Do you have a green thumb? Or maybe you just want to reduce your food waste. Either way, growing vegetables from kitchen scraps on your windowsill is a great way to do both.
There are lots of different vegetables and herbs that can be grown from scraps, including celery, lettuce and carrot tops. It’s a fun way to teach kids about gardening and sustainability, especially if you’re short on outside space.
You can grow celery from kitchen scraps very easily. Once you’ve eaten your celery and find yourself left with just the base of the stalk place it in a shallow bowl with about an inch of water. Replace the water every couple of days to keep it fresh and you should see roots start to grow.
New leaves will appear first, which can be used in salads or pesto, followed by small stalks. Keep an eye on the roots and transfer to a small pot with soil before they start to rot.
Herbs are great for creating an instant windowsill garden and having them to hand in the kitchen means you’ll always have fresh flavours ready to add to your cooking. Pick herbs that don’t grow too tall or wide unless you’re aiming for a jungle aesthetic.
Basil is perfect for this and, if you’ve bought a fresh packet from the supermarket but don’t want it to go to waste, can be grown from stem. Just place stems in water, in a sunny location. Change the water every couple of days and when the roots grow, transfer to a pot with soil.
A particularly sunny windowsill is a great spot for growing tomatoes! Dwarf varieties are better for small spaces as full-sized tomato plants can grow tall.
If you’re growing from seed, you can sow them as early as the beginning of March. Avoid overwatering and give them a little tomato food now and again. Even the dwarf varieties will need a little support, bamboo canes or reclaimed wood are great for this.
Although you won’t get another full head of lettuce, new leaves can be easily regrown from the leftover stem. Make sure you’ve got around two inches of the base remaining, remove any loose leaves and place in a shallow container with water.
Change the water every other day and you’ll soon see new shoots start to grow.
Carrot greens can be regrown from carrot tops and make a great alternative to fresh herbs like parsley. Use them in pesto, soups or as salad greens.
Pop the scraps into a pot with soil, covering it so that you can only see the very top of the carrot. Leave it on the windowsill in a sunny spot and water the soil starts to dry out about 2 cm down. In a couple of weeks, you’ll have carrot tops ready to harvest.