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A person starting a veggie garden using food scraps from their romaine heads. There are three romaine stubs sitting in three separate glasses of water on a white marble kitchen counter.

How to Start a Garden Using Vegetable Scraps

Don’t have room for a full-blown vegetable garden? You can start a mini-veggie garden right within your own home and via the use of only a few scraps.

Growing your veggies from scraps not only saves you money but also means you likely don’t have to go to the store as often. Right now, that’s a good thing!

So save your grocery store trips, don’t throw out those scraps, and pocket that money, because you can start growing brand new veggies from old and used ones. Let’s take a look at how you can get started!

Growing Veggie Gardens Using Kitchen Scraps

Here are 7 ways you can start a vegetable garden from scraps:

Green onions regrowing in a glass jar in a kitchen.

1. Growing Green Onions From Roots

So, I actually tried this one. The cool part? You can literally regrow the same scrap again and again. It took me a few tries at first (I wasn’t cutting the green onion high enough) but you get to learn from my mistakes.

Here’s how to get it started:

  1. Grab a shot glass (or any glass).
  2. Cut the end off of your green onion. Make sure you retain some of the green parts - this is where I messed up. It doesn’t grow without this little bit. I recommend cutting about two inches from the root.
  3. Put it root-down in the glass.
  4. Fill up your glass with water, but ensure you leave the top part slightly exposed. I also made the mistake of covering it completely with water - this doesn’t work either. It’s also a good idea to completely change the water every few days.
  5. Monitor your green onions each day and add water when needed. You can tell when you need to add the water just by looking at the levels in the glass.
  6. Within a week, you should have a green onion growing tall!
  7. Once it’s ready to cut, repeat this entire process again.

Three jars of romaine heads are regrowing leafs.

2. Growing Lettuce At Home

Regrowing lettuce from scraps is very similar to the green onion. Usually, you throw out the base of the lettuce. This time around, keep it!

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Cut the leaves away from the lettuce base.
  2. Put your lettuce base in a bowl or glass and cover with water. Make sure to keep the top just above the water.
  3. Aim to replace the water every day or two.
  4. Wait two weeks… and you should have some brand new lettuce leaves! However, don’t expect a brand new lettuce batch.

It will typically only regrow a few leaves, which you can use in a small salad or sandwiches.

Rather start a full-blown indoor garden? Read How To Start An Indoor Garden: Internal Growth next.

3. Growing Garlic Cloves

I didn’t even know this was possible. But I’m definitely going to try it. For this one, you need a pot of soil or a garden in your backyard. Garlic also depends on a certain time of year, so don’t expect to have fresh garlic cloves in a couple of weeks.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Take your last garlic clove (or a couple of them - if you do more than one, prepare to place them about four to six inches apart in the soil), and put it pointy side up in the soil.
  2. Cover it completely with soil. Do this whole process before the first frost in the fall months.
  3. Wait until the spring or summer season.
  4. Check your garlic for heads when the weather starts getting a bit warmer!

4. Growing Celery From Roots

This is also similar to the green onion! It’s super easy except eventually, you will want to plant it in the ground or a big pot of soil.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Cut the celery about two inches from the base.
  2. Take this piece and place it in a shallow bowl with water. Do not cover the celery with water though!
  3. Spray it with water every few days.
  4. Once you notice leaves growing out of them (this means a new root system has started), plant them in the soil outside.

5. Growing Ginger

Ginger is awesome. It’s tasty in smoothies and so many recipes. Plus, you always have too much. I don’t know of a single recipe that asks you to use the whole thing of ginger. So grab those leftovers!

Let’s get to it:

  1. Place the ginger in warm water overnight.
  2. Plant it outside or in a container with soil.
  3. Ensure you plant it in a sunny spot near a window or outside.
  4. Make sure to maintain soil moisture. It should never get dry!
  5. Within about 8-10 months, you’ll have some delicious ginger to harvest.

Regrowing an avocado by poking toothpicks in it and propagating it over a glass of water.

6. Growing Avocado At Home

To be fair, avocado is complicated to grow or regrow. But with proper care, it is possible. Prepare yourself to do a bit more work for this one.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Wash the seed after you’ve eaten your most recent avocado.
  2. Place four toothpicks around it to help suspend it over a bowl of water.
  3. The water should only cover the bottom portion of the seed.
  4. Place this contraption in a container in a warm spot, but not in direct sun.
  5. Make sure to change the water as needed.
  6. After about six weeks, you should notice stems and roots begin to grow.
  7. When the stem achieves six inches, cut three inches off.
  8. Once leaves begin to appear, plant the seed in the soil, leaving the top half above the ground.
  9. Soon, you’ll have an avocado tree!
  10. Note: This may be more ideal if you live in a warm climate since avocado trees don’t tend to do well in the cold.

Someone growing a herb garden in their kitchen.

7. Growing A Herb Garden

Herbs are another easy one. And there are so many herbs you could plant.

Here’s how to start your own herb garden:

  1. Snip the stem off a herb plant. This is usually done at a node.
  2. Place the cut part in the water.
  3. Make sure to replace or replenish the water as needed.
  4. Look for new roots to appear in the water and then transport it to the soil. However, you can also leave it in the water, especially if it’s a temporary thing and you don’t have outdoor space.

Save Those Scraps!

You don’t need to be an expert to regrow veggies. It can be your new at-home project.

Plus, it saves you money and grocery store trips. As well, growing your own veggies uses up the scraps which would otherwise end up in the garbage.

Want to learn more about the positive effects of gardening? Check out this article next!

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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