These Are the Easiest Vegetables and Herbs You Can Grow From Food Scraps

Did you know you can grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs from the food scraps you normally throw away? Never go to the store again for any of these easy home-grown goodies! Read on to find out what you can start growing in your own home today.

1. Lemongrass

Fresh lemongrass
A super simple trick | Sombats/iStock/Getty Images

Lemongrass has great health benefits and is delicious to cook with (especially in Thai dishes). Growing your own is also super simple. All you have to do is place your leftover lemongrass root in a bowl or jar, cover it with water, and leave it in direct sunlight. After about a week, there should be some growth. As soon as that happens, transplant your new lemongrass plant into a pot or in your herb garden.

Next: How to grow more ginger root in a week

2. Ginger

fresh ginger root piled behind a small bowl of dried, ground ginger
There are so many uses for this root. | iStock/Getty Images

It’s always nice to have some ginger lying around, and having fresh ginger is even better. To grow your own, all you need to do is plant a small piece of another ginger root that you’ve already bought from the store in potting soil (make sure the buds are facing up). In about a week, you should see new shoots and roots. From there, pull them up, use them, and repeat the process.  

Next: Grow spring onions right out of a jar

3. Spring onions

Spring onions
It’ll only take a few days. | Martin Poole/iStock/Getty Images

Spring onions are another very easy vegetable grow right in your kitchen. Once you’ve gone through a bundle of spring onions from the store, place the root into a jar of water (fill the jar a little less than half way), and the onions will begin to regrow in just a few days. Be sure to keep the water clean and replace it as needed.

Next: One of the trickier sprouts to grow at home

4. Bean sprouts

A little more complicated but still doable | iStock/Getty Images

Growing bean sprouts at home requires a couple more steps than your average vegetable, but the process is still relatively easy. To grow bean sprouts, you place about a tablespoon of the beans in a jar with some water (just enough to cover the beans). Leave the container overnight.

In the morning, drain the water and put the beans back in the container. Cover the container with a towel overnight and rinse them in the morning. Repeat this until the sprouts reach their full size (or as big as you’d like them).

Next: Never buy salad again!

5. Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce
Place just the roots in the water. | iStock/Getty Images

To grow lettuce at home, simply cut the remaining leaves off to approximately an inch above the root and place it in a dish of water (the roots need to be directly in the water, but make sure the rest of the plant isn’t submerged). Place the dish in a sunny window and spray the plant with water one to two times a week to keep the tips hydrated.

Next: Who knew you could grow this at home?

6. Fennel

whole fennel bulb cut in half next to a knife on a wooden board
Make sure the roots are intact. | iStock/Getty Images

When growing fennel at home, it’s important to make sure the roots stay intact. First, place the base of the fennel (it should be about an inch) in a bowl or jar with about a cup of water. Leave the fennel in the direct sunlight (ideally in a windowsill). Once green shoots start growing from the base, you can transplant your fennel into soil.

Next: How to grow a popular starch at home

7. Potatoes

Two hands holding freshly harvested potatoes.
Use the peelings to grow more. | Stocksnapper/iStock/Getty Images

The first thing you need when growing potatoes at home is potato peelings with eyes on them. Cut the peelings into two inch pieces (each piece should have two or three eyes). Dry the peelings out overnight, and then plant them the next morning in about four inches of soil (plant the eyes facing up). In a few weeks, you’ll have some home-grown potatoes.

Next: You can plant a whole unused sweet potato

8. Sweet potatoes

Raw sweet potatoes
Make sure they have eyes. | Zeleno/iStock/Getty Images

To grow sweet potatoes, you can use either the entire potato or just pieces (but make sure they both have well-formed eyes). Place your sweet potato or sweet potato pieces under a thin layer of topsoil, and place the container in a place with plenty of moisture and sun. Once the shoots reach about four inches in height, replant the sweet potatoes about 12 inches away from each other. This process can take several months, so be patient!

Next: One of the more common vegetables to grow in your kitchen

9. Celery

Fresh sliced celery in a white bowl
Change the water regularly to keep things growing. | 5PH/iStock/Getty Images

To grow celery in your kitchen, cut the bottom of a bunch of celery you already have (about two inches from the base) and put it in a small jar or dish filled with about an inch of water. Put the dish somewhere that’s bright but isn’t in direct sunlight. In a couple of days, you should see some growth.

As your celery grows, be sure to change the water every couple of days to keep it clean and moist. If you’re celery is really growing, feel free to move it to a pot outside.

Next: Always have fresh garlic on hand.

10. Garlic

Garlic cloves and sliced garlic on vintage wooden background.
One clove is all it takes. | Dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images

All you need to regrow garlic is a single leftover clove. Plant the clove in potting soil with the root facing down and keep the pot in a sunny window (garlic loves direct sunlight). Once your garlic starts to grow, trim back the shoots so the plant will put all its energy into producing a nice, big garlic bulb.

Next: Keep this herb out of direct sunlight

11. Basil

A long stem will do the trick. | Gitusik/iStock/Getty Images

Basil is another relatively easy herb to grow at home. To get started, you need a basil stem that’s about four inches high. Put the stem in a glass of water (keep the leaves out of the water), in a bright spot, but not in direct sunlight. In a couple of days, you should begin to see roots sprout. Once the roots have reached a couple of inches, transplant the basil to soil.  

Next: Grow this fresh fruit in the comfort of your own home!

12. Pineapple

close up of someone cutting a pineapple
Plant the crown of the pineapple. | iStock/Getty Images

Pineapple is one of the more surprising fruits you can regrow at home. To regrow a pineapple, you need to start by removing the top (the green leafy part), and the bottom (all the fruit). You should be left with the crown. Slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds (these are the small circles on the base of the stalk). Plant your pineapple crown in soil and place the pot in a warm area. Begin watering your pineapple once every other day, and once you start to see it grow, cut back to about once a week.

Next: One of the easiest vegetables to regrow

13. Turnips

Just place the top of the turnip in water. | iStock/Getty Images

Turnips are very easy to grow at home. All you need is the top of a turnip. Place it in a container of water, and you should see green tops growing in just a couple of days. Let the turnip keep growing until the root is big enough to plant in soil.

Next: Grow this herb from the scraps you already have lying around

14. Cilantro

Place it in a bright spot, and you’ll see some growth. | iStock/Getty Images

Cilantro is another herb that can easily be grown from scraps. Simply place the bottom of the stem into a glass of water and leave it in a well-lit environment (a windowsill is ideal). Once the roots reach a couple of inches long, transplant the cilantro to a pot and you’ll have a few new sprigs in just a couple weeks.

Next: Don’t throw away your tomato seeds.

15. Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes
Plant the leftover seeds. | Voloshin311/iStock/Getty Images

To grow tomatoes at home, all you need is some leftover tomato seeds. Wash the seeds and wait for them to dry. Once dry, plant them in potting soil and keep them in the sunlight. Be sure to water them a few times a week. You can keep them inside (especially if you live somewhere cooler) or transplant them outdoors.

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