With food prices rising and the world in recycling mode, getting a second yield out of your vegetable “scraps” could help save you some money. Check out these few ways to get started.
Green onions or scallions are probably the easiest to regrow for a second harvest. When you’re slicing your onions, simply remember to leave at least an inch of the onion attached to the roots. Put the saved ends in a glass of water that covers the roots. When green shoots start to sprout, you can either keep them in the glass replenishing the water as needed, or replant the onions in a pot.
Lettuce is also another easy vegetable to regrow. Cut off the leaves, leaving 1 to 2 inches of the base. Put the base into a glass and fill with water to an inch above the bottom. Replenish water as needed until leaves start to sprout from the centre. Transplant to a pot of soil when the new leaves are about 2 to 3 inches high. We used red leaf lettuce for this. Bok choy and celery can be regrown in the same manner, too.
Garlic can regrow two ways: you can put the cloves into a glass or jar with a little water and keep them in a warm spot, or you can plant the cloves directly into the soil—however, it’s more fun to see them grow in a glass. When the green shoots are about 3 to 4 inches you can transplant them into a pot of soil.
Carrots, unfortunately, can’t regrow in this manner, but their green, leafy tops are edible. They’ve been used in dishes for a very long time in France. The tops are allergenic, not toxic so unless you have a severe allergy to them, they’re perfectly safe in a salad. Cut an inch off the tops of your carrots and put them in a bowl or dish with a little water—don’t overfill. You don’t need to transplant these if you don’t want to.
You can also try rooting rosemary by snipping off about 4 inches of new growth, stripping half of the leaves and putting it into a small glass of water. Try ginger, too: chop the root it into chunks, soak them overnight and put them into a pot of soil. Keep the pot in a warm spot and water every 2 to 3 days.