KITCHEN SCRAPS: 20 DIFFERENT VEGETABLES YOU CAN EASILY REGROW

For More Sustainable Living

Regrowing kitchen scraps is a fantastic practice to incorporate into your everyday living. You could potentially get twice or even three times the produce using odds and ends you only had to pay for (or grow from seed) once. 

I’ve been doing it for a while, now. And yes, it was a bit tricky at first. Just wrapping my brain around the most effective way to do it took some strategizing. Things kept rotting and not growing or rooting.

But once I got it, I got it. And now we have a small greenhouse indoors, in which we regrow all kinds of things. 

Lowering our food bills and giving us the satisfaction of providing for ourselves, independently. 

Without needing a PhD in horticulture or hydroponics. Keep reading to see what kitchen scraps you can regrow, too.

WHY YOU SHOULD REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

Have you ever really thought about sustainability and what that word actually means? It could mean a lot of things. Big things, like a global shift to green energy. 

Or, a more sustainable way of practicing agriculture and feeding the world. It can also mean small things. Things that we as individuals can do to contribute to a more sustainable way of life for ourselves.

Remember, going “green” isn’t about carrying the weight of saving the world from over-consumption on your own shoulders. We weren’t biologically built for that. Lol 

Many of us have already adopted simple and sustainable habits like recycling and switching to more organic gardening practices. Which is really great! 

But, we do live in an economy-based society. And “green” products and services tend to be more expensive. Let’s talk about one that may actually save you money.

HOW to REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

Ok, regrowing produce can save you money. But, what about the set up? What kind of gadgets do you need? Are they expensive? In my experience, no. Not really.

I started out put celery ends in a bowl of water. Holding it up with toothpicks and sitting it on a window sill. Lots of people start that way and it’s pretty effective. 

This is especially successful for those living in temperate climates. You can grow things in sunny windowsills all year round.

Kitchen Scraps

My husband and I hang our hats on the Canadian prairies, though. At the top of our province is, pretty much, the North Pole. Not exactly temperate.  

So, we looked into how we could manage regrowing kitchen scraps away from frosted windowsills in October through May.

ACCESSORIES FOR REGROWING KITCHEN SCRAPS

If you live in a region with a short growing season, there are some fairly economical accessories that you can buy to set up a modest regrowing station of your own, indoors. 

These can be placed in a sunny, warm room inside your home. With proper heating and light accessories, resprouting kitchen scraps will also do well in an insulated garage or basement. 

Unlike outdoor greenhouses, these don’t take up a lot of room. In milder winter regions, outdoor cold frames give your re-sprouting produce extra room with direct access to sunlight and fresh air circulation. 

REGROWING KITCHEN SCRAPS INDOORS

To give your scraps the best chance to successfully rejuvenate themselves, the following four examples need to be placed where they’ll get as much sunlight as possible. Especially, in winter. 

They should also have sufficient air circulation so your plantlings can breathe. Good ventilation is also key to avoiding pest infestations. 

Tabletop Greenhouse

TABLETOP GREENHOUSES

If you’re interested in trying your hand at regrowing vegetables but live in an apartment or condo with limited outdoor space, if any, that’s not a problem. Tabletop greenhouses were created for just this purpose and can be found for a reasonable price.

You can even upcycle things you may already have to regrow herbs and vegetables for FREE. Things like old fishtanks, large plastic food containers or even oversized canning jars can be reborn as tabletop greenhouses. 

Tiered Greenhouse

TIERED GREENHOUSES

If you do happen to have a small patio or balcony, this 4-tiered greenhouse allows you to start multiple flats of newly replanted scraps. Or, more glass jars, if you choose to start rooting scraps in water. 

These are also easy to assemble and take down, if you want to store them away, come winter. But, bringing these inside when it gets colder is a snap, too. The narrow, moveable construction fits nicely in a laundry room or a warm corner of your kitchen or garage.

