Save money and grow vegetables from kitchen scraps? You totally can with these hacks below! My thumb is a bit more light yellow than bright green, but even I manage to every year regrow some of our kitchen scraps into delicious vegetables and herbs. Check out all the ideas of vegetables you can grow in your garden below from the leftovers in your kitchen!

9 Vegetables You Can Grow From Kitchen Scraps

Grow vegetables straight from your kitchen scraps!  Use containers, pots or grow your veggie scraps straight in the ground! See our garden tips and ideas!

Green Onion

Green onions are one of the simplest plants to regrow, and where I got my start growing kitchen scraps. Chop (or snip with kitchen shears) the green part of the onion for your recipe. Take care to leave the entire white root part in one piece. Place onion roots down in a shallow cup of water. In about a week you should start to see roots and green grow. You can use some of the green part while the roots continue to grow, usually in about a week to two weeks. Make sure to plant the onions before three weeks or so has gone by or they may mold.


Finished with the leafy green part of the lettuce? Don’t toss that core that was holding the head together! Instead of pulling the leaves off the bottom, cut a nice clean cut about an inch below the bottom. Submerge the base in shallow water. Spritz your lettuce plant daily and in about a week you should start to see roots and leaves growing. Once the roots start to get longer, you can plant the lettuce with the roots above ground in your garden or in a pot. Romaine takes about seven to ten weeks before you can begin harvesting and eating your lettuce, other kinds may vary.


Leeks are the slightly heartier cousin of the green onion, and the scraps can be sprouted similarly. Place the bottom of the leek in a small amount of warm water. Once it sprouts, you can then transfer to a large pot of soil, making sure to leave the pot about three-quarters full. Leeks grow fast, but do require “blanching.” As they grow, add more soil to the pot around the stalk up to the first leaf. This “blanches” them keeping sunlight away and making the leeks more tender when you harvest. Leeks can be harvested anywhere between nine to seventeen weeks.


Ever had garlic simply start to sprout on you? Don’t throw it away, grow it instead! The green parts of the plant produces a mild tasting garlic green that you can cook with the same way you cook with green onions. Sprouting whole garlic cloves is a much longer process, and they have to be through a season of cold weather before they sprout. I always stick to eating the greens as the bulbs can take about nine months before you get bulbs.


Basil requires you to get a little thriftier, as you’ll need to save a whole sprig of basil to regrow. Grab a portion of your basil from the grocery that has at least three leaves and place in shallow water. Basil is a little tougher to grow, you’ll need to prop the leaves up a little, or even gently wrap the bottom where the roots grow in wet paper towel. Once the roots are at least an inch long you can gently plant the seedlings in dirt. You’ll be able to harvest from your basil plant all summer and fall. If you keep it in a pot you should be able to harvest from your plant even longer.


This hack works best if you have some potatoes from the bottom of your pantry that is getting old like the one in the picture here. Slice up your potato so that each piece has at least one “eye” (or root piece if your potatoes are old like mine.) Fill a plastic tub with dirt and plant the potato pieces. In about ten weeks you’ll be able to dig up some tender new ‘taters for dinner.

Sweet Potatoes

Similar to potatoes, you can also regrow sweet potatoes that have gotten too old to eat. I like to cut the sweet potato in half and use toothpicks to suspend it in warm water, but the picture I found above they simply used the whole sweet potato! Keep your sweet potato in a warm spot. In a few days you will have sprouts all over. Once the sprouts are a few inches long you can twist them off the potato and plant them in the soil. Water well especially in the summer months, and in three to four months you can dig up fresh sweet potatoes.


The process for celery is similar! Leave about one to two inches of the base intact and place in a shallow cup of water. Once the roots start to grow, you can plant the new starter in the dirt or a pot. This one takes about three to four months to grow. Celery also prefers cooler weather, which means if you start now by fall you’ll have free thriving celery.


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Three "generations" of avocado!!!

A post shared by Cecilie Marø Høiback (@ceciliemarohoiback) on

This is a well-known trick but you can regrow an avocado plant from your giant avocado pit. Start by placing toothpicks into your pit to suspend it in a cup of water. When the roots grow a few inches you can then plant it and watch the plant grow. These trees are super easy to sprout but take about three to four years to mature, and must eventually have a warm climate outside for the tree to survive.

Would you try growing vegetables from kitchen scraps? Have you tried anything not on this list? Tell me about it in the comments!