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Stop throwing away your vegetable scraps — you can grow a garden out of them! Seriously.
Follow these steps to get cheap, healthy produce for free. Since you’ll be regrowing from vegetables that you originally purchased, you may want to choose organic options at the store. That way, you can be confident that the veggies you grow from the scraps are also free of pesticides and other chemicals that are sometimes found in commercial crops.
When you get a bunch of celery, cut off the individual stalks, leaving the root end connected with an inch or so of each stalk left. Place that root in a shallow bowl with water (there should be a bit of stalk sticking out of the water).
Put the celery bottom on a sunny windowsill and spray the tops with water occasionally. In a few days, leaves will start to sprout. After about a week, transplant your sprouted celery to a pot with the leaves above the soil level. A whole new head of celery will appear in a few weeks.
This method also works for several other green, leafy veggies, including cabbage, lettuce and bok choi.
You’ll never have to buy onions again once you get your own crop going!
Cut off the root end of an onion — leave about ½ inch connected to the root for the best results. Plant the root in a sunny spot with a layer of soil covering it. Keep the soil moist and make sure the environment is warm (if you plant them outdoors, they need to come inside for cooler months). Continue replanting the root ends for a continuous onion supply.
You’ll need deep, sturdy pots or a garden in order to regrow this vegetable.
Leave a potato out until it grows numerous small sprouts, or “eyes.” Cube it into two-inch pieces (each piece should have at least a sprout or two) and leave them out for a couple of days. Plant them around four inches below soil level with the sprouts facing up. As the roots appear, add more soil on.
It only takes a single clove to get started on growing your own garlic.
Plant the clove root-end down in soil or a shallow dish of water. Place in a warm, sunny spot. You’ll get new shoots coming out of the top in just a few days. Snip off these sprouts and use them in various dishes, like salads or pastas. They have a delicious flavor that’s slightly milder than garlic.
The garlic will continue to grow and eventually produce a new bulb. Use a clove from that bulb to repeat the process.
5. Ginger Root
Take a piece of the knobby part of your ginger root and plant it with the smallest buds facing up. Place it in a warm environment with indirect or filtered sunlight. New shoots and roots will begin growing. Wait until it’s ready to harvest, then pull out the entire plant and repeat the process with a new piece of ginger root.
While you can’t regrow the actual carrot, you can use scraps to regrow the leafy greens on top, which make an excellent addition to many meals, including salads and sandwiches.
Just chop off the top of a whole carrot and place them in a dish with a little water. Set the dish on a windowsill. The greens will slowly grow back out of the top.
Lemongrass can be grown with the same methods as regular grass.
When you purchase fresh lemongrass, snip off everything but the root. Place roots in a glass jar with a bit of water, and leave the glass in a sunny spot indoors. In about a week, you’ll see some growth from your roots.
Once you see growth, transfer the root to some soil in a pot and place the pot outside in a sunny spot. When the grass is about 10 or 12 inches high, snip off what you need and leave the roots in place. They’ll continue to regrow to provide a continuous supply of lemongrass.