Whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian or even vegan, a good balance of vegetables is always recommended to stay healthy. Often you hear though how healthy eating can be more expensive and time consuming. Therefore, when I came across the remarkable re-growing nature of certain herbs and vegetables by simply placing them in water, it was definitely something I wanted to bring to your attention as an excellent way to help reduce the money spent on them.
With this method, once you've eaten the parts of the herbs/veggies that you want and placed the appropriate remains in a bowl of water, you're essentially going to get a replacement crop with no effort and free of charge. I was also surprised at the number of plants that this applies to, so keep reading to find out m0re.
The idea of having a vegetable patch has always appealed to me, but the inevitable maintenance of one is what's kept putting me off. So, when I heard about the ability to regrow vegetables and herbs by simply placing them in a bowl of water, I figured this would be the ideal alternative for me. For those of you with kids, this technique can also be used as a great learning exercise for them or even be assigned as one of their household chores aimed at helping to maintain the family budget (thus teaching them the value of saving money at the same time).
If you're somebody who regularly buys organic products, with this method you'll get twice the bang for your buck on those often over-priced foodstuffs that you find in the supermarket.
- Check the water every 3-4 days to see (a) if there is enough water and b) that no leaves have fallen into the water to turn it.
- The size of the vegetable should be relative to the size of its bowl. Lettuce and celery should be in shallow bowls. Whilst lemongrass and green onions should be in taller skinnier containers.
- Containers can be anything – glass jars, highball glasses, glass tankards, small vases, storage bowls and shot glasses. Anything can be used as long as it’s appropriate for the plant.
- Regrow as many plants as you wish, just ensure you don’t over-crowd them. E.g. 1-2 green onions will fit in a shot glass whilst 3-4 lemongrass will fit in a small vase.
Chop off the bottom of the stalk and position into a small bowl of water. You will begin to see new growth emerging from the centre in roughly 24-48 hours, with significant growth realised in less than a week.
Cabbage is relatively easy, simply place the root into a shallow bowl of water and watch it begin re-germinating from the centre.
Regrowing a carrot requires soil, but within water you can grow the greens that come on top of the carrot. Simply place the bottom of where you separated the carrot and the green into shallow water and wait for growth. As they grow, chop parts off to add to salads or even better, add them to your homemade pesto.
To regrow celery you need to chop off the bottom two inches of the stalk and then place it into a small bowl of water. You can expect to see new growth from the centre within 3-4 days. A full celery stalk will take some time to develop, but harvesting the centre for flavouring dishes can be a much better use of your crop.
Fennel only requires you chop off the bottom one inch of the base so that the roots are still intact. Once this is complete, stick it in a small bowl of water and let the magic happen.
Garlic chives do not originate from garlic cloves. These chives are the green shoots that grow from the top of a clove and are typically used in dishes such as potato salads, baked potatoes or salads. Position the clove of a garlic chive into a small cup of water and ensure that you don’t submerge it entirely. You will then witness growth within a few days, with roots beginning to sprout within a week or so.
The white part of the onion is important here, keep aside any white parts and their roots for a chance of regrowth. Then simply place the base into a taller glass of water and at the rate in which these things grow, you will have a never-ending supply of fresh green onions.
Remove the bottom 2 or 3 inches, which is usually the white, part and put into a cup of water. As with the cabbage, you will see growth come from the centre of the plant and growing this at the same time as the green onions will allow you to use one whilst the other grows and vice versa for salads and flavouring.
The same as with the leeks, simply cut off the bottom 2-3 inches, but with lemongrass you need to place in a taller container and fill it up about half way. Similar to Cabbage, the new growth will sprout from the centre of the plant.
Remove the base of the lettuce (the most solid part) and put into a small bowl of water. Within 3 days you will begin to notice shoots sprouting from the centre of the lettuce and within 2 weeks you should have almost a whole new half head of edible lettuce. This method of regrowing works well with green leaf and red leaf lettuce in particular.
Got the Vegetable Patch Bug?
If after all of this growing you develop a desire to have a vegetable patch, then like with the vegetables above, you can begin your plant-growing journeys from the scraps of supermarket purchases and transport them from the water into soil. The other types of food produce that you can start in water and subsequently move to soil are:
- Lemon balm
- Onions (red / yellow / white)
- Sweet potatoes
Finally, as you become more advanced in your farming efforts you may want to begin growing produce from the very beginning. Taking things to the next level could be germinating seeds / pits from the likes of apples, cherries, lemons, nectarines, peaches, peppers, plums, pumpkins and tomatoes.
Or if you're already an expert in these matters, feel free to leave comments below with tips and advice to help other Buckscoopers get started.