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! Regrowing store produce after using most of it

 
pollinator
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I ran across a video a few weeks ago made by a woman in India where she was growing new onion plants from the cutoffs from the bottom of the onions she used.  She was doing this for a handy seed supply, the cutoff would quickly grow a stalk and flower and produce seed. I had never seen or heard of such a thing before so I immediately tried it, seems to work great so far...

This is the cutoffs after being in soil for about 4 days or so.



This one that has been growing for about 10 or 12 days...



We will see if it will flower and go to seed, but at any rate I just like the idea of it growing greens, I love onion greens.  If I could keep growing all of my cutoffs into harvestable greens I would be a very happy camper.

I also have a few other things going here, I am trying the regrowing of pencil onions as well, got this from another youtube video here a while back. This is some after about 3 days.



Then some after about 10 days....



As you can see I am also growing the tops of used carrots.  I buy 25 pound bags of carrots and store them in a small fridge kept at about 40 degrees or so.  Many of them tend to sprout a bit by the time I use them, so I cut the top off at about 1 1/2 inches and plant them to grow greens.  I use the greens in salads, stir fry and soups, the greens are similar to parsley.

In the foreground you can see the leek regrowing, this is another first for me.  This after about 4 days of being cutoff and planted.



I am trying this to see if I can these leeks to go to seed "this year" rather than have to wait for mine to grow for two seasons to get seed, I am not sure that will work without a cold dormant season but worth an experiment to see.  I will keep buying some of these each time I buy groceries and keep replanting them as the the idea of just regrowing them over again seems quite cool to me and will give me a supply until I can start harvesting mine.

In the past I have attempted to re root celery and cabbage, both did root and grow for a while but I was unable to get them to actually continue growing to any usable product.

The soil that you see here is largely old coffee grounds mixed with a bit of old planter soil I got got from clearing old planters here in the house.  With all of this Covid-19 I have been thinking of what people stuck in an apartment or city house might be able to do without a yard or growing area that might still be somewhat useful to them.  Regrowing store bought produce in old coffee grounds might be a start in that direction.  Maybe with some other experimenters we could broaden this idea out to be potentially useful to some.

I am thinking about buying some mushrooms and seeing if I can get a good spore print that I might be able to grow some mushrooms from in an indoor setting.  Anyone else have any other ideas to add?
 
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maybe the tops of carrots? I know they're a biennial seed producer so in the normal course of trying to produce seed you would have to bring in the carrot overwinter then plant it again. I don't know if planting the tops would regrow actual usable carrots, but for seed production it might work. whether or not the seeds would be any good is another question, since i think the carrots are hybrids and i don't know how they are pollinated

I just reread and realized you said you planted the carrots. do the roots grow at all, or is it just the greens? For that matter, does the onion bulb show any regrowth or is it just the greens?
 
Roy Long
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Morgwino Stur wrote:maybe the tops of carrots? I know they're a biennial seed producer so in the normal course of trying to produce seed you would have to bring in the carrot overwinter then plant it again. I don't know if planting the tops would regrow actual usable carrots, but for seed production it might work. whether or not the seeds would be any good is another question, since i think the carrots are hybrids and i don't know how they are pollinated

I just reread and realized you said you planted the carrots. do the roots grow at all, or is it just the greens? For that matter, does the onion bulb show any regrowth or is it just the greens?



Sometimes they grow roots, not always.  Might have to cut them longer to get more with roots maybe.  I have never actually grown any all the way to seed before, as I use for greens to harvest.  I commonly do plant full carrots outside after the freezing stops to get more greens and they all seem to grow roots and get nice big one to two foot tall plants going.
 
Morgwino Stur
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just watched a guy on youtube use the root end of bulb onion. he soaked them for a day or two, until new roots started to form, then planted into wet soil. he did get good growth but didn't show them growing all the way to a bulb. I trim the end off anyway, so I'm going to try it next time, same with celery and the like. my stash of veggies for stock might shrink for a while if it works
 
pollinator
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I currently did all the aforementioned in addition to celery. my bulb onion experiment didn't work out 😢 i'll be trying again shortly in shot glasses. i found that as the onion sits on water for new roots to grow the onion bulb shrivels and sinks. oh and i have sweet potato slips going. if a regular potato makes is to sprouts, im going to plant it and see what happens 🤞
 
Roy Long
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Morgwino Stur wrote:just watched a guy on youtube use the root end of bulb onion. he soaked them for a day or two, until new roots started to form, then planted into wet soil. he did get good growth but didn't show them growing all the way to a bulb. I trim the end off anyway, so I'm going to try it next time, same with celery and the like. my stash of veggies for stock might shrink for a while if it works



When you cut the bottom off an onion it will "not" regrow a bulb, it will only grow the green stalk and flower going to seed.  Onions produce a bulb in the first year and in the second year they produce a stalk and go to seed.  These onions are wired for the "second" year growing a stalk, flowering and producing seed.

