Recycle Vegetables – Grow More From What You Have

sprout avocado seedRecycle vegetables? Part of saving money and respecting your resources is reusing everything you can. Most of us throw away things like sprouted potatoes and garlic gone to sprouts. Sure, you can compost them – but there is a better way to reuse many root vegetables. I just saw a post on Raw Food Energy Benefits that got me thinking. The article is about regrowing celery from the bunches you buy in the grocery store. I had never heard of doing that before and it reminded me of some of the other vegetables that can be “recycled.”

Regrowing celery from the parts you would normally throw away makes a lot of sense. Why buy tiny seedlings when you can start a bunch of celery plants over the next few weeks? A tiny green army¬†– all ready to go out in the garden come spring. This method really got me excited since I have not had much luck starting celery from seeds and with a nice root base like this it would surely do better in our super-dry climate. I’ll be sure to update when I have some experience with this method.

Meanwhile, take a look around your kitchen. Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes can all be grown in the garden if they go green or start to sprout. Potatoes are the easiest. Just chunk them up with at least 2 or 3 “eyes” on each piece. Let them dry a bit to seal the sides – then plant them in your garden. Potatoes can be put out about 4 weeks before your last frost date. Don’t use moldy or rotten potatoes, as you may transfer a fungus to your garden bed.

Starting sweet potatoes takes a little more effort, but the rewards are great. You can get dozens of sweet potato plants from one sprouted sweet potato. You can read more about how to use sweet potatoes in your garden in this article.

Garlic and onions can also be grown into healthy garden plants. If they start to sprout, the flavor changes and the bulbs are soft and not so appealing. Tuck them into the garden and in a few weeks you’ll have delicious green onion or garlic tops you can harvest. Garlic is usually left to overwinter in the garden and is harvested the next spring. Onions will grow into bigger and more pungent bulbs and will also go to seed if allowed – giving you lots of volunteer onions the next year.

Beets and turnips can be replanted as well. The roots will be tougher than most people like, but the tops will regrow Рgiving you delicious beet or turnip greens in a few weeks.

Pineapple tops can also be regrown into pineapple trees as well. They must be kept indoors in cooler climates, but they make nice houseplants. You can learn to sprout a pineapple tree here. You might not get any pineapples, but it still a fun project and an interesting plant to grow.

Avocado seeds will also sprout into nice plants. Again, it takes a very long time to grow avocados, so it might not fruit for you, but it is a fun houseplant. You can learn to sprout avocado seeds here.

Of course, any other vegetables and fruits that are past their prime can be put into your compost bin. Add a comment below if you know of other vegetables or fruits that you can regrow.

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