Other benefit of this greenhouse style is how well they retain humidity and heat. Yet, allow for ample air circulation by giving you the option to unzip the front flap to different levels.

REGROWING KITCHEN SCRAPS OUTDOORS

When you’re ready to build on the kind of scraps you’re regrowing or expand your current production, these two options increase capacity and space potential. While offering the same functionality as the previous two.

Humidity and heat retention, as well as vital air flow are provided for and being outside. your new crops will have more open access to essential sunlight. Even on a cloudy day.

Covered Raised Bed

COVERED RAISED BEDS

Raised beds have become quite popular, in recent years, for a number of reasons. They’re more accessible, soil quality can be better controlled and pests can be kept at bay easier. They can even be moveable if you have the kind you can put casters on. 

In some cases, its necessary to cover them. Especially in regions where the weather is, let’s just say, dynamic. Ever changing, regardless of season. Covers on raised beds are beneficial for protecting crops against harsh winds, heavy rains and more severe weather. 

By doing so, you’re also preventing the soil from becoming compacted. Which restricts water and nutrient absorption. Plants simply grow healthier when in a covered raised bed.

Cold Frames

COLD FRAMES

Cold frames can stretch your growing season out even farther. Especially those that are built against your home or other structures that are heated in winter.

In warmer months, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can grow in these. In colder ones, you can keep right on going, regrowing lettuces and cool-season crops like root vegetables. 

Cold frames, of course, will also protect your growing crops from harsh weather and pests. With proper mulching, you can winter-over certain plants in these, as well.

WHAT YOU CAN REGROW from KITCHEN SCRAPS

Lots of different items we pick up in the produce section can be regrown. The effort is pretty minimal and definitely worthy of a try. Here, I’ve broken the different options down into four basic “food groups”, if you will.

HERBS

Herbs can be some the most economical to regrow. These include green onion, basil, mint, cilantro and lemongrass. Feel free to try this with others herbs, as well. 

With a little care, they’ll regrow in a simple glass of water, for a swift return on investment.  For easy prep instructions, read Regrowing Herbs: 5 Delicious Plants You Can Grow for Free

LEAFY GREENS

How lovely would it be to continuously grow healthy, leafy greens like lettuce, bok choy, celery, kale and cabbage by your kitchen door in summer. 

Plucking a few, here and there, for quick lunch and dinner recipes. In winter, you can regrow them in water and keep them by a warm kitchen window or your mini greenhouse.

ROOT and TUBER VEGETABLES

Potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots and ginger regrow best in soil, allowing the tubers to multiply. 

Once harvested, they’ll last for a long time in a cool, dark cellar or basement, and can be used in lots of soups and stews over the long winter months. You can even keep some to regrow again!

BULB VEGETABLES

Your yield from regrown onions, asparagus, leeks, garlic and fennel will also get you through a long winter. Without having to haul yourself through the snow to get to the store.

The shelf life of garlic is also extended when stored in a cool, dry place. As you use them for recipes, simply pop them into water to harvest the growing greens or put them back into the soil.

HOW TO REGROW VEGETABLES FROM HARVESTED SEEDS

But, wait! The fun doesn’t stop there. Not only can you regrow kitchen scraps, you can also harvest the seeds from what you’ve regrown and start fresh with new, FREE, vegetables next spring!

Harvested seeds from Tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and lettuces can all be planted for continued fresh produce. 

Once harvested, seeds need to be stored in a dry, dark place in order to remain viable. Read Harvest and Seed Collection Made Simple to see exactly how to collect seeds for different vegetable plants.

NOW YOU'RE READY to REGROW KITCHEN SCRAPS

Now that you have a good idea about what kitchen scraps you can grow, and how, you’re ready to go! Give it a try and don’t give up. Once you’ve got it, your efforts will be rewarded several times over.

The number of vegetables you can regrow isn’t limited to this list. But, these are the easiest to reach success with. The ones that will increase your confidence in the process and allow you to expand your skills in what you regrow.

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