Grow Something!

I had a great assignment awhile back to test growing plants from vegetable scraps. While they don't grow into actual food producing plants (well, maybe the garlic), they make for a great project in the dead of winter.

When possible, use organic produce and wash the produce very well. Check the water every day and change it every 3-4 days as it will start to stink- especially the garlic.
Also, have a spray water bottle on hand to mist the plants occasionally too.
We tried garlic, scallions, lettuce, celery, carrots, ginger root, avocado pits, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, beet tops and basil. I'm just going to show you a few of the kitchen scraps we tried.

Wash the yams well then cut them in half.
Place the cut surface in a shallow dish of water.
Little spuds will appear about a week later.
Leaves will shoot out in about 2 weeks.
They can get quite long and lush.

Start with whole beets; cut the green tops off about .5" from the top of each beet. Cut the beet top off, leaving about a half-inch of beet.
Rinse the beet tops, then place them in a shallow dish of water.
Little shoots will appear within several days.

(At least 2 weeks for roots to start)
Make a clean cut for each stalk from the original plant; remove/pinch off the larger leaves from the top (so the plant energy doesn't go into the growing the leaves).
The bottom of the stalk will get dark as if it’s rotten before it shoots out little roots.
Do more than one as not all the stalks will root.

Cut the celery stalks off about 3 inches from the bottom.
Place the celery bottom in a shallow dish of water.
Leaves will grow out of the center in a about a week- tiny roots will also show in the water.
Peel away any really rotting stalks.


Set several peeled cloves closely together in a small container and cover the bottoms with water. Roots will appear within the first few days, and then sprouts will come out the top within a week.
Change the water often! Stinky!
I planted ours in dirt and it lasted for quite a while.

So as I wrote- these aren't about planting seeds but rather using the energy trapped inside the bulbs, tubers, and cuttings and watching it release. I was surprised how long some things took (we planted a ginger root that took forever) and then how quickly other things took off.

Here are our crazy fast white potatoes!


  1. I absolutely love this Kim! This was one of my favorite things to do as a kid and even now I always have some vegetable scrap sprouting in the window sill. I am a recent convert to beets and love that they can be grown as well. I'll be sharing this on The Crafty Crow too!

    1. Thanks Cassi!
      I'm also a convert to beets. I'm going to try using their juice to color some baked goods-sugar cookies and meringue cookies for Valentines. I'll let you know how it goes.

  2. I also love it. My mother use to do it and plant the leaves on our balcony.I have a granddaughter 3 years old and I am going to start this amazing hobby with her..I'll be sharing this on blog page ...!

  3. Absolutely love these ideas.We live in a flat and we don't have garden space.I was looking for some ideas to try with my toddler.In this post,I found lot of ideas which I can create an indoor garden with my son.Thanks for sharing this post...