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How to grow veggies from your scraps

And create an indoor edible garden in the process

By Jenny Ringland

Did you know you can grow spring onions from the roots? Or celery from its base? During isolation we had time on our hands and increased motivation to get creative and at first experimenting with veggie scraps was something fun to do with the kids, but it turned out to be surprisingly rewarding for us too.  While sprouting an avocado seed is the holy grail – it looks much easier on Instagram – there are some easier ones that anyone can try. And best of all, they’ll look pretty sitting on your kitchen bench, too. 

Spring onions

When using spring onions, leave about 5cm from the roots, then pot them in a clear glass of water and place in a sunny spot. Just like flowers, change the water every few days, and by day seven to day 10 expect to see some sprouts. Trim and use in cooking and repeat, or transplant to your garden bed.


One of the easiest vegetables to grow from food scraps, just cut off the base, lay it in a bowl filled with a dash of warm water. Keep in direct sunlight (choose a spot in your house that receives the most daylight) and after about a week, you’ll begin to see the leaves thickening and growing along the base. When this happens, transplant your celery in soil and await the fully grown specimen.


Yes it’s true, you can grow a pineapple by cutting off the top, even if you don’t live in the tropics. Elevate the pineapple top above a jar of water using toothpicks and place in as much sunlight as possible, or try moving it around the house throughout the day or onto a sunny spot outside. Top up the water every few days and after a week shoots should begin to appear, at which point you can plant in soil or a pot. 


Try this with any lettuce variety from Romaine – or Cos –  to Iceberg and everything in between. Remove any remaining leaves and slice at the base so you have about a 3cm-5cm wedge, place it in a jar or container and add a small amount of water – it shouldn’t be submerged – then  find a sunny spot for it. Much the same as pineapple, change the water every few days and once shoots appear it’s time to transplant to your veggie patch. 


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