Every day we throw heaps of leftovers and scraps out which could actually be used to regrow fruits, vegetables, and herbs completely free of charge. Not only can we save money, but also reduce our carbon footprint.
Can you imagine having an unlimited supply of your favorite produce right at your fingertips? Fresh fruits and veggies are often one of the most expensive items on a grocery list, so anything that you can do to limit how much you have to spend at the store will do a great job at slicing your grocery budget.
There are a number of fruits and vegetables that you can replant and grow yourself to ensure that you have them on hand when you need them while cutting back the money that you spend on produce every week. With grocery prices increasing, now is the best time to get frugal in the kitchen and garden.
These fruits, vegetables, and herbs can all be purchased just once, and then regrown forever!
If you want to grow green onions indefinitely, it’s ridiculously easy. In fact, it’s so easy you’ll be wondering why on earth you’ve never done it before, but at least from here on out, you’ll always have them on hand. This is all you have to do: put a bunch of scallions with their roots into a glass filled with water and put the glass in a sunny spot like a window. Cut off what you need to use for cooking, and your green onions will literally regrow almost overnight, like magic!
You can just keep chopping off parts of the onion you want to use and they’ll just keep re-growing. You can also plant them in the soil and achieve the same results.
This is a really clever way of growing onions – you’ll use an old water bottle on a windowsill. First, you need an empty water bottle. Once you have it, remove the neck of the bottle with scissors, and then cut holes around it. You could also use a heated metal tool if you have one. Just make sure the holes are the right size for the onion bulbs. Now, fill the bottle with layers of onion sprouts and soil, continuing to add layers until you get to the top. Next, add water and then place the bottle on a windowsill. All you have to do now is watch your onions grow.
It won’t take long before you have onions, and when you want to add some to one of your favorite dishes, all you have to do is pull one from your vertical onion garden.
This method of growing carrots from carrot tops is so easy, if you have kids, you should really get them involved. It’s not only educational, but the instant results you’ll get will get them excited about growing more. Just remember, this method doesn’t grow carrots from carrots, they’re grown from the plant rather than the root vegetable. The carrot itself is a taproot, and once removed it can’t be regrown. If your children are helping, be sure to explain that to them before starting the project – you don’t want them thinking carrots can be grown from carrots as who knows how fast that misinformation would spread.
You can grow your carrots in water by cutting the tops off of a carrot you bought at the grocery store or farmers market. You’ll need about an inch of the root. Stick a toothpick into either side of the stump and then balance it on top of a glass – using an old, small glass is best as it’s likely to end up with mineral stains. Now, fill your glass with water, allow it to barely touch the bottom edge of the stump. Place it in an area that gets sunlight, adding water when necessary so that it continues to touch the edge. You’ll see green sprouts in the top of the carrot within a week, and small white roots will grow from the bottom in about the same amount of time.
This is an especially clever idea for re-growing celery from the base and it’s nearly as simple as re-growing onions, all you do is chop celery stalks from the base of celery you’ve purchased from the supermarket and use it like you normally would. Instead of tossing the base out, rinse it off and put it into a small bowl of warm water on a sunny windowsill. Make sure that the base side is facing down, while the cut stalks face upright. You’ll need to change out the water every couple of days, and use a spray bottle to water the base of the celery where the leaves are growing out.
Let the base sit in the water for a week or so, and during the course of the week you’ll notice the surrounding stalks starting to dry out quite a bit, but the little yellow leaves at the center of the base should begin to thicken, grow up and out from the center, and turn a dark green color. After a week has passed, you can transfer your celery base to a planter and cover it up, except for the leaf tips, using a mixture of potting soil and dirt. Water it generously and you’ll see growth really take off.
The versatility of the sweet potato makes it a firm favorite with any home cook. That makes growing your own sweet potatoes out of a sweet potato a mush for cooking enthusiasts. Start out with a firm, healthy, organic sweet potato – if it’s starting to sprout, all the better as that gives you a head start. Place your sweet potato into a jar of water, immersing most of it in, but allowing a couple inches to be above water. Be sure to change your water out occasionally to prevent molding. Place your jar with the sweet potato into an area that gets sunlight, and before you know it, you’ll start seeing sprouts. When the sprouts are four to five inches long, pull them off the sweet potato, which will grow more sprouts. Place the sprouts in water – you can use the same jar.
When the sprout is well rooted, plant it in a hill of soil that’s about 10 inches high. If your soil isn’t warm yet, be sure to wait until it is, which depending on your climate is likely to be around June. Keep your plant well watered while the roots are being established and be aware that it will take several months of growing time before the first frost to form tubers.
Re-growing leeks is similar to re-growing green onions, extremely easy. Place a bunch of leeks with their roots downwards in a shallow glass container that’s filled with water. Cut off what you need to use in your kitchen for now, and leave the rest in the glass. Place the glass on a sunny windowsill, and occasionally change the water while the leeks begin to regrow themselves. That’s all there is to it!