This is no real issue for me as I utilize the greens as much as I do the bulbs and I like to collect my own seed to plant.  I don't know how many times one might be able to collect the greens from these, but even a few times could make this well worthwhile as a food source.  It is ultimately handy as a potential seed source.
 
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I have done experiments with store produce over the years.  

While I feel it is a fun project to do with kids, it just wasn't worth all the effort to check them daily, etc.

Like other have said they won't grow another vegetable.  They just grow the green stuff.  Good for salads and cooking, maybe.

I like the idea of growing them for the seeds.  Though these are store produce so I am not sure what kind of fruit I would get.
 
Vanessa Alarcon
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Roy Long wrote:

Morgwino Stur wrote:just watched a guy on youtube use the root end of bulb onion. he soaked them for a day or two, until new roots started to form, then planted into wet soil. he did get good growth but didn't show them growing all the way to a bulb. I trim the end off anyway, so I'm going to try it next time, same with celery and the like. my stash of veggies for stock might shrink for a while if it works



When you cut the bottom off an onion it will "not" regrow a bulb, it will only grow the green stalk and flower going to seed.  Onions produce a bulb in the first year and in the second year they produce a stalk and go to seed.  These onions are wired for the "second" year growing a stalk, flowering and producing seed.

This is no real issue for me as I utilize the greens as much as I do the bulbs and I like to collect my own seed to plant.  I don't know how many times one might be able to collect the greens from these, but even a few times could make this well worthwhile as a food source.  It is ultimately handy as a potential seed source.



That's what I used to think Roy, and what you say makes sense;but the guy on the video (The Ripe Tomato Farms if its the same video) said they would, so i figured, worth a shot. wassn't going to do anything with the ends anyway🤷‍♀️😁
 
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My compost tumbler has yielded 6 volunteer sprouting onions so far.  I LOVE the greens, so if that is all I get, it's a home run.
 
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If you plant Leeks on your stream beds and leave them alone for a couple of years, you'll have a lifetime supply of mild onion flavor growing fresh all growing season!
 
Roy Long
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Bill Haynes wrote:If you plant Leeks on your stream beds and leave them alone for a couple of years, you'll have a lifetime supply of mild onion flavor growing fresh all growing season!



I may have to try that, I have a stream that forms from the overflow of my upper hay field pond that flows down into a small lower hay field pond and then on to my big bass pond.  Overall it is around maybe 350 feet in length and has a wet area maybe 10 feet to each side of the stream itself.  

I could bring in 10 or 12 yards of forest soil and lay it in either side of the stream maybe 8 inches thick and come out 5 to 10 feet each side of the stream maybe.  This entire area is a swale and collects runoff from the hay fields as well as channeling the upper pond discharge into the two lower ponds.  Plenty of moisture in this area until mid May/mid June.  I could even easily run the 2 inch irrigation pipe and siphon water out into this area after things dry out allowing me to easily irrigate.

That would be a great place to get these going provided they will grow in that environment.
 
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Great input from everyone! I've been growing scallions and celery from the root ends this winter. The celery makes pencil sized stalks with a lot of leaf but this is great for soups since it provides a strong celery flavor.

I'll have to try the leek sprouting next time since I like them so much and they are very expensive. Onions sound good too since we go through a lot of them and the greens are just fine for a lot of recipes.
 
gardener
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I had someone tell me they did this with celery, but I have never tried it.
 
Robin Katz
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I've found that the key to regrowing celery is to take the outer stalks and leave the small inner ones intact, then planting that. When I cut off all the stalks and just planted the end in soil it rotted. The tiny inner stalks (3-4 inches max) wilt initially then start taking on a green color, then it starts to grow. As I said earlier, you won't get the big juicy stalks this way, but the thin stalks with lots of leaf has great flavor and is especially good in soups.

