Who would’ve thought that you could take your leftovers from dinner to make a whole new plant? Radishes, potatoes, garlic, onions, summer squash and peas are some of the easiest vegetables that can be cultivated for garden use. Some kitchen scraps can even be used to grow hard to find garden vegetables. Don’t out old and wilted vegetable plants – instead, grow plants from the unused produce.
How to Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps
- One of the most common methods of starting large tubers, pits and root plants such as sweet potatoes is by using the water method – this way the plant will send out roots in search of water. Fill a tall narrow jar with water and suspend the tuber, pit or root plant over the water by piercing the flesh with toothpicks. The toothpicks should be sturdy enough to support the plant once roots start to grow. Place the toothpicks all the way around the plant at the center. Place the plant into the jar just under the water line. Once the roots grow about 4 inches long, the plant can be planted.
- For more temperamental plants you may want to use a sphagnum bag. The sphagnum should be damp but not too moist. Place the seed inside the bag, seal and place in a warm dark part of the kitchen. Check the seed on a regular basis for mold or decay. However, if mold does appear, a fungicide such as Pure 3-Way can easily and safely help your plants recover. If the bag starts to become too moist, leave it open for a day or so. But also be careful not to dry out the seed.
- Certain root vegetables, such as carrots, onions and garlic, thrive better when started in pebbles. The pebbles create an airy environment and allows plenty of water without leaving the root in standing water. To do this, use an air-tight container, any plastic bowl or take-out tray with a lid. Fill the container over half way with clean, dry pebbles. Place the original vegetable on top of the pebbles and fill around them with even more pebbles to support the vegetables. Add water up to the pebble line and check every now and then to see if you need to add water.
- The easiest method of cultivating plants is to plant the root directly into the soil. Choose firm and fresh vegetables at the local grocer and then remove any leaves or stems – these will just rot in the ground. Using a large pot filled with soil, plant the vegetables with about two-thirds of the vegetable above ground. Water whenever the soil gets too dry.
- Seed-starting plants is pretty simple. Just take seeds from vegetables such as tomatoes, fruits, peas and beans. Make sure that the seeds don’t come from hybrids – hybrid plants usually don’t reproduce well. Clean all the flesh from the seeds and dry them overnight. The seeds can go directly in the ground or they can be planted indoors and transplanted outside once seedlings develop.