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Instead of trashing scrap food from the kitchen, did you know you can use them to grow your own produce? The good thing about scrap gardening is that you don’t need a lot of experience to do it well.
With scrap gardening, you can put food waste to good use while trying your hand at gardening. This concept may be completely new to you so read on to find out what is scrap gardening and how to get started.
What Is Scrap Gardening?
First and foremost, the term ‘scrap gardening’ refers to the use of scrap from store or market bought fruits and veggies to make your own garden. You might be surprised at how soon you will get results in some cases.
While it’s tempting to think that any leftover food in your kitchen could be a candidate for scrap gardening, that’s not the case. We will talk about the waste that you can reuse later in this article.
When shopping at the grocery store, opt for store-bought organic fruits and vegetables with a view to waste gardening. You might do better in scrap gardening with these since there are no synthetic pesticides or herbicides in organic foods.
Where To Start Scrap Gardening
You don’t need a lot for your scrap garden to be a success. Sunshine, potting soil, water and some tender loving care are the basic prerequisites for an amazing scrap garden.
As for space, you could use a container, raised bed or a portion of your garden for this purpose. A windowsill that gets enough sun would work fine as well.
If you want, you can transplant your new plants but it may not be necessary.
Why Scrap Garden?
Kitchen scrap gardening emphasizes the concepts of recycling and reusing, and learning plant parts. And since it is so fun, you can even get the children involved!
This us a perfect activity to do with kids because it not only teaches them about the importance of eating healthy, but it is also something they can easily do at home that provides a sense of responsibility.
Finally, scrap gardening is kind to the environment and creates less waste. You’ll purchase fewer items with plastic wrap as your scraps regenerate new food
Plants For Your Scrap Garden
Many vegetables and herbs from the grocery store will regrow easily in water or in soil. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest veggies and herbs to regrow.
Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, cabbage, and bok choy are easy to grow. But remember they will not grow back from a piece to a full size head.
They will stay small and reach their biggest size are after a few weeks.
Eat as much of your original romaine lettuce, cabbage, or bok choy as you can, slicing off an inch or two from the bottom.
Romaine lettuce can be regrown by suspending the base of the romaine lettuce cluster just above the water in a bowl with toothpicks.
New leaves grow from the base, the perfect size for a sandwich but not enough for a salad. Place the cut cluster in a small bowl with 1 inch of water and change the water daily.
It grows back quickly so cut back new shoots after two weeks.
Pineapple plants are ridiculously easy to grow, so next time you prune one, save the top and plant it in your garden. Start by twisting the top of a pineapple.
Hold the crown which is the part with leaves in one hand and the body of the pineapple on the other. Gently twist the top until it comes loose.
Move one hand towards you and the other side and the top will come off. Remove 2-3 layers of leaves from the bottom, being careful to protect the small roots that grow between layers.
Let it sit for a few days and allow the soft, fleshy part to dry out and dry out before planting.
Onions (Red, Yellow And Sweet)
Next time you cook with store bought or garden grown bulb onions, don’t discard the onion bottoms. This little piece of kitchen scrap has the potential to grow into multiple chubby onions!
You’ll need 1 to 2 inches from the root end of your red, yellow, or sweet onion to use as garden waste. You can choose one of two methods.
The first method involves a small container, toothpicks, and water. It’s a fun way to observe the new changes in scrap gardening.
Your onion needs to dry for one day before you start. After a day, poke four toothpicks around the bulb and form an X to hang the root end above the water in the small container.
Place the container in a sunny spot or on a sunny windowsill for a few days and watch as small white roots begin to grow from below. Transfer your new sprouted bulb to a pot or to the ground and use potting soil to cover the bulb and give it some water.
The second method bypasses the small container and goes straight into the pot or soil. Put the piece of onion in a sunny spot in a pot or directly in your garden.
Cover the top of the onion piece with some soil and water if needed.
To regrow a radish, you need a radish that contains the roots, not just a piece of it. Remove the leaves and stalk from the radish, but leave the roots on.
Stick three toothpicks into the radish and place in a glass of water. Do not completely submerge the radish in the water, the toothpicks will help.
If you find yourself running out of water, add a little more. After a week, new roots and leaves should be visible.
These new roots and leaves mean it’s time to put the radish in a pot for further growth. Radish plants do well on a windowsill that receives warm sunlight.
Read More: How To Pick The Right Site To Plant A Tree
Regenerating sweet potatoes makes a beautiful houseplant. If planted outside, a new sweet potato could develop.
A whole sweet potato can easily be kept afloat with toothpicks. A vine will grow that resembles the ornamental sweet potato vine used in many container gardens or landscapes.
The vine may eventually produce small, bite-sized sweet potatoes.
Simply cut off a piece of ginger and plant it about 1 inch deep in a 4 inch pot of potting soil. The leaves will emerge, and as the new plant grows, move it to a larger pot.
Dig up the root, cut off a part and replant the root. Tropical ginger is not hardy in cold regions, but can be brought outside in summer as part of a container garden.
As a bonus, outdoors or as a houseplant, ginger leaves are beautiful. If you live in a warm climate, you can grow your own ginger by planting it directly into the ground outdoors.
Growing an avocado seed in water remains a simple and common way to propagate the fruit. Use toothpicks stuck into the bone to keep it just above the water.
When the hole develops roots, transplant into a pot of soil. Eventually, the leaves develop into an excellent houseplant.
This can be grown outdoors in a pot in hot climates. Depending on the area, you may be able to grow an avocado tree that will bear fruit.
In cool climates, move the plant to a sunny spot in the summer and then bring it back inside for the winter. Avocados are unlikely to fruit in cold regions.
It can be tricky to regrow tomatoes from waste. Since you already have the tomato, you have nothing to lose by trying.
Cut the tomato into quarter inch thick slices. Place in a container or pot filled with soil almost to the brim, adding a little more soil on top after putting the tomato slices in.
If you have a decent sized pot, you can place several slices of tomato in a circle in the pot. Keep the pot moist and see if seedlings appear after a week or two.
Depending on how many tomatoes you plan to plant, select the strongest seedlings to transplant into a new pot so they will grow into full-size tomato plants.
Things To Keep In Mind About Scrap Gardening
Hybrids are the result of crossing one or more plants to produce a new one, generally with improved flavor, vigor, size, and other characteristics. Many vegetables or fruits bought at the grocery store are likely to be hybrids.
Growing seeds from these plants will not always reproduce the plant you started with. Instead, the result can be one of the mother plants.
Vegetables that come from the supermarket may have been treated with a growth inhibitor. The inhibitor could affect the way some of them grow back.
To avoid this, buy organic products for your scrap garden.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scrap Gardening
Can You Grow Turnips From Scraps?
All root plants including turnips are easy to grow from scrap.
I Don’t Have A Lot Of Sun In My Apartment. Can I Still Have A Scrap Garden To Grow Some Of My Own Food?
Yes, you can! Start with romaine lettuce or celery because they don’t need a lot of light to grow.
How Much Of The Plant Will Regrow?
For most produce, what regrows will not reach the size of the original plant. Most of the regrown plants will be smaller and less productive than the original, so don’t expect a large harvest.
Scrap gardening is a DIY approach to sustainability to regrow your own food. It can save money, cut down on food waste and teach valuable lessons about nature and sustainability.
From tomatoes and onions to beets and ginger root, scraps often have plenty of life left. Now you know what scrap gardening is and how to get started, you can connect with nature, reduce food waste and have some fun while at it.