Scrap Gardening: Turning Food Scraps Into New Plants

Taylor A Ritz

Many gardeners have windowsills full of experiments. You might have a cutting to propagate a favorite plant or a piece of fruit or vegetable you hope will take root. In this article, we will discuss the various food scraps you can use to grow new plants. 


We’ve spoken in other articles about how to root an avocado pit. You can easily use the Avoseedo and a bowl of water to grow roots. Once your pit grows nice long roots, it can be put into a 10-inch pot with potting soil. It will take several years from the time you germinate your avocado seed to get a large enough tree that will produce more avocados, but in the meantime, you have a lovely potted plant.

Green Onions

Green onions are another plant that regrows well. Once you’ve used up the green onion, don’t throw it away! You can use what you have left to grow more, saving you money and extending the life of the plant. Save a few of the stalks, trim them, and set them directly into a quality potting soil. Keep the soil slightly moist. Place them in a sunny windowsill and enjoy the regrowth.

Celery and Lettuce

Celery, bok choy, and many kinds of lettuce can be regrown too. If you purchase these types of produce from the store, they often have a hard base to them. Once you cut off the edible leafy parts, don’t throw away the stump. Place this stump in a bowl of water, set it on a sunny windowsill, and watch the leaves grow back. You can continue this until the leaves start to grow again, then plant them in a pot of soil.


If your ginger is starting to sprout, plant it shallowly in the dirt. Make sure to keep the soil moist, as ginger likes consistent watering. You can dog up and harvest your ginger at any time, but for best results dig up the ginger in the fall/winter, once the greenery dies back.


Once you eat the edible fruit portion of the pineapple, keep the top to grow another. Twist off the leafy top and remove a few of the lower leaves to expose a few inches of stem. This will expose the root bud. Set the pineapple crown aside for several days to let the cut end dry out before you plant it. Place the pineapple in a cup of water in bright, direct sunlight for roots to grow. Change out the water every couple of days to keep it fresh. Once the pineapple crown begins to grow roots, you can plant it in soil.


Potatoes are incredibly easy to grow. If you have a few potatoes that sprouted before you could eat them or even a few pieces of scrap potato, you can plant them in your garden. These potatoes will likely sprout a brand new plant. There are multiple ways to grow potatoes, depending on where you live and what kind of soil you have.

Food Scrap Gardening

With a little ingenuity and some planning, you can create your own edible garden for free. There’s nothing more satisfying than producing your own food. What scraps will you use to grow plants in your garden?