Take another look at your compost bin because some of those scraps are tools for regrowing and gardening. It isn't unusual to pull your onions out to find they've started sprouting new roots. Once or twice, you may have wondered why that happens. Similar to other root vegetables such as potatoes, onion bulbs are meant to grow taller when planted.
To regrow vegetables, start by collecting the stems, butts, seeds, and stalks from certain foods included in the list below. Keep in mind that each one has different growing times and harvest recommendations. Give the scraps water and sunlight, then watch the magic happen.
Not only will you save food waste, but you may also cut down the cost of your grocery spending.
Here are tips for how to regrow veggies and herbs
Note: You can also regrow several other vegetables including potatoes, radishes, carrots, and even pineapples, but the following veggies and herbs are the easiest and quickest to regrow. Pineapples, for example, may take years to regrow. Carrots take about 6-7 months to regrow.
Regrow green onions
Cut off the white end of the onion, leaving the roots attached. Submerge only the roots in water, leaving a few centimetres of onion end exposed. Replace water daily. Keep in a sunny place. You should start seeing new growth in one week. Harvest when four to five inches tall, or plant in healthy soil. Onions kept in still water will stop producing after a while.
Cut off a 3-inch end of the celery, submerge in shallow warm water, leaving a few centimetres of the stem exposed. Keep warm and on a sunny windowsill. Replace water daily. Within a week, you should see new shoots growing out through the centre of the cutting. At this point, the edges of the stalk will start to rot. Remove those outer layers. When the new growth is 3 inches tall, harvest and eat, or plant in healthy soil.
Regrow romaine lettuce
Chop the top of your lettuce off, keeping 3-4 inches of the base. Submerge the cutting about halfway into a cup of water. Place on a sunny windowsill. Replace water daily. In about 10-12 days, a few new leaves will appear, about enough to make a couple of sandwiches. Harvest at this point, or plant in your garden.
Note: If you try to grow your veggies beyond the recommended harvest date, the flavour will change quickly to bitter.
Regrow basil, cilantro, and other herbs
Cut off a sprig (2-3 inches) of your store-bought or homegrown herb. Place in shallow water and keep warm in the sun. Indoors and by a windowsill is best, as the temperature tends to be more temperate than outdoors. Replace water daily. Wait about 2-3 weeks or until roots appear. Harvest at this point or plant in your garden.
Regrowing veggies & herbs is rewarding, fun, and easy. As long as you follow these tips, you'll surprise your guests with fresh food grown in a cup of water. Once you have that down, you may want to start experimenting with more veggie and herb gardening. If you've never tried it before, grow fresh produce using plantable seed paper.
There are some benefits to growing veggies and herbs at home
- Saving some cash. After a little investment upfront (soil amendments, fertilizer, and gardening supplies), you're all set to go. A handful of herbs comes to about $2 to $3 at the supermarket, which is about the same price as buying a starter kit.
- Improving the flavors in your cooking. It's inarguable that fresh produce has richer, deeper, more vibrant flavours than produce that has been shipped around and stored for days before reaching your table.
- Helping the environment. Shipped produce means pesticides and herbicides used to keep the produce fresh, and then gas used to drive the food to you.
Try growing herbs and veggies at home with seed paper
Fully plantable and zero waste, seed paper can be grown in the garden, in a pot, in your backyard or on your windowsill. Use basil or herb seed paper for at-home crafts, business cards, or special events, then plant the paper by following these planting instructions.
You can buy seed paper sheets for eco-friendly paper craft projects from Botanical PaperWorks. We have a variety of seed options, including wildflower, herb and veggie, and over 25 seed paper colors. Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips, and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest