Success with regrowing vegetables from kitchen scraps

Discussion in 'Gardening, Plant Propegation, & Farming' started by cafwen, Jul 2, 2016.

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  1. cafwen

    cafwen New Member

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    I stumbled across something on YouTube a while back which I decided to try out - regrowing vegetable plants from kitchen cut-offs, and I can report that I have had some surprising successes and of course, plenty of failures.

    I am lucky enough to live in South Africa where we generally get plenty of sun, and for a small vegetable patch I haven't had to water near as much as I thought I would.

    How it essentially works is that you take relatively sizable bits of veggies and, yep! Plop them back in the soil.
    What's worked:
    Spring onions

    What hasn't:
    Eggplant / aubergine

    The absolute easiest has been celery. When I make my family's daily salad (I am an enormous fan of veggies) I simply cut the bottom of the celery off in one piece rather than peeling sticks off individually. This leaves you with the white bits that you probably wouldn't eat anyway. These grow back so ridiculously easily that I can't believe everyone doesn't do this. I literally shove them in the ground and give them about a large cup of water, and then the rest is up to them. Sometimes the small new roots rot and the plant doesn't survive, but I would say my success rate is at least 70%. Once you have several plants growing you can start to harvest a stick here and there without compromising the plant.

    Beetroot is another fantastically easy one, and makes up for my lack of success with lettuce because the leaves are actually delicious in a salad. Lettuce unfortunately tends to make a positive-looking beginning and put out a few leaves before the base of the plant rots.

    You can of course also do this with any root vegetables which have already started sprouting on their own - potatoes, sweet potatoes etc, and bulbs like onions and garlic.

    I have also had a lot of success with planting pips from gem squash, butternut, and seeds from green peppers and tomatoes. The result, about five months down the line, is that I have a relatively productive vegetable patch without actually buying any seeds or plants, simply by making use of the produce I would normally buy anyway. Unfortunately we have resident Vervet monkeys in the area which steal a lot of my produce, but I doubt that applies to many of the gardeners here!

    Has anyone else had success with this 'recycling' of vegetables?
    Mekada likes this.
  2. My3Sons_NJ

    My3Sons_NJ New Member

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    I have had this success with horseradish (yes, I do know that it is not a vegetable) as well as with potatoes and the aforementioned broccoli. We even had a singular tomato plant grow in such a manner but the success with that vegetable is far less than with broccoli/potatoes.
  3. Destiny

    Destiny Member

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    I think potatoes are the easiest! Really the only thing I've had success with. I typically bought seed for most everything else
  4. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

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    I've done this with lettuce and cabbage! It was a lot of fun, but for some reason the new growth tasted terrible. I think it's whatever the city water is treated with where I live. Plants don't do too well with it.
    But regrowing from scraps totally works. I'm going to have to try garlic next time I buy a whole one.
  5. tb65

    tb65 Active Member

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    I know that spring onions have to be easy to grow. I have been thinking about trying these myself. Someone told me spring onions can get out of control and grow everywhere, I don't know if this is true or not. I'll have to try growing potatoes someday.
  6. cafwen

    cafwen New Member

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    Yes it's strange, I wonder why lettuce and cabbage don't work here when almost everything else does. Perhaps I am just over-watering them, or maybe we have bugs which just really love them. Did you water them every day?

    Garlic is very easy, but you do have to be patient. It will be several months before you can actually dig up the bulb and use it. But if you have several plants growing all at once it is possible to ensure a steady enough supply for the average kitchen. Good luck and remember to let us know how it goes!
  7. cafwen

    cafwen New Member

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    Yes, if you have sufficient space then potatoes are an absolute dream and require practically no effort. And if the Apocalypse comes then a potato patch is a fantastic survival tool! There have been plenty of people who have thrived on a diet of essentially just potatoes (and improved their cholesterol in the process to boot!)

    My sweet potatoes have done remarkably well, even when they do get dug up and chomped by the monkeys, often just a small piece will actually grow back, you don't even need the whole tuber. This exercise has really taught me about the ability of nature to restore itself!
  8. cafwen

    cafwen New Member

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    I can attest to this completely - even if you essentially have just the tiny bottom section with a few sparse roots the plant starts regrowing within days; and you can quite safely harvest quite a few stems without killing the plant. In fact I often leave just one stalk behind to keep feeding the plant and use all the others! The regrowth also tends to be a bit less strong in flavor than the parent plant which I know some people prefer for use in salads or as a raw garnish.
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    We don't buy ginger because we have lots of ginger in the garden. We actually plant some ginger in pots that we use for decoration in the garden and even inside the living room. For vegetable scraps, the best are the greens like sweet potato, water hyacinth and those with seeds like squash which is very easy to grow. All we do is sow the seeds and in a few weeks, the squash vines will appear and after a month it will bear flowers. With garlic and onions, we sometimes plant them. By the way, our red pepper plant is very prolific for more than 6 months already.

    Here is one of our ginger in the pot - IMG_4120 luya.JPG
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