Vegetables can be surprisingly pricey sometimes. We’ve all had that moment of confusion when you buy some junk food really cheaply, but then head over to the fruits and vegetables section and realise that they are double the cost. Fortunately, you don’t have to look much further than your own food scraps for a solution to this. The scraps and leftovers that you would otherwise throw out or use for composting can be used to regrow vegetables! This means you don’t even need to go out and shop for them or even buy the seeds for planting.
Try testing out your green thumb by having a go at regrowing these vegetables:
These are one of the simplest vegetables to regrow and one of the most useful. If you notice some potatoes that you forgot you even had that are now growing ‘eyes’ and what looks like roots (or you can purposefully store some away for this reason), don’t throw them out! Cut the potato into two pieces, making sure there are at least 1-2 eyes on each half. Dry the pieces out by letting them sit overnight or until they are dry to the touch. Then plant away and watch them grow.
You can plant the seeds by drying them out first. Then spread them out, covering them with a few centimetres of soil and making sure they get enough sunlight. If you don’t want to do this then just put the entire pumpkin in the soil and bury it (tip – they love rich soil and compost). Water a few times a week, but make sure the soil gets damp and stop before the ground is soaking. In addition, make sure the soil can drain well.
Lettuce, cabbage and Bok Choy
Take the base of the lettuce or cabbage and place it in a bowl with a small amount of water at the bottom. The water should cover the roots but the rest of the plant should not be submerged. Then place the bowl somewhere that it can get a decent amount of sunlight. Make sure to change the water and mist the leaves every couple of days. When you notice new leaves and roots beginning to appear, you can transplant it into the soil, buried under a few centimetres of soil.
Just like lettuce and cabbage, simply place the base of the celery into a bowl filled with some water. Try keep the bowl in as much direct sunlight as possible. After only about one week, you will start seeing the leaves getting thicker and growing along the base. Make sure to mist the plant and change the water every other day. Once small leaves and roots start growing, plant it in the soil, making sure the new stalks and leaves are kept above the soil.
Cut the root end of the onion off, with about a centimetre and a half of the onion still on the roots. Plant them in the ground where they can get a lot of sunlight and cover lightly with soil. Make sure the soil is kept moist. Once roots appear, remove the part of the onion you left attached to the roots. Now allow the roots to grow and then you can harvest. Plus, if you keep replanting the root end of each onion you harvest, you will never run out!
You can either keep the seeds of the tomatoes (yes, the messy insides of them) or take the tomato and chop some slices off. For seeds, rinse them and let them dry thoroughly. Using rich plotting soil, plant them in a small or large pot. For slices do the same, spreading them in a circle and flatly around the pot. Lightly cover them with soil and within a week or two you should be able to transplant the sprouts to the ground. They should be planted and kept in an area with plenty of sunlight. And, make sure to water them a few times a week.
There are a variety of hot chilis that you can grow from the leftover seeds. Collect the seeds from jalapenos, habaneros, or whatever peppers you have in the house and plant them in potting soil. Keep them in direct sunlight unless you have a lot of sun outside, in which case you can plant them in your garden. Because they grow quickly and don’t need that much care, chilis are easy to grow.
There are so many more vegetables that you can regrow at home, such as lemongrass, ginger, basil and coriander, just to name a few. Don’t be afraid to get your green gloves on and search the web for the best tips and tricks on how to grow all the vegetables you would love to have in your backyard.
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