Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… and Regrow Veggies?

Have you ever read an article entitled “10 ways to save money and the planet” (or something similar)? Then, as you read the same old suggestions such as “Change all your bulbs to CFL’s” or “Don’t buy bottled water”, you think “I already do ALL of this stuff! (and who doesn’t??)”. I do that all the time. I’m always looking for something new… and then I heard about this.

Did you know that you can regrow certain veggies? I didn’t, until recently. As soon as I read about it, we started experimenting and it works.

We started with green onions and romaine lettuce. The onions grow like crazy. Just cut off the root end of your onion. We don’t use the white part of the onion, so we cut it off right where the green turns white.  Some people cut them almost all the way to the roots, so whatever works for you. Soak the onion root ends in a bowl, glass or jar of water. You can do this for a few hours or a few days, whatever works for you. The onions will grow in just water, but do way better after being planted in some good potting soil. We had some in just water for a week, some for a little longer and some for just a few days before being potted.

If you hover your mouse over the photos below, you’ll see how long these had been growing.

After 1 day

After 2 days

After 3 days

After 5 days

As you can see below, we also experimented with Napa Cabbage (in the Tropicana bottle) and Romaine Lettuce (in the Greek Yogurt container).  You can see where they were cut and the re-growth so far.  In this photo the lettuce and cabbage were about 9 days along. The onions on the left have been growing for 8 days in that glass, the onions on the right for one day in the bowl.

After 8 days

After 22 days (inner) & 15 days (outer)

As you can see the inner onions aren’t as long or big around as the outer onions, which grew for 7 days less. I’m not sure if it’s because the onions soaked in a bowl of water, as opposed to a glass, or because the first bunch wasn’t as fresh when I cut them. The roots were pretty intertwined from being in a small glass, so I planted them close together. I have noticed that the third bunch I’m starting seems to be doing very well in a bowl of water.

The romaine has been doing okay. It grew pretty fast (as you can see), but it was tall and there were only a hand full of leaves. I just cut off the re-growth last night and planted the base in soil. I had been waiting for it to have more root growth, but I read yesterday that most people just soak for a short time and then plant in soil.

After 22 days

Trimmed and planted

The Napa cabbage has also grown into a tall shoot and flowered. I read more about it and when Napa Cabbage gets cold, it “bolts”, which means it goes to seed. I was waiting for roots to grow and they did, but it shot up at the same time. I don’t think it would do any good to plant it now. I’m going to try to save and use the seeds. Wish me luck!

Napa Cabbage Bolted

Napa Cabbage Flowers/Seeds

Napa Cabbage roots

These celery roots soaked in water for 14 and 20 days, respectively. They weren’t growing any roots, so I read more about it and decided to pot them in soil. We’ll see how they do.

IMAG1785

IMAG1781

We’ve also just started experimenting with good old Green Cabbage. Nothing to report so far.

We gave the green onions a trim last night and used them in our dinner. We had Chinese Chicken Salad and it was extra delicious. I think that may be because we used something that we actually grew ourselves… sort of!

I’ll post the recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad soon.

Happy Growing,

 

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Green Onions – grown in the kitchen « Gardening indoors
  2. Towa
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 22:15:33

    I love your site….I know nothing about gardening and your info and photos are extremely helpful.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Regrowing Romaine – Really? | This Disorganized Life
  4. Sarah
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 05:39:55

    We’ve been talking about using our kitchen scraps for compost, but dh is concerned about the smell. We’ve also talked about just tossing the scraps straight in the garden, but regrowing them is even better!

    Reply

    • planetpowers
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 21:07:33

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting! I was totally surprised at how easily the veggies regrew. Some of them we ate and some were just awesome looking houseplants! I love the way cabbage looks as a plant and the regrown green cabbage was really cool looking. You should give it a try. Thanks again!

      Reply

  5. Kanene
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 17:53:21

    do you put soilin the lettuce with the 1/2 inch of water?pleasegetback with me soon!:D

    Reply

  6. Hope Halloway
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 12:40:42

    You should add LEEK to your collection :), same procedure as green onions. Mine are growing roots a bit slow, but they grow leaves nicely while in water, and with their larger size, each regrown can make a side of veggies for a meal for one person :). Once they have enough roots, I plan on planting them, like I did my green onions. Green onions bought at Trader Joes last year not only gave me green leaves to add to salads etc all of last year, but they survived desert heat (110F), then desert freeze (19F) and starting March, started to flower again. Moreover, they are self seeding and I now have new onions growing around the pots, in the ground :))…. This year I decided to do the same with garlic, Leeks, but also experimented with celery and Chinese cabbage. Both celery and Chinese cabbage behaved exactly the same way as yours did… Need to plant my celery this week… Cabbage is going into a long flower thingie. Cute :).

    Reply

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