Here is a picture of five celery plants in a 8 inch pot. The three in front I added in the last week and you can see how they go from pale and wilted to green. The two in back are older and you can see how lush and leafy the growth is. When they get that size I snip the individual stalks with scissors at the bottom and let the plant keep growing. They don't seem to need a lot of room grown this way but I'm still experimenting with this process. I will likely transplant them this summer into the garden and they will probably go to seed, which is fine too.

Quick clarification: The inner stalks are still attached to the bottom of the celery bunch. They are not detached and planted.
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Five repurposed celery plants from the grocery store
Five repurposed celery plants from the grocery store
 
pollinator
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I grow onions from root ends just fine. They do make bulbs if you grow the right variety for your daylength. Onions from georgia probably wont work in Minnesota just for example. Here's one that made two bulbs from a cutting grown over the last half of winter, sweet yellow type.
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Susan Mené
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Robin Katz wrote:I've found that the key to regrowing celery is to take the outer stalks and leave the small inner ones intact, then planting that. When I cut off all the stalks and just planted the end in soil it rotted. The tiny inner stalks (3-4 inches max) wilt initially then start taking on a green color, then it starts to grow. As I said earlier, you won't get the big juicy stalks this way, but the thin stalks with lots of leaf has great flavor and is especially good in soups.

Here is a picture of five celery plants in a 8 inch pot. The three in front I added in the last week and you can see how they go from pale and wilted to green. The two in back are older and you can see how lush and leafy the growth is. When they get that size I snip the individual stalks with scissors at the bottom and let the plant keep growing. They don't seem to need a lot of room grown this way but I'm still experimenting with this process. I will likely transplant them this summer into the garden and they will probably go to seed, which is fine too.



Thank you for this tip; I'd given up trying to regrow celery. I've never seen or heard of planting the tiny inner stalks before and I am excited to try it.
 
gardener
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I have a celery plant that I grew from the leftovers from Christmas dinner. I cut off the outside stalks, and just left the inner stalks with leaves attached to the base. I then put it in a shallow cup of water until the base put out some roots, then transplanted it to the garden. After planting it, the larger stalks turned yellow and I cut them off, but the center continued to grow and its now larger than when I started. Since I typically just use it for flavoring, I'm okay with it producing more leaves & smaller stalks.
The onion bottoms I have gotten to grow, but I don't think they've ever made new bulbs. I typically just plant them around trees or perennials as a companion plant.

I've never tried carrots. The only other thing that didn't involve seeds was a pineapple top, which was pretty easy. Just twist the top off the fruit & let it dry a day or two before setting it on the soil. Since it gets too cold for ground growing them, here, I typically put them in a small, but wide container; then up-pot them every year as they outgrow the container. After a few years they'll produce fruit, but it's typically smaller than the grocery store pineapples (probably due to being container grown). Since pineapples are a type of bromeliad, the parent plant will die after fruiting. Not sure if it will send up "pups" like other bromeliads, as I have just replanted the top from the produced fruit and discarded the parent plant when it started to fade out.
 
Roy Long
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Ohhh awesome....

In the first photos I was starting things in the house from the grocery store after having eaten most of the plant.  I put everything outside about 10 days ago or so.  There has been some over night freezing in that time which seems to have been a little trouble for the onions, they don't look as healthy as they did, but seems to have had no effect on the leeks at all.

I quite like leeks but they are kind of spendy here so I don't often buy them, so I thought I would give growing them a try this year.  Then I read about the resprouting them and regrowing them after eating most of the plant and I was intrigued.  Part of why I was intrigued is with this Covid-19 situation I have noticed it is harder to get seed and who knows where we may be at next year come time to plant.  I thought I would collect mt own seed but alas leek being in the onion family only seeds in the second year of growth so there would be no seed this year.  The lights went on after seeing that you could resprout them...  I wondered whether I could get seed this year if I resprouted leeks from the store grown last year.....

It is looking like a "very" good possibility....

I also have a Beet in the house beginning to flower, I have been collecting greens from it for a few months since I planted it in the house and started leaving it alone a few weeks back and it has done well since beginning to go to seed now.

I have about 75 carrot tops in the garden growing, I am hoping to get some carrot seed from those as well this year.

As I stated before the cutoff onion bottoms are not looking so good and none have tried to go to seed yet, but they are still growing so we will yet see how they fare in this experiment.

I am excited about the potential of getting celery seed as I have yet to ever find celery seed here locally for sale.


