Grow tomatoes from scraps.
ATTRIBUTION: Flickr; Luke Addison

Fresh produce is essential in maintaining good health; however, store-bought fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be costly. To reduce the cost of your health foods, consider growing these items from scraps. There are numerous benefits to growing fruits, veggies, and herbs from scraps. Not only can home-grown produce supplement your food budget, but regenerating scraps also leads to less landfill waste and provides an organic source of nutrition for your family. Learn more about growing produce from scraps and what foods can be re-grown.

1. Celery

Re-growing celery from scraps is both economical and environmentally-friendly. Simply plant the bottom stump that you would normally throw away after removing the stalks. Submerge the stump in warm water over night to allow sufficient time for the stump to absorb enough water to trigger root growth. Next, plant the stump in soil with the cut section facing up. Cover the soil with a layer of compost and give the area some water.

2. Garlic

Garlic is usually thrown away as it begins to turn green in the center, which causes it to lose its intense flavor. When garlic cloves begin to sprout, plant them so that they regrow into fresh garlic. Plant one or two cloves of garlic in a pot of soil and place it in direct sunlight. Shoots will generally sprout within two to three weeks.

3. Lettuce

Lettuce cores are capable of growing new leaves if planted in water. Start by removing approximately two inches of the vegetable’s core from the base. Insert several toothpicks into the bottom of the core to hold it up off the ground. Fully submerge the core in a container of water, and leave it in a sunny windowsill. Once the roots form, transplant the core and root system into potting soil or a garden.

4. Pineapple

Growing a pineapple from scraps is slightly more complicated than growing other types of produce. Begin by removing the meat of the fruit from the crown. Continue until the root buds of the pineapple become visible. These root buds resemble a ring of dots around the perimeter of the fruit’s base. Submerge the crown in water or plant it in soil. Note that a pineapple plant will generally take two to three years to bear fruit.

5. Onions

Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to re-grow from scraps. Simply cut off the root end of an onion, leaving approximately ½ inch of onion at the roots. Plant the roots in a container with soil or in your garden in a sunny area. Water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist.

6. Tomatoes

Instead of purchasing a packet of tomato seeds from the store, remove the seeds from your tomatoes at home. Give the seeds a quick rinse in cool water and plant them in seed trays with potting mixture. Provide each individual seed with its own section of the tray, and then cover the entire tray with plastic wrap for 7 to 10 days. When sprouts begin to appear above the soil, expose the plants to sun for three to six hours a day. When the stalk is 2 inches above the soil, transfer the plants to a pot or garden.

7. Herbs

There are a number of herbs that can be grown from scraps, such as lemongrass, basil, coriander, and ginger. Most types of herbs are relatively easy to re-grow using scraps. Depending on the herb, a piece of the plant or the roots must be removed and placed in a container filled with water or soil. Most herbs require direct sunlight to grow and thrive.