Here’s a list of my favorite kitchen scraps to regrow! They’re super simple to do with everyday items you already have in your home. Regrowing food is a great way to practice sustainability, and it works in small spaces.
- Green Onions
Green onions are one of the easiest kitchen scraps to regrow! Find some fresh green onions with the roots intact from your grocery store or farmer’s market. All you have to do is slice off the bulbs’ ends with the roots intact, fill a small jar with water and place them. Make sure you have enough water to cover the roots but not the tops. It only takes a few days for the onion to start growing shoots! I’ve repotted my green onions in soil (pictured), and they’ve already grown so much in only two weeks.
Lettuce is simple to regrow. All you need is water and a jar. After you’ve used your lettuce, cut off the ends and just place it inside a jar of water. Keep the tops out of the water, with the ends submerged. After a few days, you’ll begin to see fresh new lettuce sprouting from the top. The water will need to be changed frequently (whenever it starts getting murky and green). You can repot this into dirt to keep growing, but I decided to leave it in water. Here’s how mine’s looked after one week!
Regrowing tomatoes is easier than you might expect! Did you know you can propagate store-bought tomatoes? Start by cutting up a tomato into thin slices and placing them directly into a pot of soil. Cover the tomatoes with more soil and water frequently. After about a week or so, you’ll see sprouts begin to pop up, and once these sprouts get big enough, separate and repot them to allow them to grow nicely and evenly without clumping together. Another method I found on YouTube that might produce better tomatoes adds an extra step where you strain the tomato to separate the seeds before potting. This way, the seeds are growing away from the decomposing tomato itself, which helps with the process. Either method works, and you’ll be able to get some great tomato plants from this trick! You can see my tomatoes’ progress using the sliced method after only two weeks in the photo below.
Did you know you can regrow the mint you find at grocery stores? Start with cutting a few inches off the stem, right below the bottom nodes where the mint leaves start. Remove the mint leaves near the bottom and place them in a jar of water. Not only will your mint stay fresh, but it’ll also start growing more leaves! I find it best to use mint with a thicker stem for regrowing. I’ve been using this trick for about two weeks now, and the mint looks fresher than ever. The mint I had started with was pretty wilted, and this is how it looks now, outside the fridge! This trick works with other herbs, like basil and cilantro as well.
To regrow garlic, grab a small jar for your garlic bulbs – keep the cloves in its skin and place it inside the jar of water with the flat end down and pointy end facing up. Keep this on a sunny windowsill and change the water out when it gets cloudy. After a week, you’ll have garlic greens ready to harvest! The tops of garlic greens are best, so snip off the first few inches and keep regrowing. You won’t grow new garlic bulbs from this trick, but you’ll get delicious garlic greens to use as garnish. I’ve repotted my garlic along with my green onions in soil, and this is how it looks after two weeks.
You can sprout carrot tops just by placing them inside water! You won’t be able to regrow the actual carrot, but you can get some really neat carrot plants from this trick. Cut one inch off the top of a carrot, stick toothpicks into the sides and place it on top of a jar with water. Submerge the bottoms of the carrots into the water while keeping the top out. Place this somewhere it gets light and watch it sprout! Mine’s been growing for about a week now, and I’ll be potting it in soil soon once it gets more root growth.