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Start new vegetables from scraps

By: Garden Gate staff
Don’t throw out those vegetable scraps quite yet — learn how to sprout new vegetables from old ones.

Some produce can be sprouted from the parts you would normally throw away, just in a glass of water!

Romaine lettuce from the grocery store can be restarted this way: Cut the useable leaves off for your salad, leaving 2 in. above the stump end. Place the stem into a glass and add 1 to 2 in. of water. Keep it in a sunny spot on the kitchen counter. New leaves will shoot from the center of the stem, and you can harvest them when they are the size you like. Check the water level every day and refresh if it becomes cloudy.

Green onions Do the same with green onions in a glass of water and they’ll regrow in just a few days. You can get three or four cuttings before the plant peters out. You might notice the flavor becoming more bland at each cutting — that’s because the water doesn’t provide the nutrients that soil does, and this will affect the taste.

These resprouters can be started in a small pot of soil, as well. Start them in water as before, then once a few roots have formed, plant them in potting soil to grow in the window or set them outside in the garden. Other kitchen goodies you can try this technique with:

  • Bok choi
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Garlic chives
  • Lemon grass
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