These are the vegetables you can regrow from scraps at home

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 2:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 4:39 pm

If you're trying to keep your supermarket trips to a minimum, you can keep your stocks up by regrowing vegetables from unused scraps.

Even without a garden, you can start your own indoor vegetable patch to keep you busy - and fed - under lockdown. While many plants will require some patience and potting with soil, some can be grown easily and quickly in a simple glass of water.

Spring onions

Spring onions are one of the easiest kinds of veg to regrow. All you need to do is take the leftover roots and put them in a glass of water (enough to cover the root) with the roots pointing down.

Within about a week, you should have a brand new set of green onions. Make sure to change the water every few days.

Celery

To regrow celery, take the base of a stalk (about two inches), rinse it off and put it in a shallow cup of warm water. You can also use toothpicks to suspend the base in water. Place it on a window sill and change the water daily.

You should see signs of regrowth after around five days. After you start seeing shoots and leaves, you should plant the celery in potting soil - choose a mix without pesticides for best results.

Make a hole wide and deep enough in the soil to hold the plant from the root end up to the cut end. Make sure there's no air pocket below the root, and gently fill in the surrounding soil, leaving the emerging stalks and leaves above the soil.

You should keep the soil moist, but not wet - celery thrives in cool weather and rich soil.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Ordinary potatoes and sweet potatoes can both be regrown from scraps. For ordinary potatoes, you'll need peelings that have sprouts (or 'eyes') on them.

Cut the peelings into pieces of around two inches, making sure that there at least two or three eyes on each piece. Dry the peelings overnight, then plant them about four inches deep in soil, with the eyes facing upwards. It will take a few weeks to see results, so you'll need some patience.

For sweet potatoes, cut the potato in half and suspend in a shallow container of water using toothpicks. Roots will begin to appear beneath the potato, and sprouts on the potato.

Once the sprouts reach around four inches in length, twist them off and place in a container of water. When these roots reach around an inch in length, you can plant them in soil and watch them grow in the same way as ordinary potatoes.

Lettuce

Instead of throwing away your lettuce, why not grow some new leaves?

All you have to do is take the bottom of the heart and put it in a container filled with around half an inch of water. Put it near some sunlight (a window sill is ideal) and replace the water every one to two days.

Within a few days you should see a few leaves sprouting up. From that point onwards, you can just let it continue to grow, trimming off any brown leaves that appear. When there are enough leaves sprouting, tuck in.

This works best with romaine lettuce, but should work with most other red and green varieties of lettuce, too.

Ginger

Fresh ginger is great to have on hand to flavour all sorts of dishes, from curry to soup.

To keep your own supply going, pull of a piece of ginger from your existing piece. Place it, buds facing down, in some potting soil, and leave it in a spot with indirect sunlight.

The piece should grow new shoots and roots. When it's ready to harvest, you should pull up the entire plant, roots and all. You can then remove another piece from this plant to keep the growing process going.

Garlic

You won't be able to regrow full garlic bulbs from a clove or bulb, but you can grow garlic sprouts (garlic greens) to use as a substitute for onions, spring onions or leeks in recipes. They have a nutty-oniony flavour, and can also be used as a garnish.

To grow garlic greens, place a clove or bulb in a small container, adding water until it covers the bottom of the container and touches the bottom of the clove(s). Don't submerge the clove(s) as this may cause them to rot.

Change the water every two days and place in a sunny area. After a couple of days, you'll see roots begin to grow. You should snip off greens once they're about three inches tall, but don't remove more than one third of a sprout at a time.

Onions

Cut off the bottom of an onion with its roots and place it roots down in some soil.

It should begin re-generating roots. When you see them, remove the old onion bottom and allow the roots to grow, harvesting when the onions are fully grown.

Chilli peppers

Hot chilli peppers can be regrown at home relatively easily. Just take the seeds from a chilli pepper and plant in soil in a sunny spot.

Once you have a healthy crop, harvest the seeds again to keep the process going.

Tomatoes

Save the seeds from your tomatoes, rinse them off, then allow them to dry completely.

Once you've done this, plant them in rich potting soil. When the sprouts are a few inches high, transplant them outdoors in a sunny area and water them a few times a week.