Spring Scraps: Replant Your Veg to Create a Sustainable Life
Spring has officially arrived, which is the perfect time for avid gardeners to prepare for this growing season. One of the best ways to do this is by simply reusing food scraps, an easy and cheap solution for many since the UK typically throws around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste every single year.
Intrigued to find out more, Coupon Snake wanted to know which fruits and vegetables can be regrown from our table scraps this Spring.
Your gardening journey can start with just a few scraps that you would typically toss away, some jars, and a few unused pots.
There are three important rules to growing your own produce from kitchen scraps:
- Change the water every day, if this is neglected the fruit or vegetable will start to smell and become slimy.
- Keep the scraps on a west-facing windowsill to receive indirect sunlight.
- Once they have grown enough to be planted outdoors, water the roots consistently but make sure the ground is still firm.
Some of your favourite foods can be easily regrown from the comfort of your home.
Examples of bulb vegetables are celery, lettuce, cabbage, bok choy.
Bulb vegetables are some of the easiest to regrow, all you need to do is cut the base off your vegetable leaving around two inches. Place the scraps cut-side down into a bowl that holds enough water to cover the base and change this water daily.
Within three to four days you should start to see sprouting, but make sure that the plants have sunlight to help with growth. Once roots start to form, you can move them to be planted in the garden. Ensure the new stems are above the ground whilst the base and roots are covered entirely.
Examples of root vegetables are carrots, radishes, beetroots, turnips, spring onions, and onions.
Root vegetables can easily be regrown either using water or soil. When cutting your scrap pieces, the top portion where the root is will regrow if you place them cut-side-down into a bowl of shallow water.
These can be kept inside the home, and within a few weeks, you will begin to see new greens sprouting. Once you can see side roots, plant them outdoors completely covering both the root and base in the soil. The best thing about root vegetables is that they can be harvested and continually regrown.
Examples of seeded vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, squash, chillies, bean sprouts, pumpkin, and cucumbers.
Cut thin slices of your seeded vegetables and sit them on the side to dry out, this makes the seeds easier to get hold of and use, then harvest the seeds and place them in a container with soil.
Place the pot in a warm location making sure to water daily and wait for the seeds to start sprouting. Once the sprouts have broken through the soil, repot the plants in your garden.
Another alternative is to remove the seeds and sprinkle them across a bed of soil, and water daily and watch the magic happen.
Suggested fruits include lemons, oranges, apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and avocados.
Many of the fruits we enjoy have seeds that can be reused. Instead of chucking them out, save them and plant them in fertile potting soil. Although fruit trees can take years to form and grow, once they have you will consistently have fresh fruit to enjoy.
Cut the outer skin of the berry or extract the seeds using a pair of tweezers. Place the skin or seed into a soiled container, make sure the soil covers it all and place them in a sunny, warm spot. Water consistently until you begin spotting sprouts, then transplant these to a strawberry pot in the garden to continue growth.
Luckily, you don’t have to be in a tropical country to grow this mouth-watering fruit. It takes 2-3 years to see the first crop but the results make it worth it! Cut the top off of a pineapple and dry this out as they tend to rot quickly. Plant the top into the soil with the leaves sticking out, and leave it in a bright location for warmth and light. It will need at least eight hours of sunlight a day and of course, make sure it is watered when the soil dries. Within three to four months you will see roots sprouting.
Potatoes are susceptible to disease so always buy organic, untreated potatoes for the best regrowth results. Place multiple potatoes into a brown paper bag and leave in a dark location. Check every few days for sprouting, and once each has three to four shoots, remove them from the bag.
Cut into halves, ensuring both have sprouts and leave to dry for two days. Once dried, place each half in eight inches of fertile soil.
Horticulturist and gardening expert Zach Morgan from Fantastic Services explained the benefits of replanting our food scraps: “Planting leftover fruit and vegetable scraps in your garden can help reduce methane emissions in landfills. When such type of organic waste is sent to landfills, it decomposes without oxygen and this process is known as anaerobic decomposition. It produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
“This is why, by using the scraps to enrich the soil in your garden, you’re diverting the organic waste from the landfills, and the food scraps can decompose aerobically without producing methane. This way you’ll promote a more sustainable way of living.”