Spring is here and it’s time to get gardening. Did you know you can replant many vegetable scraps that you would normally throw away or compost. Produce can be very expensive, so save on your grocery bill by growing your own food.
One of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself is celery. Simply cut off the bottom portion or base of your celery and place in a small bowl or cup with warm water. Water should cover just the bottom of the celery, do not submerge it. Place in a sunny location and within a couple days you will see new growth. In about a week the new growth should be thicker and greener and it will be time to plant in soil. You can grow it in a pot either indoors or outdoors or plant directly in your garden. Celery likes cooler temperatures and regular watering.
Romaine lettuce can be grown the exact same way as celery. By cutting off the bottom portion and placing in water for about a week until new leaves form. Then you can plant in soil or leave it in the water indoors, this can be done year round. You will need to change the water every couple days but you should have large enough leaves to eat within 10-12 days. Planting in soil will provide more nutrients for the lettuce and should result in more leaves being formed. This method will work for most red and green leaf lettuce.
Cabbage can be grown from leftover leaves. Place cabbage leaves in a bowl with a small amount of water and place in a sunny location. Replace the water every couple days, when you notice roots forming you can plant in soil or you can continue to grow in water the same as with the lettuce.
Green onions are grown similarly to celery and lettuce. After using the green portion of green onions you can take the root portion of the green onion and place in a cup of water roots down, change the water out daily and within a week or two you will have new green tops that you can cut off and use continuously.
Garlic is really easy to grow, but choose organic or non sprayed ones as treated ones will probably not grow. Break your garlic bulb apart into separate cloves leaving the skin on. For a summer crop you will want to plant your garlic in the fall and cover with straw or mulch to protect it through the winter. Plant 1-3 inches deep with the flat bottom of garlic down and pointed end up. Plant each clove 3-4 inches apart. Water thoroughly. Harvest garlic in the summer after the foliage dies.
How many times have you found your potatoes have sprouted, don’t throw them out, plant them. Potatoes should be planted outdoors in early spring a few weeks before the last average frost in your area. If the potatoes are large and have several eyes then you should cut them into 2 inch pieces leaving at least one eye per piece. Let dry for a couple days before planting outside. Smaller potatoes can be planted whole. Dig a trench 6-8 inches deep, plant potato pieces cut side down, eyes up 12 inches apart. Cover with 3-4 inches of dirt. In a couple weeks when sprouts appear cover with 3-4 more inches of dirt. Repeat every couple of weeks mounding the soil up over the potatoes creating a hill to protect the potatoes from turning green in sunlight. For the best potatoes harvest after the plant’s foliage has died back. Cut brown foliage to the ground and wait 10-14 days to dig potatoes. Make sure to do so on a dry day.
These are some of the easiest vegetable scraps to grow on your own but almost any vegetable or fruit can be grown from the leftovers. Experiment and have fun growing your own food.