Use Kitchen Scraps to Grow Your Vegetable and Fruit Garden

There is something special about growing your own vegetable and fruit garden. No doubt, you get the satisfaction of growing the food that you and your family eat. It can also mean saving a lot of time and money not going to the grocery store to purchase the food every week.

Instead of relying on produce from the local grocery store, grow your own vegetable or fruit garden at home using kitchen scraps.
(Courtesy: Didi at

You probably already have a good source for the seeds you need to grow the vegetables. However, here is a fact you may not be aware of. You can actually grow the vegetables using kitchen scraps.

In fact, you can consider foods mentioned here for your garden of kitchen scraps.

· Lettuce, Bok Choy and Cabbage. Don’t throw away the leftover leaves of the vegetable. Instead, place them in a bowl with a little bit of water in the bottom. Place the bowl where it will get good sunlight and mist the leaves with water two times a week. Roots and new leaves will start to appear in about three to four days. Once this happens, you can transplant into soil.
· Celery. Cut off the bottom or base of the celery stick and lay it into a bowl with a little bit of warm water in the bottom. Place the bowl in direct sunlight for as long as possible each day. After about one week, you will see the leaves thickening and growing along the base. When this occurs, you can transplant into soil.
· Lemongrass. Lemongrass actually grows like regular grass. Place the leftover root into a glass bowl or jar with enough water to cover it and leave it in sunlight. In about a week new growth will appear. When that happens you can transplant into a pot or into an herb garden.
· Bean Sprouts. Simply soak a tablespoon or so of the beans in a jar with shallow water. Leave overnight. Drain the water off in the morning and put the beans back into the container. Cover the container with a towel overnight and rinse the next morning. Keep doing this until you see the sprouts appear and on through until they reach the size that you want.
· Potatoes. Cut the potato peelings that have two or three eyes on them into two-inch pieces. Let them dry overnight and then plant them about four-inches deep into the soil with the eyes facing up. In just a few weeks you will start to see the potato plant grow.
· Sweet Potatoes. Cut the sweet potato in half and suspend it using toothpicks over a container of shallow water. The roots will sprout in a few days. When the sprouts achieve a length of about four inches or so, twist them off and place them in a container of water. When the roots reach about an inch in length, plant the sweet potatoes in soil.
· Ginger. Plant a piece of the ginger root in potting soil with the buds facing up. New shoots and roots will grow in around a week or so. Once this occurs, pull it up and enjoy. Remember to save a piece so that you can replant it and grow more for the next time you need it.
· Pineapple. Cut the top off of the pineapple and stick in a few toothpicks to hold it above a container filled with water. Keep the container in direct sunlight. If it is warm outside, put it on the porch or deck during the day and bring it indoors at night. Change the water every other day or so and keep the container filled so that it reaches just about the base of the pineapple. Roots will begin to grow in about a week. Once they are formed, transplant into potting soil. If you live in a cooler climate, it is best to grow the pineapple indoors.
· Garlic. Pull off one clove of the vegetable and plant it with the roots facing down in potting soil. If you are doing this during warm weather, keep the growing garlic outdoors in the sun during the day. Once new shoots have appeared, cut the shoots back and the plant will produce a bulb. Take part of this bulb and plant again and enjoy the taste of the other part.
· Onions. Cut the root off with about half an inch of the onion. Cover lightly with potting soil and keep in a sunny area. If you want to plant green onions, put the white base with the roots intact into a container of water and place in direct sunlight. Change the water every few days and the green will continue to grow. Snip off what you need for your next meal and let the rest grow for as long as you want.
· Pumpkins. Save the seeds you find when carving out the pumpkin for Halloween. Spread the seeds out in a sunny location outdoors and cover with soil. You can also plant the entire Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. Fill it with soil and plant the entire thing.
· Mushrooms. Select a warm, humid area in which to grow and use soil rich in nutrients. It is better to grow mushrooms in a pot instead of in the ground because you can control the temperature and humidity better. Cut off the head of the mushroom with some stalk and place the stalk in soil. Leave the top exposed and the base will begin to grow a new head.
· Peppers. Take the leftover seeds of the vegetable and plant them in potting soil and place in direct sunlight. If it is warm outside, go ahead and plant in your garden. This vegetable requires very little care.
· Fennel. Cut off about an inch of the base making certain that the roots stay intact. Place the base in a container with about one cup of water and let it stand in direct sunlight. When the roots and new green shoots appear, transplant into soil.
· Tomatoes. Save the seeds of this vegetable, rinse them and let them dry. Plant in a good, rich potting soil until you see growth. Permit the growth to get a few inches high, and then transplant outdoors. When it is cold outside, grow the tomatoes indoors in a location that receives plenty of sunlight. Water a few times each week.
· Basil. Cut a four-inch high piece of stem and place it in a glass of water with the leaves above the water line. Place the glass in a bright area of your home, but not in direct sunlight. The roots will form in a few days. After the roots have grown to be about two inches long, transplant the basil into soil.
· Cherries. Save the pit, clean it and keep in cold storage for a few weeks to allow to germinate. Pack it into nutrient rich soil and store in a lidded container in the refrigerator. Leave it alone for about 12 weeks, and then transplant outdoors.
· Peaches, Nectarines, and Plums. Save the seeds and leave them out to dry and then plant in a nutrient-rich soil in a location that gets a lot of sunlight. Keep in mind that it will take a couple of years for the seeds to grow into a tree.
· Lemons. Save the seeds. If you live in a region where it is very cold in the winter, then consider growing dwarf lemon trees indoors. Meyer lemons typically have smaller plants, so they are ideal for this. It takes about two years for the tree to establish. Clean and dry the seeds, and then plant in a rich nutrient soil.
· Hazelnuts. Keep in mind that they need to be planted near another hazelnut tree in order to germinate. Save the nuts and let them dry well and then plant in a rich soil. Begin the plantings indoors and then transplant outdoors during warmer weather. If you live in a place that is warm all year ‘round, then plant whenever you want. It takes a hazelnut tree two years or so to establish.
· Chestnuts. Select a chestnut that is indigenous to your planting zone. Save the nuts and let them dry out well before planting. It takes a few years for a chestnut tree to establish. You will need to grow more than one chestnut tree to assure cross-pollination.

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