind that it can take up to a year to re-grow proper roots, so be patient.
- Grow your own lemongrass.
Lemongrass is also harder to grow than some of the other vegetables. It’s well worth it since lemongrass can be very expensive if bought a higher end grocery store and not in China town. I generally get mine in China town!
Lemongrass can be re-grown indoors but let’s start with the last leftover stalk that was bought. Peel off the dry outer layers and crop a little off the top. Then submerge the lemongrass root end into the water about 2 inches deep.
Make sure you keep the water fresh by changing it every other day. Within weeks the lemongrass will re-grow roots.
Once the lemongrass has established roots begin to transplant them into potting soil. It will not be long until you see the lemongrass re-grow providing you keep the plant indoors and in direct sunlight on a warm windowsill.
- Grow your own bok choy.
Slice the base of the bok choy off and place it bottom down in a bowl of water. Make sure to keep it on the windowsill to allow light to help it group. It doesn’t take long before you will begin to see new leaves forming at the base.
- Grow your own mushrooms.
Mushrooms must be one of the easiest vegetable to re-grow especially living on Vancouver Island. We have plenty of moist cool environments amongst the large trees. Some places with hotter temperatures may find it tricky so aim to re-grow mushrooms in the Fall.
Plant the mushroom stalks in soil with either coffee grounds, potting mix or compost. I used coffee grinds – we drink a lot of coffee! Keep them in a moist environment, preferably where it will be cool at night.
Give it a try and let us know what vegetables you’ve tried and how well it worked.