Along with celery and onions, bok choy can also be re-grown. Like re-growing celery, all you have to do is chop us the bok choy you plan to cook with from the base, and then place it face up in a small bowl of warm water. It may even begin to regenerate quicker than your celery, sometimes as fast as overnight. In a couple of weeks, you can transfer it to a container of its own and continue growing it in soil.
Re-growing avocados isn’t as easy as some of the others listed here. While the instructions are easy to follow, it requires both toothpicks and patience. Getting more avocados out of it is not guaranteed, but it has and does happen. For better odds of success, try two or three pits at once.
After you’ve scooped out your pits and have used up the avocado flesh, rinse the pits in cold water, then wipe them off. It’s important to be sure you’ve removed all of the avocado meat as the pits will be sitting in water for several weeks, and you wouldn’t want something funky to start growing in it. When tooting the pit, do it pointy side up so that the stem and leaves will sprout out the top, and the root will push its way out the bottom.
Push toothpicks into the side of each pit so that they’re far enough in you can pick the pit up using the toothpick. Now, add three more toothpicks, keeping them spaced out evenly. Place each avocado pit over a dish so that the toothpicks are resting on the rim of the dish and the pit is suspended over the center. Next, fill the dish with water so that the avocado pit is submerged about halfway. Change out your water every day, or at least every other day, and be sure that the pit is always sitting in water. Keep them on a sunny windowsill.
The key is that your pit needs to be in water at all times until it’s ready to be planted in soil. For the first few weeks, you’re unlikely to notice any changes at all. Have patience. After three or so weeks, the top of the pit should start to split open – in some cases, it can take as long as six weeks. Once it splits, over the next several weeks a stem will shoot up and the initial leaves will start to grow while the roots will begin to force their way out the bottom. In another three weeks or so, more leaves should begin to appear. The entire process takes around three months, though it could be slightly shorter or longer.
Once the plant is about 7 or 8 inches tall, snip off the top few leaves to encourage more growth. Now, it’s ready to be planted in soil. Fill up 10-inch pot with potting soil, about an inch from the top. Dig a shallow hole in the center, just deep enough so half the pit is covered, and the place the bottom of the sapling in the hole with the root side down. Press down firmly on the soil to secure it, and then gently give it a little water. Now, set it in a sunny window, keep it watered and watch it grow.
All you need is a piece of sprouting ginger to regrow more. The root that you choose to plant should be plump with tight skin, and not shriveled and old. It should also have a few eye buds on it – if they’re already a little green, all the better. Soak the ginger root in warm water overnight first, in order to prepare it for planting. Then, fill a pot with well-drained potting soil. Place the ginger root with the eye bud pointing upwards in the soil and cover with 1 to 2 inches of soil; water well.
Place your ginger in a spot that doesn’t get too much bright sunlight, but does stay fairly warm. Use a spray bottle to keep the soil moist. Ginger doesn’t grow quickly, but in several weeks you’ll begin to see shoots popping out of the soil. It’s ready for harvest about 3 to 4 months after growth begins.
Regrowing basil is so easy, there’s no reason to ever waste your money buying it at the store. Look for a stem that has 6 or more leaves on it. The longer the stem the better. Use scissors to cut the stem from the rest of the bunch. Cut the top leaves or the flowers off and the bottom leaves off right at the point of origin or where it meets the stem. Place it in a jar of water, and then watch it grow. You should see roots in about a week.
Lemongrass is fantastic in stir-fries, and it’s really easy to grow too. All you do is take the stalks you purchase at the store and put them into a jar with about an inch of water. That’s it. Within two days the roots will sprout. Just keep changing the water, and in three or four weeks, it should have two inches of roots so that it can be transplanted to soil.
You can grow a whole garlic bulb from a single clove in just a few easy steps. Choose the largest bulbs you can find, making sure there are no signs of disease. Separate the garlic head into individual cloves just before planting, and then fill up a container with well-drained soil that’s light and fluffy. Make a hole using your finger that’s about twice the depth of the clove. Press down very firmly as you fill up the hole with soil and water it well. Keep it watered regularly until it flowers, or about a month before harvest which allows the bulbs to dry out. It’s ready when about one-third to one-half of the leaves have turned brown and wilted.
Mint has so many uses, having your own allows you to just pick what you need and is much cheaper than going to the store. Gently strip away all leaf sets on the stem, leaving on a couple of new leaves at the top of the cutting. Place it in a shallow bowl of water, making sure the water covers both sets of leaf nodes that were previously stripped away. Now, all you do is wait, making sure the water level is above the leaf nodes and switched out once a week.
Once the cutting roots, we can take anywhere from a few weeks to well over a month, let it remain in the water another 5 days to get stronger before planting it in soil.