Growing fruits and vegetables can be a great, environmentally friendly way to fill your fridge with healthy products.
But we don’t all have large backyards to plant nice, even rows of our favorite vegetables.
Fortunately, you can grow many common vegetables with little more than your kitchen waste. You probably already have all the materials you need to grow vegetables from home.
To transplant you need a bowl, plenty of clean water and small pots. The pots should be about 5 cm deep, although larger plants – like avocado trees – need larger containers. If you don’t want to jump for garden pots, plastic drinking cups are also suitable. You also need a little dirt and fertilizer so that your vegetables can reach their full potential.
Although most vegetables can be grown, some are better than others. It is also important to keep an eye on your kitchen setting. Some vegetables need direct sunlight and don’t get along well without it. Others do better in partial shade.
With a little bit of know-how, you are well on your way to starting a garden from the comfort of your own home.
Herbs: basil, mint, coriander and others
If you want to take small steps here, herbs are a good place to start. Simply cut off a 4 inch stem and let it rest in a small container of water. A shot glass works well in this case.
Place the glass in a place where it will be exposed to direct sunlight and replace the water every other day.
Roots should grow from the trunk. Once the roots are about two inches long, carefully plant the herb in a four inch deep pot or cup.
Congratulations! You have just started your kitchen scrap garden.
Leafy greens: bok choy, lettuce, celery, onion fennel
Leafy greens are the perfect candidate for your kitchen garbage garden. Just keep the bottom two centimeters of the plant, whether it’s lettuce, celery, bok choy, or any other leafy vegetable.
Place the remaining part of the plant in a glass or flat bowl in one to two inches of water. Change the water every few days.
Place the container in a warm, sunny place and make sure that the plant is exposed to direct sunlight. Wait for new growth to sprout from the stem, and then plant the stem in a 4-inch cup or saucepan, covering the old stem with soil.
Spring onions & leeks
This vegetable is one of the easiest to grow. Both spring onions and leeks are hardy, grow well on a windowsill and can be grown again as long as the root system is not damaged.
As with leafy greens, you should keep the last one to two inches of your spring onions or leeks and put them in a container with enough water to cover the roots. A glass of water would probably be more suitable for this vegetable than a bowl.
Place the plant on a windowsill that is fully and directly exposed to the sun for at least part of the day. Replace the water weekly. Soon new green shoots will grow from the onion. Once the shoots are about six inches long, you can replant the light bulb.
Once your potato shoots grow out of sight, it’s a good time to let them grow back. Cut the potato into 1 inch cubes and make sure that each cube contains an eye. Then leave the cubes on a paper towel overnight to dry them out before planting them in a large container.
Potatoes need a lot of space to grow, so an old garden bucket may be a good place to plant your potatoes. Plant the cubes four inches deep with your eyes up. Water them regularly and keep them in a place where they are exposed to direct sunlight.
These need a little more love than your normal rust or yellow potatoes.
Cut your sweet potato in half and insert four toothpicks on both sides so that the toothpicks rest on the lip of a glass of water. Position the toothpicks so that the sweet potato is in two inches of water with the cut side of the potato facing down.
Change the water every few days, and the potato will soon form new roots. Once the roots are about five inches long, gently twist them off and let them rest in a shallow bowl of water.
Small sprouts – so-called briefs – grow out of the roots in a few days. Once the briefs are an inch long, plant them in a deep bucket or pot.
This is probably one of the less expensive additions to your garden garbage garden, as ginger can be an expensive addition to your grocery list depending on where you’re shopping.
That is, if you buy in the hope of regrowing your ginger, you’re going organic. Some commercial growers treat their ginger so it doesn’t sprout at home, which makes regrowth impossible.
Break off a thumb-sized portion of your ginger that contains lots of nodules. This corresponds to ginger in the eyes of the potatoes. They are usually rough bumps along the top of the vegetables.
Sprinkle about 5 cm of potting soil in a flat container with a lid. A retired Tupperware container would be great here. Poke holes in the floor to allow drainage. Place the ginger buns on the two inches of potting soil and then sprinkle another inch of soil over it.
Put the lid on, but do not close it completely. You want some air to enter. Place the container in a warm environment with indirect sunlight and water it regularly until small green sprouts emerge.
Now you need a bigger bucket. As with potatoes, ginger can take up a lot of space underground. An old cement bucket with holes in the bottom would be a great home for your grown ginger.
Put about 5 cm of potting soil in the bucket, place the freshly sprouted ginger on top and fill the rest of the bucket with soil.
Greens: carrots & garlic
Although you can’t grow a whole carrot or clove of garlic from leftovers, you can let the delicious leaves of the vegetables grow back. Carrot green can add flavor to salads and they are also great additions to vegetable broth. Garlic green, on the other hand, can be used instead of onions or spring onions to give your recipe an interesting nutty taste.
For carrot green, save the last half inch of the carrot and cut off the old leaves. Let them rest in a shallow water container, being careful not to submerge the top of the vegetables.
Place the container in a sunny environment and replace the water every day. As soon as new leaves start to sprout, plant them in a 4-inch pot and cover the top of the carrot with soil to the leaves.
Garlic green is even easier. If you have cloves of garlic that are starting to form green shoots, just dip them in about an inch or two of water. Place the container in a sunny place and change the water every other day. Cut the green shoots to eat how you want them.
Anna Brugmann is an associate of The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com