DIY

Veggies from kitchen scraps

12/09/2020

This blog post is more a summary of our attempts to grow veggies from kitchen scraps than an instruction. If you believe the Internet, you can in theory regrow every plant. Well, in practice it turns out a bit different.

Time required: a few minutes to change the water on a regular basis

Materials: A flat bowl or soup plate, kitchen scraps from veggies

Super enthousiastic from watching videos online, we started an attempt to grow new veggies from our kitchen scraps. According to the videos, you can basically regrow everything by just putting it in water and once roots grow, transfer it into soil. We started our experiments with carrots, onions, spring onions, paksoi, chicory, broccoli, leek, and some salad.

First set of veggies we tried to grow

After about a week, we could see progress for the carrots, leek, paksoi, chicory, and one of the onions. Also the spring onions did quite well. The second onion as well as the salad got glibbery and moldy, so we threw them away. In another attemt we tried sweet potato, also did not do anything, except getting glibbery and moldy.

What was left after 2 weeks

Another few days later the chicory and the one onion gave up. Also the carrots that looked really promising in the beginning did not get roots and started to turn brown/black. The broccoli did not grow leaves or roots, so we also took it out. Paksoi and leek started to grow roots and get more/new leaves.

Roots of paksoi and leek

We planted paksoi and leek into small flower pots, so they could grow bigger and get stronger, as the weather outside was still to cold.

Paksoi and leek just planted into the flower pot

When they reached a height of about 10 cm, we planted them outside into one of our raised planters. Also the weather got much warmer, even during the night, so good conditions.

Paksoi and leek before we planted them outside

In the meantime we also had some garlic that was a bit too old and started growing in the fridge. We removed the peel and put the cloves in water. After 3 days they were already about 5 cm high. We waited until they were also about 10 cm high and planted them directly into the soil outside. They kept growing until the top part got eaten by snails. Now it is hard to find them, we will see when we make the planters ready for the winter.

Garlic

Once in the planter, you could watch both, spring onions and paksoi grow from day to day. We harvested the paksoi three times by taking off the larger leaves. It then continued growing at the top. At some point when it got warmer, it started growing flowers. From then on no more leaves came. We then took it out to make space for other veggies. The spring onions turned out to be indestructable. We harvested each of them 4-5 times by now. We cut them about 2 cm above the soil and they keep growing back - not in the shape you buy them in the supermarket, but they definitely taste the same.

Paksoi and spring onions in our planter

Summary: We can not confirm that you can just grow veggies from any of your kitchen scrapes. There were however some of them that worked really well and gave us a rich harvest - free of charge:

  • Spring onions - the indestructable ones. We harvest, they grow back, we havest, they grow back… If you don’t mind that they look different, a great veggie to reuse.
  • Paksoi works really good in early spring when the weather is not too warm. The later we planted them in the year, the faster they started growing flowers instead of leaves.
  • Leek works ok, we guess. Our first one was unfortunately eaten by snails. Since we collect that snails every evening, it starts growing. Definitely worth another shot next year.
  • Celerey - same as for leek. Promising start, but then eaten by snails. We will also try this one again next year.
  • Garlic is super easy to start, we still have to see what happend below the surface.