How to Regrow Vegetables from Table Scraps

basket filled with garden vegetables

You know you can grow your own food but did you know about easy regrow vegetables that you can produce from table scraps? As a prepper, you probably have your own survival garden but maybe you’ve always purchased seeds or starter plants or inherited plants from friends. But by utilizing food you already have to cultivate plants is a frugal, resourceful, and waste-free way to plant in your vegetable garden. 

Why Grow A Vegetable Garden?

There is something to be said about a homegrown vegetable. By growing your own, you have fresh tasty vegetables. It is well worth learning how to regrow vegetables. But you may be wondering what are the benefits of growing your own vegetable garden? Here are some reasons:

  • Save money on groceries. 
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Stock your pantry supply.
  • Get outdoor exercise.
  • Enjoy better-tasting and fresher food.
  • Build a sense of pride and self-sufficiency
  • Reduce food waste.
  • Better for the environment.

How Do Vegetables Grow?

If you want to cultivate vegetables, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of the vegetable’s growth cycle. When you eat a vegetable, you are eating one or more of the various parts of the plant: root, stem, leaves, flower, fruit and seeds. 

Vegetables are plants that grow in soil. The soil provides nutrients to the plant that come from decomposed plants and animals. The roots of the plant absorb these nutrients and water from the soil. The nutrient-filled water then travels up the stems to the leaves. 

The plant’s leaves contain a substance called chlorophyll. This substance helps the plant get energy from the sunlight. The sunlight energy then allows the plant to change the nutrient-water into sugar which feeds the plant. The converted nutrient-water becomes the vitamins and minerals that we consume when we eat the vegetable plant.

Understanding the Germination of Plants

Many vegetable plants can be germinated by way of using various parts of the plants: seeds, spores, bulbs, and tubers. Specifically, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, sweet corn, beans, and peas are all grown by seeds either by creating seedlings for transport or directly planting in a garden. Other vegetable plants germinate by way of bulbs which shoot off roots. Examples of these vegetables include leeks and garlic. Other vegetables can be germinated by way of spores. Mushrooms are an example of this. Tuber examples are beets, carrots, and potatoes. Tubers use eyes to offshoot. When attempting to produce new plants from existing ones, you can opt to use the various parts to promote growth. With proper planting mediums such as nutrient-rich soil and proper amounts of water and sunlight, new growth will occur. 

Top Ways to Regrow Vegetables from Kitchen Scraps

Romaine Lettuce

Place the bottom of a romaine lettuce head in a glass bowl with about ½ inch of water. Keep in a sunny place and change the water each day. Once you see sprouts in about 10 days, you can plant in your garden. 

Celery

The end of a bunch of celery can grow new stalks pretty easily. Place the butt end on a shallow plate with some water in a sunny place. After about a week, you will see roots you can then transfer to your garden.

Potatoes

To grow your own potatoes from scraps, use pieces from the potato but make sure each piece has two eyes which are sprouts. Allow the pieces to dry out by leaving them to sit at room temperature for up to a few days. Once they are dry, plant them about one foot apart in 8 inches of soil.

Green Onions

For a quick result vegetable, try to regrow green onions. Place the white part of the green onion in a jar with about 3 inches of water. In a few days, you’ll start to see regrowth in its roots. It is well worth a little effort to regrow green onions.

Garlic

For garlic, choose a whole bulb or individual clove that has already started sending out sprouts. Break apart the garlic bulbs into separate cloves leaving the papery skin and plant the largest cloves flat end down. You’ll plant in the fall and it will take time for new garlic to grow, about 9 months. If you prefer, grow indoors and use the garlic greens to impart a milder garlic flavor in your dishes. Separate cloves and plant the cloves 2 to 3 inches deep, upright in a pot. You’ll have greens in several weeks.

Pumpkins

Save your Halloween jack-o-lantern’s membrane and seeds. After washing them, dry thoroughly and spread seeds in a single layer to dry out over a week. You can then store in a jar until the spring. You’ll plant the seeds in mounded soil. 

Mushrooms

Save some of your mushroom stalks so you can grow new mushrooms. Start by planting the stalks in soil or another medium and cover everything except for the very top of the stalks. You should keep the soil moist and in a dark area of your home. Your mushrooms should grow in about 4-6 weeks.

Peppers

Seeds from sweet red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers and hot peppers can be dried and used in your garden. Use healthy, non-hybrid peppers for successful plantings. Take the seeds and lay them out to dry. You can then store in your fridge until the spring and early summer when you can plant directly in your garden or make seedling plants in small containers to transplant. 

Tomatoes

Be sure you choose a very healthy tomato and let it fully ripen before using the seeds. Make sure to harvest the gel around the seeds as well.  Put the seeds into a jar with a little water and stir twice each day. The water will turn cloudy. In approximately 5 days, you’ll see the seeds will drop to the bottom of the jar. Take the seeds out and rinse them. Lay them out to dry. You’ll now have tomato seed you can now use to start seedlings in your garden.

Lemongrass

Take a handful of full lemongrass stalks with their base intact. Remove any dying leaves and place in a jar of water. Place jar in a sunny spot and change the water as it get cloudy. You should have new leaves within a week or so. You can then transplant to your garden once the roots grow about 3 inches long.

Basil

Take the bottom leaves from a stem of basil. Soak the leaves with the cut side down in warm water. When you see sprouts in about 2-4 weeks, you can plant in some potting soil. 

Peppermint

Cut a few stems from the top three inches of a peppermint plant and remove the lower leaves. Place stems in a glass of water and leave in a sunny place for a few weeks. Notice roots and then you can plant in soil.  

How else can food scraps be used in a garden?

In addition to cultivating leftovers into new plantings for your garden, food scraps can be a wonderful addition. Use things like eggshells, coffee grounds, peels and scraps from vegetable and fruit, stale or leftover cereals and bread items, and even expired spices.

  1. Scraps can be composted which means you let them decompose. They provide many nutrients that help your garden grow.
  2. Scraps can be used to fertilize soil and aid in repelling pests. 

Conclusion

You now know how to regrow vegetables from scraps and leftovers and turn them into new bounty for your dinner table. Growing your own food is incredibly worthwhile. We hope we have inspired you to start or add to your vegetable garden by germinating your existing produce scraps. Happy gardening!