Zero waste: Grow your own veg from scraps you’d normally throw away

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Seeds all sold out online? You can start growing with vegetables you already have in your kitchen

You don’t need seeds to start growing your own vegetables. You can use scraps of vegetables you’d normally discard to regrow a whole new plant.  This is a fun project to get all the family involved, and is a brilliant way to teach kids about sustainability.

You don’t need a large outdoor space or any tools. A lot can even be done without any soil! All you need are some jars, water and for some, a space outdoors to plant them eventually. It is really easy — and a handy idea if you can’t get your hands on any seeds right now.  It may take some trial and error to get it right, but it is definitely an easy introduction to gardening.

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Don’t throw out your old veggie scraps!!! 💡I regrew these Green Onions & Celery in a glass of water, sitting by the window – in less than 10 days. You can start gardening at home with literally just veggie scraps, sunlight, water and a glass jar. It’s so easy! No soil, patio or backyard is necessary. 👩🏽‍🌾 Make sure to change out the water every day or two so the water doesn’t get funky! That’s really it though. You can try this with Green Onions, Celery, Romaine, Leeks, Basil, and Carrots, and probably more veggies that I don’t even know about. If you want to see a video on this, check out @tastemadehome, they just featured it on their page. And don’t forget to tag me in your home gardening photos, I love to see when you guys are growing in your kitchen! 🤗 #quarantine #gardening #indoorgardening #athome #windowsill #garden #greenonion #growth #organic #home #greens #sunlight #water #glass #allyouneed #veggie #gardener #quarantinehacks #indoors #quarantineliving #plantlady #domesticgoddess

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Regrow your own:

Spring Onions

This is one of the easiest plants to regrow. You may never have to buy them again, as they will grow for as long as you take care of them. 

  1. Chop your spring onions, leaving about one inch from the roots intact. Pop them in a shallow glass of water so that the tops aren’t submerged. 
  2. Green shoots will continue to grow. 
  3. Simply cut what you need from the top, and the spring onions will keep growing. If you want you can transfer the plants to soil after 5-7 days, but if that’s not possible it should still grow in the glass. 


If you have bought herbs like coriander, basil and thyme, you can regrow them from the stems. Regrowing them could be much more economical than buying herbs in your weekly shop. Use the same techniques for all herbs. 

  1. Take some healthy fresh cuttings. Ensure that there’s around three inches left of the stem of the herbs. Remove the leaves along each cutting so that there are just two sets of leaves at the top of each cutting.
  2. Place them upright in a tall glass of water. 
  3. The new roots should start to sprout after the first week. 
  4. When they grow two inches, you can transfer them into a small pot of soil on your window sill. 
  5. Make sure not to overwater your herbs. 
  6. Once the herbs begin to flourish, do not pick out more than a third of the plant. 


  1. Cut off the bottom two inches of the stalk, and place in a small bowl of water in a sunny spot. 
  2. You will see new growth from the centre in 3-4 days, and roots will begin to grow.
  3. You can transfer the celery shrub to a small pot of soil. It will need as much direct sunlight as possible each day, and generous watering for it to grow full length stalks. 
  4. It may take a while for a full stalk of celery to grow, but the young leaves can be used to flavour dishes. 


You can regrow romaine lettuce from just a stem. Romaine works best, but you can try it with any lettuce that has a clear stem end. It won’t turn into a full head of lettuce, but should grow enough after 10-12 days to add to a sandwich or salad. This one is more of a fun experiment. 

  1. When preparing your shop bought lettuce to eat, cut the leaves off about one inch from the bottom, leaving the stem intact.
  2. Place the remaining stem in a shallow dish of water, about ½ inch. The water should be up to the middle of the trimming. 
  3. Place on a window sill and change the water every 1-2 days. If you can transfer the shrub to soil after about a week. That will allow for better growth, but if not it will still grow. 
  4. You will see new roots and shoots appearing.
  5. After 10-12 days you should have some young lettuce leaves. Don’t eat after this as they will likely turn blue-green in colour and be quite bitter. 


These regrow in a similar way to celery and spring onions.

  1. Leave 1-2 inches of the leek’s root ends, and soak them root first in a shallow glass or container of lukewarm water. 
  2. Place them on a sunny windowsill, changing the water regularly. 
  3. Leeks will regrow from the middle within the first week.

Garlic shoots

If garlic has started to sprout, you can encourage that growth. The tops will continue growing and can be eaten just like spring onions. Garlic itself is easy to grow, but it has specific requirements – you want to ensure you get good quality, healthy bulbs from a garden centre rather than a supermarket, as you don’t want to introduce disease into your garden. It needs a sunny spot to grow that won’t get waterlogged. It’s also best planted in autumn, so perhaps wait until you have some experience before trying to plant garlic! 

In the meantime, for garlic shoots: 

  1. Place a clove that has started to sprout in a cup or small glass with a small bit of water. 
  2. Greens will grow and can be chopped into salads.
  3. Alternatively, plant your garlic cloves with their roots facing down in a small pot of soil. Place it in a spot with lots of direct sunlight. 
  4. You will start to see the beginnings of a new shoot within a few days. 

Carrot tops

You can regrow the greens on carrots really easily, and they can be used to make your own pesto. 

  1. Keep the ends of the carrot that you would normally throw away. 
  2. Place cut side down in a shallow dish of water. 
  3. You will soon see greens starting to shoot up. They grow quickly, and after about 10 days you can remove them to make your pesto. They will be milder than the carrot greens that you would get with shop-bought carrots.

This video is a good guide to get you started: