Growing Indoor Plants From Kitchen Scraps: Part 1

Let’s face it…

There is not much to do in the garden in January – even in my Arizona garden where this morning it was a chilly 21 degrees.

So during the winter, I like to do some indoor gardening projects.  I am very excited about my latest project – growing plants from vegetable scraps.  I wrote about my inspiration and what I will planting last week “An Unorthodox Winter Gardening Project”.

One of the things that I like about this project is that I already had everything I needed:

- pots

- planting mix (or potting soil)

- vegetable scraps

Before planting anything, I filled my pots with planting mix and then watered the soil in each pot until it was thoroughly moistened.  This will make the seeds easier to germinate.

First, I decided to plant seeds from an uncooked green bean.

I carefully split the bean along the seam.  Don’t use a knife and cut it in half because you will split the seeds.

Next, plant each seed 1-inch apart and a 1/2-inch deep in a container filled with moist planting mix.

Then add soil over the top and tamp down lightly.  I will use a spray bottle filled with water to keep the soil moist.

So, you might wonder if I am growing these green beans hoping to get some new beans to develop.  The answer is no.  What I am looking forward to seeing is the pretty leaves and flowers form on my plant.

Now for the next container…

If you are anything like me, you enjoy a hot bowl of delicious soup on a cold winter’s day.  Lentils are great in soup and also make an attractive plant.  So, I pulled out some uncooked lentils for this next pot.

I scattered them over the surface of the soil and covered them with 1/4-inch of soil.  Like the beans, I watered them using a spray bottle filled with water so that I wouldn’t disturb the soil.

For the next pot, I had to head out into the cold and grab a radish from my vegetable garden…

I cut off the top and then planted the entire radish into the soil, leaving to top exposed.

I know that it looks a little funny right now.  But radishes are supposed to grow a bunch of leaves quickly and if I’m lucky, it will even flower.

All I have to do now is to keep the soil moist and place them in a sunny windowsill.

You might be wondering where my inspiration for this project comes from.  Well, I grew carrot tops last year.  They were attractive and even produced attractive flowers.  It was easy to do and my kids loved it.  I liked that I had a pretty green plant growing in the middle of winter.  So, I found the book “Don’t Throw It, Grow It” 68 Windowsill Plants From Kitchen Scraps” by Deborah Peterson & Millicent Selsam.  The book is filled with tons of ideas of plants you can grow indoors from kitchen scraps.

I’ve got three pots planted and have two left to go.  Come back and visit on Friday, when I will show you the last two plants that I planted.

**I will keep you updated on how my indoor gardening project is doing.  Better yet, why don’t you join me?

  1. P. Daugherty says

    I love these ideas…I have been just putting any clippings that fall or break off from my plants that I brought in for the winter (Kansas City)in water. They happily grow and blossom even when the big plants had not yet!! Also have one growing really big from the avocado seed I got from making guacamole. Now I will try some of these! It surely doe help this gloomy cold days pass quicker.

  2. Stephanie KL says

    Your idea is great to help with the doldrums of winter. This summer I placed a cabbage stem in water. When rooted, I planted it in my garden and was rewarded with 3 brand new cabbages for my eating pleasure.

  3. S. Kirkham says

    As a child my grandmother always helped me start a sweet potato vine, but you have given me other ideas for my grandson. I particularly like the carrot top and radish. Thanks so much

  4. Veronica Ferch says

    I grew carrots tops into a lovely green plant when I was living on a small island, Sao Tome, Africa. Until one day when next door chickens came and ate it. Chickens are allowed to roam around.

  5. barbara eylers says

    love this idea, gives us something to do and then we see the results., great for kids. i will ask our nursery school teacher if we can plan this with the kids. they can see the plant grow and bloom. thanks

  6. gunner says

    I’ve always enjoyed raising “plants from scraps” . I once found an old dried potato with “eyes” in the bin while cleaning out the fridge; instead of throwing it out I planted it; Beautiful plant. I’ve tried orange seeds, and avocados with success ( they won’t bear fruit); and now I have a pineapple plant growing. It’s easy–just cut off the top 3-4″ ; let it dry a few days then plant. This one must be watered from the bottom so make sure your pot has holes in the bottom of it, and put that in a dish with sides. Good luck! This is a fun project, and even if nothing happens, you really haven’t lost anything; just remove the seed and start again with something else.

  7. betsy says

    the pineapple will produce a pineapple after 4 years of growing we have our first one growing now then the plant will die.

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