Plant a Kitchen Garden Using Vegetable Scraps

window sill vegetable garden

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need seeds to grow a garden. In fact, you don’t even need a big lawn or yard. All you need are vegetable scraps leftover from the food you’re already eating. With the right techniques and methods, you can re-grow these scraps into the plant it once originated from. Plus, since most meals inevitably have remnants, it’s certainly a useful practice. This is an amazing way to get the most of the money you spend on food. And it’s fun, too.

The best part is that you don’t need fancy equipment because many of these plants can start out on your windowsill. You can start growing them in pots, pans, or small bowls. You can even re-use glass jars or plastic containers from store-bought yogurt. How’s that for environmentally-friendly?

And since the size of your kitchen garden can be adjusted and changed, this is something you can do regardless of your space.

Some plants will eventually need to be transferred into soil. If you decide to grow one of these plants, prep with potting soil and pots.

For best results, use organic vegetables and plants. This will ensure that your vegetables haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, enabling you to re-grow them at home.

1. Celery

celery stalk on table

This vegetable is ideal for salads, stews, and simple snacks. It’s easy to chop up and serve with hummus, dip, or peanut butter. Look at the bottom of your celery stalk, and notice if you can see tiny, barely-detectable, brown roots at the bottom. If so, instead of tossing away the base of a celery stalk, save it. Place this piece in a bowl of warm water. Over time, roots will begin to grow. Once this happens, you can plant the base into soil and let it grow until it’s big enough to pick. The best part is that you can repeat this process over and over again.

2. Green Onions

green onion roots

Preparing green onions typically means cutting away the white ends and tossing them away. Instead of getting rid of these ends, place them in warm water. Make sure the roots are facing downward. The side that is cut should be peeking out just above the water line. Within a few days, roots will begin to appear. In another one to two weeks, the actual onion will start to develop. Transfer the onion into soil before it becomes too big for the container.

3. Garlic

cloves and bulb of garlic

Garlic is excellent for adding flavor and aroma to your favorite dishes. And while it’s fairly inexpensive, you can take advantage of the garlic that you already own. The process is simple. Just plant a single clove into soil, facing the root end down. A full garlic head will grow over time. Again, you can continue to repeat this process with another clove of garlic.

4. Ginger


This plant is another ingredient that is amazing for adding flavor to your meals. To DIY your own ginger, plant a knob of ginger in soil. The knob should be about two inches long; make sure to use one with a bud. The soil should be moist and placed in an area with indirect sunlight. In a few weeks, your ginger root will begin to grow. You can then use what you need and then replant.

5. Beets

beets with roots

Root vegetables are a bit more complicated to re-grow. But when you already have the scraps on hand, it doesn’t hurt to try! Simply save the top of a beet and plant it in damp potting soil. This should be placed in a fairly warm area. Gradually, new roots will begin to grow.

You can also re-grow other root vegetables, such as carrots and turnips, using this method.

6. Lettuce

heads of lettuce

Lettuce is a must when it comes to sandwiches and salads. Luckily, if you regularly eat lettuce, you don’t have to keep trekking to the store to buy a new head. The bottom, or “heart,” can grow itself if you place it in a container of water. To keep it fresh, change the water every day (or every other day). Don’t forget to keep it by the window to let it soak up the sun. Once the leaves are fully formed, you can cut and enjoy.

7. Green Herbs

spring green herbs

Herbs such as basil, cilantro, and oregano are kitchen staples. They’re essentials when it comes to cooking and adding flavor to any dish. Fortunately, they can also be grown right in your own kitchen. While each attempt may not be successful, it’s certainly worth a shot. It’s much like root vegetables; if you already have the scraps, why not try it out?

All you have to do is place a sprig in water. Make sure it is in an area that is warm and receives adequate sun. If the sprig is able to grow, it will produce white roots. Once the roots are fully grown, plant the sprig in potting soil. Over time, you’ll have a medley of herbs right at your fingertips.