Did you know that you can ‘recycle’ store bought veggies and start growing them yourself?
This isn’t true of every vegetable you put in your shopping basket but there is a decent list of leafy greens, root vegetables and herbs that you can cook and use the parts that you would normally discard to start your own vegetable patch.
25 easy-to-regrow veggies include cabbage, celery, carrots, turnips, radishes, parsnips, beets, lettuce, Bok Choy, fennel, scallions (green onions), onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, mint, basil, cilantro (coriander), rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme.
Most of the vegetables can simply be planted straight into a container or a plant bed with good soil. So long as they are in a sunny location and watered so that the soil is kept moist, you will see them start to grow.
Plants such as leeks, scallions, shallots and onions with intact root bases can be placed straight into the soil with the earth just covering the roots. New shoots will soon begin to grow and you can either snip off the regrowth for use in your cooking or leave them to mature into a full-sized plant. The same is true of celery which is one of the quickest and easiest vegetables to regrow – however this is a plant that needs cool weather so may not respond well in our hot climate.
Planting a clove of garlic with its root base down and planting an off cut of ginger (once you have allowed it to ‘heal’ where you have cut it) straight into the soil will soon produce shoots. It will take about 8 months for bulbs to develop.
Organic potatoes and sweet potatoes are also relatively easy to regrow by planting them in the soil with the eyes pointing up (as that’s were the shoots grow).
Veggies such as carrots, turnips, radishes, parsnips and beets should be planted with the stem side up. It will take about 1 week for the leaves to grow. Once the leaves have grown to a decent height, you can harvest them for use in salads or any other dish or you can leave them to allow the roots to fully develop.
By planting the root base of lettuce and Bok Choy in earth and leaving the leaves exposed, you will be rewarded with a regrowth of leaves which you can cut off for your dish whilst the plant remains in the soil and continues to produce more leaves. You can do the same with a fennel bulb and cabbage but you must first cut a cross in the base of the cabbage before planting and leave it in the ground so that it produces a new head.
For herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro (coriander), rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme, you can remove the lower leaves from the stems and place in a filtered water and place in a sunny location until roots start to grow after which you can transfer them into soil. Some of the herbs like oregano, sage and thyme need to be cut at a 45 degree angle before immersing in water. It is strongly advised that mint is grown in its own container as it can take over a bed very quickly and grow like a weed.
Drakes Traders stocks all the materials you need to help you grow your own vegetables. Our non-exhaustive inventory includes potting soils, containers, fertilisers, watering cans and hoses as well as gardening tools such as gardening forks, trowels, spades and gloves.
Watch the easy-to-follow steps in this video produced by Daisy Creek Farms with Jag Singh and you’ll be on your way to enjoying some of your own freshly harvested vegetables!
You can also look at this video by Misilla of Learn to Grow which will guarantee you’ll want to give this a go!