Re-Growing from Kitchen Scraps

Growing your own vegetables from kitchen scraps reduces waste and saves you money. An all-year round kitchen crop solution for growing with zero waste! Peelings and plate leftovers will generally go to the compost heap, but we can save roots and seeds of some vegetables and re-grow them. Leafy vegetables and fruits too. 

When cutting off the root ends of, for example leeks and spring onions. Save the ends for re-growing. Likewise, the top end that sprouts leaves, on beetroot and celery, and you can save seeds from tomatoes, peppers and chillies. 

Root-ends can be kept from say onions and leeks. Place the roots downwards into water but not fully submerged in a shallow dish until growth appears and then transfer them in to soil pots on a sunny windowsill or plant out in season. 

Leafy vegetables can be grown by cutting about an inch off the top of the vegetable and removing any dead leaves and then placed in a shallow dish or plate with water (not submerged). You need to change the water daily to keep it fresh. When the roots start to grow and the new green foliage appears, you can transfer to soil pots.  They can stand on a sunny windowsill all year round or you could plant out when the weather is warmer in Spring and Summer. 

The growth for some of these are very fast and so it makes it a great activity for children to experiment with too. 

To save your seeds, scoop out and immerse the seeds into water and leave for the pulp and other matter to separate, rinse them off and then lay them out on some kitchen roll or absorbent tissue/paper for them to dry out thoroughly. 

Saved and dried seeds from tomatoes and peppers are another easy option to re-grow. You can plant them as you would shop-bought seeds in soil, in propagators or pots. You can choose to harden them off outside in season or keep them on a sunny windowsill indoors. 

A more obvious choice would be a potato. We have all been guilty of leaving the odd potato in storage to find it has shoots growing from it. Now you can plant it! Just as you would a potato seed, if it is still yet to shoot, you can chit the potato first, which you can find out about on our Potato Chitting page.

Herbs are another favourite windowsill choice and a lovely aromatic addition to the kitchen! All you need to do is take a good stem from your herbs, remove any lower leaves and add it to water and roots will form at the bottom. Once they grow around two inches, you can plant it in soil.

The most important thing to remember is when you are in the early, shallow water stage, you must change the water to fresh, daily. This will avoid disease and smelly water!

Try these easy re-grow projects to start with and see you get on:

Onions/Spring Onions
Leafy greens, root vegetables and bulbs as well as saved seeds from a variety of produce.

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winter onion 228037_1920