If you want to grow your own vegetables for quick, cheap food, the absolute quickest – and cheapest – way to get fresh food on your table is to grow vegetables from scraps.
Yep, seriously, you can grow your own vegetables from small scraps of leftover vegetables you bought at the store. It’s unbelievably easy and if you’ve got kids it’s a wonderful little gardening or plant science project.
It’s also an amazingly cheap way to grow food frugally as you’re not paying for seeds and lots of these vegetables don’t even need soil or a proper pot to grow them in. You can literally grow them in a jar in your kitchen.
Sounds good, huh?
Well to help you get started I’ve got a list for you of vegetables that are really easy to grow from scraps plus simple tips on how to grow these vegetables.
Do save the tips for quick reference and for more super simple tips on growing your own food, follow me on Pinterest.
Vegetables To Grow From Scraps
All of these vegetables will grow well from scraps. I’ve roughly ordered them by how useful I think they are when trying to grow your own food.
(I totally know you’re going to raise your eyebrows at some of them. But bizarrely there are a bunch of veggies we’ve got out of the habit of eating even though they can be really tasty and super healthy.)
- Collards & Spring Greens : a great way to get a daily immune boosting shot of green vegetables as they are not too bitter and can be easily hidden in all sorts of food for picky eaters. (American collards are near enough British spring greens).
- Kale : needs no introduction as a super healthy food.
- Turnips : I know they have a bad name but young turnip roots are actually delicious and their leaves – which is the bit of the veggie we can regrow – are although usually totally ignored, really healthy and can be cooked like kale or any cabbage or brassica leaves.
- Beetroots : even those of us who love beetroot, often chuck away the leaves but again they are healthy, tasty and can be regrown from scraps.
- Carrots : carrot leaves are another leaf that gets ignored. They are not as useful as the above but can be tasty in pesto and soups.
- Leeks : leeks like all the allium family will regrow from scraps and in my experience are probably the easiest. They’re quick to grow and easy to handle
- Spring Onions : spring onions in theory should be one of the easiest vegetables to grow from scraps as they nearly always come with their roots still on and are very quick to regrow. The only downside is they need delicate handling so if you’re clumsy fingered like me maybe avoid them.
- Soft herbs : soft herbs like mint, oregano, sage & basil are super easy to regrow from scraps and small cuttings. They might not seem worth the effort as you’re never going to get a hearty meal out of them but they’re not just great flavouring. They actually do have natural antibiotic powers which can be used in simple natural remedies for colds and the like and are brilliant for repelling all sorts of household & garden pests.
- Celery : celery isn’t the quickest vegetable to grow from scraps but is lots of fun to watch, so is a fab vegetable to regrow with kids.
- Fennel : fennel like celery isn’t the quickest veg to regrow but again is a cool kids gardening project that gives lots of opportunity for exploring plant science.
How To Grow Vegetables From Scraps
OK now onto how to actually grow these vegetables from scraps. It really is unbelievably simple:
- Take your cuttings :
- Tops of root veg
- Bottoms of non-root veg
- A few leafy stems of herbs
- Put cuttings in water :
- Root tops in an old jar lid
- Bottoms & herbs in a jar or a small bowl or cup
- Change water every day or so. The roots will drink lots so make sure your jar lid doesn’t dry out.
- Keep your eyes peeled for first signs of growth in just 24 hours – this is a fun bit for kids and a fab opportunity for a plant photo diary.
- As you change water keep a look out for new roots :
- Once you’ve got some decent roots, you can plant them up in pots to grow on indoors or straight out into the garden. If you struggle at all with cats in your garden or foxes, I would plant them in pots first to get them more established, as cats and foxes think its the most enormous fun to dig up newly planted small plants!! I give mine a week in my little greenhouse to toughen up. (The copper tape is to keep slugs & snails off them).
When your vegetables are big enough to start harvesting – in two or three weeks time – don’t yank the whole thing up. Just cut what you need and your veggies will magically grow and grow again, so you have an ongoing source of fresh, free food. How good is that?
I do hope these tips help you grow your own veggies fast. Do save for later. I would love to hear how you get on.
And please do follow me on Pinterest for more gardening tips for beginners and check out these posts for more simple frugal living ideas:
- 101 Things To Stop Buying
- 50 Energy Saving Tips
- 30 Products That Save Money
- 10 Products That Never Run Out
And for more plant science fun with kids try these: