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6 Vegetable Scraps to Plant in Your Garden

6 Vegetable Scraps to Plant in Your Garden

When purchasing vegetables from a store or farmer’s market, most people don’t think beyond their intended use (e.g. tomatoes for sauce, carrots for a salad) and why would they? You buy, you cook, and you eat. But, no matter how frugal of a cook you may be, there are always scraps. If you are a conscientious and responsible cook, you likely compost those bits of ginger and ends of celery — or maybe create vegetable stock. However, for the super resourceful, there is a way to stretch your food (and food dollar a bit further).

A recent post on Wake Up World revealed the hidden (and marvelously thrifty) world of stretching your garden dollar. Items like leeks, scallions, and even celery and ginger can be cultivated from the scraps you would most likely toss. These sorts of kitchen hacks are doable, and for the most part easy. Here are a few that are worth noting (as well as doing):

Re-grow a garlic plant from a single clove planted root-end down.

Potatoes, as well as sweet potatoes, can easily be grown from a whole (or part of a) potato that has begun to sprout.

This will re-grow from the white root end of the plant. Once you cut off the stalk of the celery, simply place the root end in a bowl of shallow water. Keep moist and place in a window that gets some sun. After about a week or so you will start to see new roots and leaves form. Once roots have made a showing, plant in soil and you should have a whole new celery head in a few weeks. This same technique works for bok choi, cabbage, and romaine lettuce.

Ginger is also simple to grow; just take a knob of ginger with the newest bud facing upward and plant it in potting soil. Keep the soil moist with indirect sunlight. It will begin to grow new shoots and propagate. Once it is established, you can harvest it, use the ginger you need, and then replant – the cycle continues.

Leeks and Scallions
Probably the most simple of the kitchen hacks, simply take the whole white root of the leek or scallion and put it in a glass jar with water (no need for soil) and plenty of sun. The green leafy part of the plant will grow and you could take what you need by snipping off a bit of the green, while leaving the root intact and covered with water. Be sure to change the water every few days. This technique works well with fennel and spring onions as well.

15 Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps & Unused Food
50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again

Read more: Blogs, Conscious Consumer, Eco-friendly tips, Following Food, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Lawns & Gardens, Raw, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Vegan, Vegetarian,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


+ add your own
9:33PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

HOW does one regenerate green onions from the bulb???? I have tried and tried, but it just gets soggy - once in a while it will put out a stalk -but immediately died.

5:24AM PDT on May 14, 2014


5:41AM PDT on May 11, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:04PM PDT on May 8, 2014


8:00AM PDT on May 8, 2014

I don't have a garden, but thank you.

4:14AM PDT on May 7, 2014

In the UK it is illegal to grow potatoes like this. Only from authorised merchants, due to disease and blight possibilities.

6:59PM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

These are some good tips. I always plant green onion bulbs and they grow very well so I always have green onion tops for recipes. I didn't know about celery though, I'll have to try this. Thanks.

7:16AM PDT on Mar 31, 2014

Thank you.

6:26PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

I may try some of these. Thanks!

2:50PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Ive always done this with potatoes, but now I have onions growing and am going to try with lettuce and cabbage next! I also do this with the top of my pineapple.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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