How to Regrow Produce in Your Kitchen to Have Fresh Ingredients All Year
Blog | September 3rd, 2020
As we resign ourselves to staying inside for a little longer, we're all searching for things to keep us busy. Growing your produce probably doesn't sound like the simple activity you were looking for, but it's a lot easier than you would think!
It may seem small, but regrowing your own produce is a great way to reduce your weekly shopping budget. More than that, it's a simple and fun activity to try while we're all still stuck at home. Whether you've become an at-home chef during these months, or just want some cilantro for your takeout, it's time to try growing some produce in your kitchen.
Sounds like a daunting task? The truth is – you already have everything you need, even if you're in an apartment or somewhere without a lot of space. A sunny window, a cup, and some vegetable scraps, and you're ready to get started.
Easiest Produce to Regrow
Some produce will regrow completely. Drop the end of some scallions in a glass of water, and within a few days, they will be ready to use again! Other produce is a little more time consuming, or you can only use parts. Carrots are simple to regrow; put the tops in shallow water, and soon you'll see leafy growth, but you'll never get a full carrot. The greens are delicious in pesto or salad, though.
For now, we'll just start with some of the most delicious, easiest, and versatile ingredients.
What You'll Need
Jar or glass
Small pots and soil (after a few days)
Like scallions – for lettuce and other leafy greens, you don't need to plant them in the soil to start to get use out of them. If you want to regrow a full head of greens, you'll want to plant them in a shallow pot. 12″-15″ is perfect, and they won't take up too much space on your countertop.
There are a few ways to regrow lettuce, bok choy, or other greens.
First, you can place the hard root section in shallow water and wait for the leaves to begin to grow. This growth should happen within a few days. You can use those leaves and wait for more, or you can plant the whole thing and wait for a new head to grow.
You can also regrow greens with just a leaf. You'll want to place the bottom in a cup of water in a sunny spot and mist them every few days. Soon you should begin to see roots. After these grow to a few inches, you can plant them!
Regrowing herbs is one of the easiest ways to start. They do great in a small pot in a sunny window, so no need for outdoor space, plus they grow quickly. Within just a few days, you should see leaves that are ready to use.
Take a stem from your bunch of herbs and cut off any leaves about two inches from the bottom. Then drop your stem in a glass of water, just make sure any leaves are well above the waterline. Leave it in a sunny window and you'll start to see the roots growing within a few days. When you see a few inches of roots, it's time to move your plant to a pot and watch it continue to grow! Within a week or two, after planting it in the soil, you should have a full leafy plant to use.
Onions require a lot more time to reach maturity, but once you regrow one, you'll realize how easy it is to have an endless supply of regrown produce at your fingertips.
Take off the bottom of your onion. An inch or two above the root is a good way to ensure that it will grow back. Allow it to dry for a few hours before planting it in a shallow pot. You'll want the top of the onion exposed so it can begin to grow. Within a few days, you should see green sprouts coming from your onion.
After a few weeks, you can split the onion so that each sprout gets its own pot. This will give you the most produce from your onion bottom! It takes about 90 days for an onion to reach maturity, or you can just make use of the green tops!
Already seeing green sprouts from that onion on your counter? Perfect! Your job just got even easier. Peel back the onion to reveal the sprouts, circled in yellow above. After that place them in a pot and when the tops began to dry out you'll know they're ready for harvesting!
Resources for Regrowing
Now that you've dipped your toes into the world of growing your own produce, there is a lot more you can do. Regrowing potatoes, ginger, or even mushrooms is all possible with a little more time and space.
Harvesting your own vegetables and herbs is a great way to start thinking more about the environment. This easy gardening is also a great way to get kids involved in the food they're eating.
Below are some resources you might like if you're interested in getting your hands a little dirty.