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master gardener
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The scallions from the grocery store are great hardy perennials.  In the winter when I can't cut them fresh from my forest garden I buy the bundles from the store and pot up the bases of them in my sunroom.  In the spring I plant them out and after a few years they form nice big clumps.  Not sure to what zone they are hardy, but they have no problems here in zone 5 Maine.
 
Greg Martin
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I felt bad not posting pictures after everyone else's great ones, so here are the store scallions several months after their greens were all cut and used and the bottoms were potted up as well as a clump this spring that was planted out last spring (which I've already harvested from once this spring).
store-scallions-overdue-to-plant-out.jpg
Store scallions potted up this winter after cutting the greens....they got better
Store scallions potted up this winter after cutting the greens
store-scallions-planted-last-year-are-clumping-up-nice-(ramps-and-chestnut-behind-them).jpg
Here's a clump of them planted out last spring (ramps and chestnut behind them, rhubarb coming along to the left
Here's a clump of them planted out last spring (ramps and chestnut behind them, rhubarb coming along to the left
 
Roy Long
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Did your scallions go to seed after regrowing them?

I am not seeing any sign that mine are going to though as I stated before it is early yet.
 
Greg Martin
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Roy Long wrote:Did your scallions go to seed after regrowing them?

I am not seeing any sign that mine are going to though as I stated before it is early yet.



This year one set of them went to flower while the other one did not.  They were purchased from different stores at different times this winter and I'm assuming they were different selections.  When I set some of them out this spring and it got very cold again the nonflowering one got set back while the flowering one in the same bed did not.  I'll be interested to see how they both do over the coming year.  I'll pay closer attention this year as I know some of them have made top sets with tiny bulbs, but I'm not certain if any have made seeds.  I'm fairly sure some of the commercial varieties are triploid.
 
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I potted the stem of a supermarket-purchased choy sum a few weeks ago. It had a few leaves about the size of a thumb. Now it looks like this:
image.jpg
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Susan Mené
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"I dug up and ate the seed potatoes.  For dessert, I ate the mini lettuce head regrown from a store head!"
20200430_090600.jpeg
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Susan Mené
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Of all the critters to eat my garden, I never would have suspected my sweet dog!
 
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Oh my gosh, Susan, that's hysterical terrible! We had a pug once. He was a total clown!
 
Susan Mené
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Carol Denton wrote:Oh my gosh, Susan, that's hysterical terrible! We had a pug once. He was a total clown!



Once I got over my annoyance, it was definitely hysterical!  She's got a heart of gold and a bottomless pit for a stomach.


 
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Not certain why it took me so long to find this thread, but my daughter has recently taken to this.  She has a rabbit and she is particular about what she feeds him.  She even has a small raised bed where she grows some of the food he needs.  Good for her!

But her garden is really only useful during late spring and early summer, the rest of the time she needs to buy in produce.  Recently she has started saving the base portion of kale and Romain Lettuce.  She places them in a small container of water and even adds in a few rabbit pellets in the water and sure enough, the plants grow.  She is almost at the point where she can feed the rabbit from regrown produce.

Great thread!

Eric
 
Vanessa Alarcon
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Eric Hanson wrote:Not certain why it took me so long to find this thread, but my daughter has recently taken to this.  She has a rabbit and she is particular about what she feeds him.  She even has a small raised bed where she grows some of the food he needs.  Good for her!

But her garden is really only useful during late spring and early summer, the rest of the time she needs to buy in produce.  Recently she has started saving the base portion of kale and Romain Lettuce.  She places them in a small container of water and even adds in a few rabbit pellets in the water and sure enough, the plants grow.  She is almost at the point where she can feed the rabbit from regrown produce.

Great thread!

Eric



I have the same situation at home. 2 fatty buns that love to act like they are starving all the time. May I recommend she grow collard greens and sweet potatoes for the greens in the summer? They do well in the heat and my buns love it plus they don't sequester calcium like kale. You can even start sweet potato slips from store bought sweet potatoes.
 
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Did this earlier this year with lettuce. Cut off all the way down to the end leaving a few inches. left it in a small cup of water. After it had grew about 2 inches i planted it in a planter.
It grew very tall(3ft!) and bolted quickly but starting to enjoy some lettuce from the seeds it gave me. Wish I would have taken a picture of the first plant. I’d get a leaf about every 3inches up the stalk. Looked really weird. Growing from the seeds it’s producing what looks to be quite normal.
87C77AB9-C08B-415B-8986-DDB9097B3C93.jpeg
After a week
After a week
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Planted it rather deep
Planted it rather deep
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A month later
A month later
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