Not many gardeners know this, but you can easily start a garden using scraps from the food you already eat. Starting a scrap garden, to grow vegetables from scraps is very similar to starting a normal garden, and it is a great way to grow your own food for frugal gardening and cooking!.

lettuce being grown from scraps in glasses on the kitchen window sill

There are all sorts of vegetables you can use the scraps to start a garden, and there is a good chance you already have some in your home! Following is all of the things you need to know to start your very own scrap garden and grow vegetables from scraps.

Which Vegetables Can Be Grown From Scraps?

Not all vegetables can be grown from scraps; however, there are still plenty that can be. Following is a rundown on some of the vegetables you can grow at home from scraps.


Potatoes are great vegetables to grow as they can be used in all sorts of dishes, and they are easy to start.

With potatoes, the key is to take a chunk with an ‘eye’ on it, or the dimpled areas from where the roots will be able to grow. Simply let the chunk dry out overnight and then plant it eye-up so that the root can come out of the ground.

mashed potatoes

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as lettuce are incredibly useful and versatile vegetables to grow on your own.

There are a few ways to regrow leafy greens from scraps. To start, you can simply keep the rooting section and then place it into a container of water and wait for the second wave of leaves to grow.

You can even re-grow leafy greens from individual leaves. Leafy greens typically continue to grow on the root, so you can simply take what you need and come back later, which can be incredibly helpful.

wooden crate of different varieties of lettuce

Onions, Garlic, Scallions, and Leeks

These plants from the allium family are easy to grow at home.  Simply cut off a section of the bulb at the end.  Make sure the roots are still attached.

Then place in a shallow dish of water.  They will grow quickly, and you can eat the vegetable and regrow more when you are done.

I get through a lot of onions especially when I make gravy so need to start doing this!

onions with stockpot


Celery is one of the easiest vegetables to grow from scraps after you have made celery soup. Just cut off the bottom section and place it in a shallow dish with warm water.

Then place it in a sunny and fairly warm area. In about a week, you’ll be able to replant the celery in your garden or in a pot.  

celery with roots showing so you can grow vegetables from scraps on wooden table

Carrots, Radishes, Turnips, Beets, and Root Vegetables

Growing root vegetables from scraps is super easy to do. To start, simply take the top off the vegetable where the stems and leaves are adjacent to the root, and place them in a shallow dish of water for a few days. Soon, you will have brand new tops growing.

From there, you can choose to harvest new vegetables as they ripen off the top, or you can transplant the roots into the ground once they are ready.

carrots showing how you can grow vegetables from scraps


There are tons of herbs that can be regrown using scraps. All you have to do is place the stem, which should be about four inches, of the herb into a cup of water.

Soon, you will have roots growing which can be transplanted into either an outside herb garden or a container garden. Herbs serve so many purposes in the kitchen, so it is always a good idea to have some on hand.

What’s more, herbs can be grown in small containers on say the kitchen windowsill so you always have quick access to them. They are also relatively low maintenance which is great as that means you can have several herbs without fear of not being able to maintain them.

herbs after being harvested and spare to grow vegetables from scraps

Using Seeds

Of course, seeds can be used to regrow vegetables and even fruits. You should never discard seeds as they can either be regrown or in some cases eaten on their own. For example, pumpkin seeds can be roasted into a delicious snack or even used to top recipes.

Some seeds will need to be stored until they are ready to be planted but others can be planted right away. Microgreens can typically be grown right away and are a great addition to any diet.

It’s important to note that most hybrid seeds will not successfully grow a new plant.  Heirloom seeds will usually grow, but hybrid seeds will not.  Since there’s no way of knowing which ones will work, try using seeds from organic produce for better success.

pepper showing seeds which can be used to grow more peppers

Research, Research, Research before you grow vegetables from scraps

Before you dive right into the garden, you will want to familiarize yourself with how a garden works. Additionally, you will want to delve into the specifics of what you want to plant. 

For example, if you are wanting to plant potatoes you will want to heavily research potatoes. You should know when to plant them and what they will need to grow and thrive.

You should also know when to harvest them and the signs of spoiled potatoes should that unfortunately happen. Starting a garden is no easy task, but when you research it is easier to prepare and be proactive.

wooden planter with lettuce in

How to maintain a scrap garden when you grow vegetables from scraps

As you can see there are a few ways to go about starting a scrap garden, but once it is started you will still have to maintain it. This is going to be the brunt of the garden, and you will need to prepare to maximize your success in your new garden.

First things first, you will need to find a new spot to have your garden. Gardens can be started in pots and containers or in the ground. 

If you plan on having your garden outside, try to find an area with plenty of sunlight but with enough shade to keep your plants cooler in the heat. If your garden is inside make sure you have enough space next to a sunny area, such as near a window. 

Again, you will need to research how much water your plants will need and when. I recommend creating a watering schedule that is kept near the plants if they are outdoors, and someplace where you will see it often if they are outside. 

This way, you can keep track of when you watered them and note how much they need when you go to take care of them. This will prevent you from under or overwatering them. If you are keen you can always buy some vegetable seeds to start you off too?

pot with green shoots in soil

Creating a schedule for checking on your plants is important especially when growing from scraps. It can be easy to forget about some roots that are in the water or some seeds that are drying out, but if you have a schedule that is less likely to happen.

Growing a garden is an immensely satisfying experience, and you can even grow one from the food you more than likely already have! There are a plethora of vegetables that can be used to grow your own garden. 

With some research and work, you will be well on your way to having the perfect scrap garden, and gardening like a pro.

Have you grown mushrooms before? Check out my mushroom growing review.

growing vegetables from scraps

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