Did you know that you can regrow vegetables at home using only leftovers and the parts you don’t eat? It’s easy enough for kids to do as a fun DIY learning and gardening activity. And as a bonus, it saves families trips to the grocery store, and makes for a healthier environment!
*Our Garden-to-Table Kit has everything kids need to start growing food at home! Seeds, growing and harvesting instructions, fun STEAM-learning arts and crafts they can make with their crops—you name it!
HOW TO REGROW VEGETABLES AT HOME
These vegetables don’t need a big backyard or garden bed to regrow. All you really need is a small pot, container or mason jar, good quality soil, and some sunlight. Some only need a mason jar and some water! Read on to learn how to regrow vegetables at home, and unleash your inner farmer!
GREEN ONIONS, SPRING ONIONS, LEEKS & FENNEL
Let’s start with something easy! All you need is a mason jar or similar-sized container, and some fresh water to get started.
Place the root ends of the onions, scallions or leeks in the water.
They will start to regrow in just a couple of days!
Pick them when they are about 6 inches tall, and a half inch thick.
Note: Make sure to change the water every so often so it stays fresh and clean.
Cut about 2 inches above the root end of your celery
Place the celery root in a bowl, jar or container. Fill the container so that only an inch of the root is submerged in water.
The roots will start growing in about a week. You may also see small stalks and leaves start to grow around the center. When the roots grow to be about an inch long, it’s time to plant it in soil!
Place the celery in a pot or garden bed with moist soil. Plant it deep enough to cover the plant up to the spot where you cut the end off. Make sure you pick a spot that gets plenty of shade, and indirect sunlight. Celery likes to keep it cool!
You’ll know the celery is ready to harvest when the lower stalks (the parts you eat beneath the leafy tops) reach 6 inches tall.
POTATOES (ANY KIND!)
Growing potatoes is easy! You can regrow potatoes from any potato that has an “eye” (the little buds that sprout).
Cut 2-inch squares from parts of your potato that have at least 2 eyes on it.
Leave the pieces in sunny room-temperature spot to dry for 2-3 days. This prevents the potato from rotting after you plant it!
Plant the pieces 6-8 inches deep in a large pot or garden bed with the eye facing upward. Cover it with around four inches of soil mixed with plenty of compost.
As the potato plant begins to grow, their roots may pop out of the ground. Make sure you keep adding soil on top so they stay underneath!
Your potato will grow fully-matured flowers and vines in about 3 months. They will be ready to dig up no longer than one day after their vines die. Or, if you want smaller potatoes, collect your potatoes just before the vines start to die (they’ll start turning yellowish-brown).
You can regrow entire bulbs of garlic, or individual cloves! The steps to regrow both are the same. Here’s what you do:
Place the garlic bulb or cloves in a bowl or small container of water. Then wait a couple of days until they sprout green shoots. Note: If your garlic has already sprouted, you can skip this step!
Wait one day after green shoots appear before planting the garlic in soil.
Plant the garlic in moist soil, deep enough so that only the green shoots are showing. Garlic doesn’t need a lot of room to grow—a small pot or container is plenty big enough to grow a full-size garlic plant. But make sure it’s placed in a spot with plenty of direct sunlight!
Water your garlic twice a week with about two inches of water.
When the garlic stem turns a brownish-yellow, it’s time to harvest!
Keep a few bulbs or cloves to regrow for never-ending garlic!
Take one stem of basil, and remove any leaves growing towards the bottom.
Cut the bottom of the stem at a 45 degree angle.
Submerge the stem in a small jar or glass of water, and place in bright indirect sunlight. Make sure the very top hangs off the rim a bit.
In just one day, your basil will grow roots and new leaves!
When the roots grow to about an inch long, replant the basil in a pot at least 4 inches in diameter. Plant the stem 1-2 inches deep in rich, moist potting soil, and watch the magic happen.
In just a couple weeks, you’ll have all the basil you could ever want!
LETTUCE & CABBAGE
Cut the leaves at about 1 inch from the hard stem at the bottom.
Fill a bowl with about a half-inch of water, and place the stem inside.
Place the bowl on a sunny window sill. Change the water every 1 to 2 days as needed— don’t let it dry up!
Watch your lettuce or cabbage grow at incredible speeds! It only takes a couple of days for leaves and roots to start growing.
Your plant will be fully grown and ready to munch on in about 10-12 days. No, it won’t be a full head of lettuce. But there will be more than enough leaves to make a small salad, or to add to sandwiches.
Note: If the leaves start to turn bluish-green, it is too late to harvest. The leaves will taste bitter, so make sure to eat them when they’re bright green!
THE PARTS YOU DON’T EAT ARE THE MOST VALUABLE!
Next time you’re about to throw out the part of a vegetable you won’t eat, don’t! Regrowing your own food at home is easy, money, and is a fun learning experience for kids of all ages.
Check out our new Garden-to-Table Kit to get all the seeds, instructions and learning materials you need to start growing food from seeds—right from home!
And, be sure to explore our IDEA Corner Blog for more DIY STEAM-learning activities, ideas for outdoor adventures, art and eco-living how-to's, and local happenings in your area.