Plants are a great way to spruce up your home, and plants from produce add function too! All you need to get started are groceries, planters (get creative by upcycling containers), soil (or a bit of quality compost), and a patience.
Rooted herbs are hardy and often available in organic versions at the grocery store. If you don’t have rooted versions you can place sprigs in water with a few leaves below the waterline to encourage root growth.
A rooting aid can come in handy! Keep them in a window or other well lit place and you’ll have fresh herbs at your fingertips all year long.
I’ve tried to grow avocados a number of times but was never successful until recently. There are a number of methods floating around online, but the method that worked best for me might give you flashbacks to elementary school.
All you’ll need is an avocado seed, a plastic baggie, a wet paper towel, a windowsill and patience. Lots of patience. If you’ve got a good see you should see roots rather quickly, and you’ll want to give them plenty of time to grow. (I gave mine a few weeks or so.) After you’ve got strong roots started it’s time to plant your avocado in soil, and in a sunny and warm spot. Cover the roots completely, but not the seed! Leave the top uncovered a bit. Keep the soil moist — you may even want to cover it with a plastic film or dome to create a bit of a greenhouse. After about a month (perhaps sooner) you should have a sprout! Once it sprouts your avocado should grow quickly.
If you live in a climate with evenings below 60 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll want to bring your new plant indoors.
I keep mine in a window where I give it a little water every few days. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to enjoy fruit from my little tree here in Ohio, but I certainly enjoy the foliage from my little plant!
Greens are easy to grow and quite useful. They’re obviously great in salads, but can be tossed into a variety of meals or uses to provide a lovely garnish.
If you’d like to grow them from scraps you’ll want to purchase greens with a bit of root attached. Place them in water until they’ve regrown some strong roots and then plant. Be sure to clip leaves to use as your plant grows. If it goes to seed (you’ll know!) you can easily harvest and plant them for fresh growth!
Like other obviously seeded produce, the seeds from the pepper plant can be easily harvested and used. Pepper seeds require special conditions to germinate because of their waxy outer coating. You’d want plenty of warmth to help the water penetrate the coating. Some people even give each seed a tiny nick to help speed the process along.
If you live in a warmer climate, pineapples could be a reality for you. Northerners may envy you (though they can always try their hand at growing them indoors!) Place the cut top of a pineapple in water until roots form (this could be a few weeks!) and then move to a pot once well established. These plants can be large, so you may want a dwarf variety if you plan to keep it indoors.
Soak a piece of ginger and then transfer it to a pot with soil. You’ll want to keep the soil moist. Eventually you will begin to see new roots, which can be harvested.
Depending on your climate you may be able to germinate seeds in a baggie or in tiny soil pods and then transfer to larger pots to get established, and ultimately place them outdoors. If you live in a cold climate you may choose to keep the plants indoors.
For citrus plants, you’ll want to help get the seeds going by sucking on them to help remove the outer coatings of the seeds and then germinating as usual. Apple and pear seeds can go straight to the germination process. I prefer the plastic baggie method, as I have found it to be the most effective.