Looking for yet another way to get more from your garden? How about regrowing vegetables from the leftover bits and pieces? Reduce, reuse and recycle in your garden with these five foods that you can keep growing (and regrowing) even after you’ve gotten a good meal or two out of them.
Regrow Celery from Stalks
Did you know that you can regrow celery from the leftover stalk stub? It’s true. Just take a freshly cut bottom (the whole stub), soak it in warm water overnight, then plant it (cut side up) in fertile soil. Water well for the first few days and within 1-2 weeks, you should have a few slim but steady stalks. Why fuss with seeds if you don’t have to?
Regrowing Ginger Root
Whether you already grow ginger in your garden or have a few fresh nubs from the grocery store, it’s possible to plant what you have and recycle your ginger roots. To regrow ginger, take a fresh root (that’s one that’s not wrinkly or dried out) and plant it partially submerged in soil (like you would an iris). Arrange so that any nubbins are pointed up or on the side, and keep in moderately moist and fertile soil. Your ginger should root and begin growing within a few weeks. Remember to bring your growing ginger indoors over winter (unless you live in a particularly warm or tropical climate).
Added bonus? You can use your ginger to make ginger liqueur.
Regrowing Garlic from Cloves
Not sure what to do with those couple of tiny garlic cloves that you can’t be bothered to peel? Plant them and get double duty from your cloves by regrowing your garlic. The key to successfully growing garlic is to plant it in full sun and to remember to chop off the scape (that’s the tall stalk that sprouts from the bulb). Once you cut off the scape, the garlic plant will pour its energy into fattening a big, tasty bulb for harvesting. Mmmmmm.
Look here for great tips on growing garlic.
How to Regrow Sweet Potatoes
Tired of throwing away all of those crazy-shaped ends from your garden-grown sweet potatoes? Why not recycle and root them right on your kitchen counter? To regrow sweet potatoes, just half-submerge a sweet potato end in a glass of water (hint: toothpicks work well for helping potatoes levitate over a glass rim) and place submerged plants in a warm, sunny spot. Within a few weeks, shoots should sprout from the bottom and sprouts should sprout from the top. Cut into sections, plant and then harvest (and enjoy!) when leaves start yellowing.
Look here for everything you need to grow sweet potatoes.
Regrowing Green Onions
It just got even easier to grow green onions. Instead of tossing the white ends away, put them in warm water (roots down, with the cut end sticking above the water line). Within 3-5 days the roots should show growth, and within 1-2 weeks you should see fresh growth on the top too. Refresh water as needed and plant in the garden when weather permits. Voila!
Did you know that you can also regrow lemon grass? All you need to do is take freshly cut stalks (cut near the bottom) and put them in water (like you would do to regrow green onions). Eventually, the lemon grass will grow new roots and be strong enough for planting!
If you’ve never grown this wonderful plant, here’s a great article on growing lemon grass in your garden.
For more gardening resources and information, be sure to check out the rest of my site. And happy gardening!
(Images graciously provided by fritz018, jeff1980, forwardcom, 13dede and Christopher Paquette. Thanks!)