I had been meaning to write this post for a very long time but was waiting for my vegetables to grow a bit more. In this post, I will talk about how I grew 10 vegetables from kitchen scraps. I am no expert gardener, just someone who likes to grow stuff in the kitchen garden and produce enough vegetables to be added in a meal. I use plant cuttings and seeds (anything that could be used from kitchen scraps) and propagate them both in soil and water. Not all my methods work and I will mention which ones didn’t work.
I didn’t add any fertilizer (except for Spinach) but used an all-purpose garden soil from Bunnings.
How to Grow Vegetables from Scraps
Tomatoes love summer. They like warm weather and moist soil. But as it happens, I end up sowing the seeds in winter and then spend the whole season trying to protect them from frost. Thankfully, 5 of my tomato plants survived winter and as soon as we stepped into Spring, they started flowering and bearing fruit. These seeds are from store-bought tomatoes that we use for cooking.
Last year, due to the extremely hot summer (45 degrees Celsius) and water restrictions in Sydney, all my Tomato plants withered. Hopefully, this year would be different.
Check out my produce from previous years. At one point I had to give away a lot of tomatoes to my friends.
This was my first time growing Capsicum from seeds. I used the seeds found inside store-bought Capsicums and placed a dozen of them in small pots about 2-3 inches apart. Once the seedlings were about 6-7 inches tall, I planted them in my garden bed.
I started growing them at the beginning of winter so their growth was extremely slow. Ideally, they grow well in the spring and summer months. Plant them in a partly sunny area and water them regularly.
I was able to eat only one of them because my adventurous toddler plucked the rest out. I am hoping to grow some more in the coming months.
I had a very healthy and good supply of Spinach in the winter months this year. All of which were grown from the roots of previous bunches that I bought from supermarket. I didn’t have success in propagating them in water. But they propagated excellently in soil.
I bought spinach which had the root intact. After chopping off the leaves, leaving about 4-5 inches of the crown, I directly placed them in the soil. Thankfully, my in-laws are here so I didn’t have to worry much about watering them as they took care of it.
We made a lot of Dal-palak, khichdi with palak, pala-paratha and added them in salads.
I tried really hard to grow them in water. They did grow roots in 2 weeks, but as soon as I planted them in soil, they died. Not sure what I was doing wrong.
But propagating the mint cuttings directly in soil worked wonders. I had planted a bunch of cuttings in different sections of my garden, hoping at least one would grow roots. Well, all of them are growing so well that now I will have to find ways to stop them from taking over the patch. In case you didn’t know, Mint can grow aggressively… like weeds.
Methi or Fenugreek
These were grown by my mother-in-law. She spent a morning in March (almost the end of summer in Australia) tilling, weeding, and mixing all-purpose soil in the patch. After which she spread a bunch of seeds in the vegetable patch. In about 2 weeks we saw seedlings appear. With regular water and morning sun, they grew splendidly in my garden. That was the first time I had seen methi grow in a kitchen garden.
Since then we have finished a whole packet of Methi seeds in growing these microgreens. Currently, the fifth batch of Methi leaves is currently growing in my garden. We add them to normal green vegetable sabji or make methi parathas.
Below, you can see the lifecycle of Methi.
I have a very slow-growing pumpkin in my garden right now, mostly because it started growing in winter. This was grown from seeds of a store-bought pumpkin. Now that Spring is here in Sydney, I am hoping the heat would accelerate the growth. I grew it in a spot that received morning sun. It takes about 100 days for the pumpkin to mature.
I had never seen Kidney Beans grow on plants until my Mom showed me. She spread the Kidney Beans directly in the soil (a spot that receives morning sun), watered them every day, and in 2 months or so, I had these lovely green beans growing in my garden.
I had success growing them directly in the soil instead of transplanting them.
We plucked them when they were soft and green, and added them to mix vegetable stir fry. I didn’t wait to harvest the beans as I preferred them like this.
This was something I learned from Pinterest. I had some success in growing them in water. In fact, they grew faster and healthier in water, but as soon as I transplanted them in soil, they died. So we tried directly planting the cuttings in soil.
It took a while, but finally, we could see lovely new leaves growing from the cutting. I have about three of them growing well right now. I will update once they are big enough to be consumed. Fingers crossed.
I had asked a lot of people and even quizzed on Instagram if turmeric could be grown from store-bought rhizomes/roots. We bought a packet of raw turmeric root to make Kadha, so I decided to give it a try.
Turmeric needs good sunlight, hot weather, and moist soil. It took over a month for the rhizome to germinate, but once the tiny little growth appeared, it grew very well, that is until the winter months. After which its growth stalled. Turmeric takes about 10 months to mature. The tiny rhizome has now turned into 4 rhizomes which I am planning to grow again. I am hoping the rise in temperature since September would accelerate its growth.
Growing them directly in soil or large pots are preferable as they need good space to produce turmeric roots.
These are probably the easiest plant to grow on the planet. They need very little maintenance. You just have to dig them in the soil and wait for the leaves to sprout. I love adding these garlic leaves to stir fry noodles.
Apart from these, I have also grown Avocado and Pineapple plants. I will write about it in future posts. Let me know if you too grow vegetables from kitchen scraps. Please do share your go-to formula for healthy plants.
Let me know if you have questions, I will try to answer them in the comments.
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9 thoughts on “How I grew 10 vegetables from kitchen scraps”
We’ve been trying to get a kitchen garden going and this is just the inspiration needed. So far, we’ve been successful with basil and turmeric. Now trying to grow curry leaves. I really need to get mint and coriander growing.
This is just delightful! You have a fabulous green thumb i must say 🙂 WHAT is your SECRET? I definitely need a detailed article from you on this!
I love how you have grown different vegetables so successfully.
I really struggle with propagation. I do find growing from seeds easier.
We have a little herb garden and have tried to grow green chilies, brinjal, tomatoes – with not much success.
We did have success with a lemon tree and 2 papaya trees – but they eventually died 🙁 i have not been able to grow them again.
Wow this is brilliant Raji- you have had such successes from propagating stuff literally from the kitchen counter. I grow palak, methi, arugla, malabar spinach and some other herby leafy stuff as its easier to maintain. Plus I am a winter time gardener as summers its just too hot and I am petrified of all the creepy crawlies hanging on my balconies then 😉
I have been growing some veggies at home too, it is so satisfying to watch them grow
This is wonderful Raj! I have grown so many veggies over the years. It gives so much joy . You can try growing onion and potato just like garlic. They are pretty easy to gtow, so is coriander, lemongrass and basil.
I had absolutely no success in coriander and lemongrass. I tried so many times. They grow a little and then die. Maybe the weather or soil… Or Something about me they don’tlike 😊thank you
This is absolutely delightful to see, Raj. What incredible joy there is in growing your own produce. I wish I had the space and the patience for this to happen. Currently, we are trying to grow some simple microgreens in our balcony since there is only enough space for that. We finished harvesting one lot a bit early because the roots were beginning to dry out. Trying to read up on good organic fertiliser or compost that will help with enduring growth of the plants.
Your post reminds me of the time when mum would grow veggies in our backyard, decades ago. We had tomatoes, ladyfingers, papaya, mustard seeds, lemons, wow, just remembering those days makes my heart swell with pride. Growing your own veggies is something to be proud of, isn’t it?
I am saving this post in my private folder to remind me of what I stand to gain if I grow a veggie garden. Thanks for the inspiration, Raj!
Same here. My mom would grow practically any plant she could lay her hands on. She did the same when she came here to visit. It is the same with my mil. Their passion for gardening keeps me inspired. I am glad you liked the post. Happy gardening.