Indoor Veggie Garden: How to Regrow Veggies from Kitchen Scraps

Repurposed kitchen scraps. You can regrow certain vegetables with just a little tray of water and a spot near the window.

Grocery shopping can be pricey, and some of us don’t have a backyard to create a little veggie patch. This is where an indoor garden comes in handy. You can actually grow certain foods yourself from scraps that you would normally throw away! It’s low-waste and saves money!!

Now, this windowsill kitchen garden is not really to supplement your diet. Sure, you’ll be able to grow and use a few greens and veggies, but you won’t be producing tons of vegetables here. It’s just a fun, simple way you can grow some of your own foods, and reduce waste at the same time.

You can even reuse water that you’ve gathered elsewhere, such as from boiling pasta (just let it completely cool), or water you’ve collected while waiting for the shower to warm up.

To make your kitchen garden organic, start by using organic kitchen scraps, that way you’ll be regrowing food that’s already organic, without any harmful chemicals used! Once you’re veggies have grown, you can choose to keep them in the water, or replant them in soil to produce a bigger harvest and start a little veggie garden outside.

How to Regrow Veggies in Water

It’s a simple process to regrow leftover veggie scraps, and a great way to minimise food wastage (other than composting). Some things to keep in mind when regrowing vegetables are:

  • Only a small amount of water is needed – The veggies don’t need a lot of water, only enough to cover their roots. About 1/2 inch of water is suffice (you can add more if need be), otherwise the plants can become slimy and mouldy.
  • Check on your plants regularly – Make sure to check the water every 2-3 days to ensure that there’s still enough water left in the pan, and that there aren’t any pieces of veggies that could have fallen off, causing them to potentially rot and build slime up in the bowl.
  • Change up the containers depending on what veggies you’re growing – The size and shape of the container will vary depending on what size the food is. Lettuce and celery tend to grow best in shallow bowls, while green onions and lemongrass grow better in tall, skinny glasses.
  • Ensure you don’t overcrowd your veggies – Feel free to regrow multiples of the same plant, just don’t overdo it so that they’re overcrowding the area.
  • Keep veggies in partial sunshine – It’s important that your veggies see plenty of sunshine throughout the day, in order to grow.
This is about 1 week after I started regrowing these veggie scraps in water, and look how much they’ve come alive already!

Before we get started in learning how to grow an indoor garden from kitchen scraps – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

If you grow these veggies in water at home, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

How to Regrow Different Veggies

Carrot Greens

Carrots will not completely regrow in water, but they will produce lovely green tops which you can use to make pesto, chutney, salads and more! Rather than throwing away the green ends, place them in a container of shallow water and leave them in a bright spot (near a window with plenty of sunshine) to regrow. Change the water every couple of days, and within a week you’ll start to see tiny green leaves sprouting from the tops!

Green Onions

These can regrow to full size. Keep the white part of the onion with any roots still intact. Place in a tall glass with a little water next a window with natural sunlight streaming through. Before you know it, you’ll have a constant supply of green onions to use!

Bok Choy

This can regrow to full size. Cut off the bottom of the stalk and place into a shallow bowl of water. Within 1-2 days, new regrowth should start to show from the centre. You can use the young leaves in recipes, or transplant the regrowing bok choy into soil. To do this, wait 7-10 days, or until the centre displays leafy new growth, then plant the bok choy so it’s almost completely buried, with only the tips of the new green leaves showing. Water it generously and keep the soil moist but not drenched.

Celery

This can regrow to full size. Celery will produce lovely green tops which you can use to make pesto, chutney, salads, juices and more! You can even dehydrate the leaves and make your own homemade dry celery powder. Cut off the bottom 2 inches of the stalk or the base of your celery and place in a tall container with a little water. Within 3-4 days, new regrowth should start to show from the centre. After 2 weeks, you can transfer to a pot or soil to regrow fully and sprout a whole new head.

Fennel

This can regrow to full size. Chop off the bottom 1 inch of the base so that the roots are still intact and place in a small bowl of shallow water. Keep in a well-sunlit area. Replace the water every few days.

Lettuce

This can regrow to full size. Cut off the bottom of the head of the lettuce and place in a small bowl of shallow water near a well-lit window. Within 3 days, new regrowth should start to show from the centre.

Lemongrass

These can regrow to full size. Chop off the bottom 2-3 inches and place in a tall container with 1/2 inch or so of water. Keep in a well-lit area and you’ll start to see new shoots sprout from the centre within one week.

Garlic Chives

These are the greens that grow from a garlic clove and can be used in dishes that would normally call for green onion chives, like baked potatoes or salads. Garlic starts to lose its strong flavour when the shoots grow, so if you find a lonely garlic clove in your pantry that’s starting to shoot, regrow it rather than throw it away. To regrow, place a garlic clove in a small cup and add a little water; do not submerge it. Within a few days, you’ll start to see roots growing, followed by shoots shortly after. When the sprouts are 3 inches long, you can cut them for use, leaving 1/3 of the shoot behind.

Beet Greens

Beetroot will not completely regrow in water, but it will produce lovely green tops which you can use to make salads, smoothies, greens powder and more! Slice off the top portion of the beet, taking no more than 1/3 of the top. Fill a small bowl with a little water and place the beet top in with the cut side facing down. Set the glass near a well-lit window, and change the water every few days to prevent bacterial growth. The beet will produce greens for several weeks.

Cabbage

Cabbage can regrow to full size. Place the root end in a shallow bowl of water, and place near a well-lit window. Within one week, new regrowth should start to sprout from the centre. You can harvest the cabbage on the smaller side to get the best flavour. After 2 weeks or so, the cabbage can be transplanted into a pot or soil to sprout a whole new head.

Leeks

These can be regrown to full size. Cut off the bottom 2-3 inches of the stalk and place in a tall glass with shallow water. Within one week, new regrowth should start to show from the centre.

A stir-fry I made out of the leftover veggie scraps!

There are many other veggies you can regrow using a small scrap from the original food. The following foods can start off being regrown in water, but should be transferred to soil for full growth and harvest:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro (coriander)
  • Lemon balm
  • Ginger
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Mint
  • Onions (red, white, or yellow)
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Rosemary
  • Turnips

You can also save the seeds from lemons, apples, cherries, nectarines, peppers, peaches, pumpkins, tomatoes, and plums to grow your own fruits and veggies!

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

What veggies are you regrowing? What have you used them in? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

9 Best Herbs and Vegetable You Can Grow Indoors in Water. Balcony Garden Web. Retrieved from https://balconygardenweb.com/best-herbs-and-vegetable-you-can-grow-indoors-in-water/

Tiffany. (May 15, 2015). 10 Ways to Regrow Food in Water. Don’t Waste the Crumbs. Retrieved from https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2015/05/regrow-food-water/

Bell, Melissa J. (December 10, 2018). How to Grow a Beet in Water Without Seeds. SFGate. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-beet-water-seeds-28164.html

Adrienne. (December 22, 2018). How to Regrow Food in Water. Whole New Mom. Retrieved from https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/grow-in-water-plants-that-grow-in-water/

Black, Tracey. (April 20, 2018). How to Regrow Food from Kitchen Scraps. Don’t Mess With Mama. Retrieved from https://dontmesswithmama.com/how-to-regrow-food-kitchen-scraps/

Beaty, Vanessa. (February 20, 2014). 25 Foods You Can Re-Grow Yourself from Kitchen Scraps. DIY & Crafts. Retrieved from https://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps

Wimbush-Bourque, Aimée. (February 25, 2019). How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps. Simple Bites. Retrieved from https://simplebites.net/how-to-regrow-vegetable-scraps/