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Growing Vegetables From Scraps & Avoiding Waste

If you can eat vegetables, it’ll be easy growing vegetables from scraps

Honesty time. I waste so much produce! My greens go slimy in the back of the fridge and I always buy more potatoes than I can eat! I’m not proud of it. If you can identify, good news, there is a solution that will ease your conscience and even your wallet. One viable option is composting. Tossing food scraps in the compost bin allows you to harness the food’s nutrients to feed your next garden. But did you know that you can grow vegetables from scraps, regrow your produce at home? Waste not, want not. Stick that cabbage right back in the ground (more or less). In hopes of saving some precious pennies and grocery store trips, here’s a simple DIY guide to turning your kitchen scraps to fresh produce at home.

Leafy Scraps

It’s salad time! Instead of letting your greens become wilted in the fridge, you can pick the fresh leaves right off the growing vegetables from scaps in your windowsill. 

Romaine Lettuce

Don’t throw away those leftover leaves. With just a few inches of leaf still attached to the lettuce’s base, place the base (leafy side up) in a saucer or jar and add just enough water to cover the base of the plant. Set the dish in a warm place like a windowsill where it can get lots of light. In a few days new leaves and new roots will begin to grow. After three or four days, when the new roots have grown to a sturdy size, you can transfer your lettuce to soil. Continue to water and watch it grow.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy is a personal favorite. The process of regrowing is actually very similar to that of romaine lettuce. 

Place the base in a dish of shallow warm water and store it in a sunny spot. And if variety is truly the spice of life, also try regrowing cabbages in this way. Bok choy, Romaine Lettuce and Cabbage are all classified as brassicas and their new growth will sprout from the hard base. 

Just a tip, cabbage can go right into a shallow planter of soil, but keep it nice and moist. 

Root Scraps

When growing vegetables from scraps, you simply cannot forget the hardy root vegetables, especially if you’re eternally hungry, like me. While some root veggies, like potatoes, can reproduce the entire plant, others like carrots, beets, and turnips can regrow their green tops which are surprisingly useful. 


Remember those wrinkly old potatoes you forgot that you bought a few weeks ago? Before you throw them out, check to see if they have begun to sprout. Especially if you store your potatoes in a cool, bright place, sprouts will soon form. Note that some veggies sold in stores are treated to prevent sprouting, so it’s a safer bet to go with a locally grown or organic option. But isn’t that always the case?

Once the eyes (sprouts) have formed, you can get ready to plant. Small potatoes can be planted whole, while larger varieties should be cut, making sure that there are a few eyes on each piece. 

Now, where to grow them? You don’t need an acre of garden space to grow a good amount of potatoes. You can even grow vegetables indoors from scraps or on your porch in a planter or bucket. Good news for us hungry, city apartment dwellers. You’ll want a container that can hold about 3 gallons of soil. I’m excited to go through the process of growing potatoes in a bin on my itty bitty city balcony, then I’ll share everything I’ve learned. Until then, walk through the process of growing potatoes in a container