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5 Plants You Can Grow from Your Garbage!

5 Plants You Can Grow from Your Garbage!

Instead of throwing out the undesirable ends of freshly chopped organic veggies, why not put them to use! Americans throw away billions of dollars of food every year, so get the most for your money. Many of the veggie discards you usually throw out can actually be used to grow more crops. Here are 5 relatively easy ones that will extend your organic buck.

Onions. Green onions are extremely easy to propagate. When you chop the roots off of green onions, place them in a bowl of water with a little bit of the green shaft sticking above the surface. Set them in a warm, sunny area and continue to add water as the plants grow taller. Once the roots are big enough, gently untangle them and transplant them into a pot in your sunny kitchen or your outdoor garden. You must transplant them, as they need the nutrients from the soil to keep growing. Red and white onions can also be revitalized in a similar manner.

Celery. Stop throwing away the root bases of your celery! Freshly cut root bases can re-grow and yield an entirely new crop! Simply set the base in a glass of shallow water in the window and watch shoots reappear. Then, you can transplant it into a pot or garden and watch your “garbage” celery grow into a delicious new crop.

Sweet potatoes. Just like white potatoes, sweet potatoes spout with “eyes.” Bury the sweet potato under a thin layer of moist soil in a sunny location. Shoots take a week to appear, and once they reach about 4 inches high, you can cut them off and replant them about a foot apart. With any luck, in 4 months you’ll have homegrown, organic sweet taters! Beware, if you plant them outside, keep and eye out for slugs, who also are partial to delicious sweet potatoes.

Ginger root. Ginger is surprisingly easy to grow from leftover chunks of a knob. Place a small bit of the root in a pot of soil with the smallest buds pointing skywards. Place the pot in a moist environment with filtered sunlight and let it grow. Ginger plants are very attractive in the house. When you need a new ginger root, dig up the entire plant, harvest the root, and cut off a small bit to pot and plant again for the next time you need ginger.

Romaine lettuce. Check out this video and learn how easy it is to repurpose your romaine stubs. The heart can re-grow, and since organic lettuces are often pretty pricey, it is a great way to save cash on those delicious summer salads.

Other foods that you can salvage include white potatoes, sprouting garlic, and even pineapple. Be warned; conventional plants probably won’t regrow, so be sure to invest in high quality organic produce. Stop wasting your food and your money. Make the most of your organic veggies and have fun in the process!

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Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at


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8:20PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

have to try some of these

9:06PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

Noelle S, I think the potatoes probably need too much soil for a pot indoors, but the others should work. However, if you plant the pineapple top, expect to have a houseplant, not another pineapple you can eat.

12:41AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thanks - you make those ideas seem so simple.

Another very attractive plant that I seem to see everywhere this summer, is Russian Sage. It has masses of small mauve flowers and resembles lavender.

6:34AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

This is sooooo useful! Thank you for the article.

5:00AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

This is really good advice. Will do.

12:57PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

Very interesting article and will try to follow in my garden.

5:37AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Thank you :)

4:15AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Thanks! I cut off an eye from a sweet potato and planted it, now I have the plant in my garden.

9:18AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

A really interesting article. I didn't realise that ginger could be grown at home. I have seen it growing, when I was in Thailand, it is very attractive plant.

10:24PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

Thanks so much!!

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