It’s the time of year for planting the garden around here and I thought I’d post about a couple of things I grow in our garden and in tubs, that I don’t start from little plants or seeds, but from the (organic if we can) produce we buy at the grocery store.
First off - the butter lettuce. It is by FAR my favorite lettuce and we go through extraordinary amounts of the stuff. I was delighted when I discovered that Costco started carrying the Live lettuce variety a couple of years ago, as they keep just so much longer and so much fresher, since the roots are still attached.
I don’t know why it took me so long, but only recently did it occur to me that the lettuce we keep on buying, had not only fully intact roots on them, and was grown in actual soil (as opposed to some varieties that are grown in water) and that it would stand to reason that they may regrow just fine in a pot or outside in the garden.
So experimenting I went. Here are the results.
1. Butter Lettuce.
This is how it went in. Everything completely cut off, except the root.
I just straightened out the roots, then made a deep hole in a pot and put it in, with the green stump staying above ground.
Here we are 4 days later. Yep, I guess it was prime lettuce growing weather around here.
Here it is at 7 days. We had some rain and a cold spell, but the lettuce kept on going.
Here we are at 1.5 weeks.
(I also planted some seedling lettuce next to it, which is growing well too!)
So at this point, I have started harvesting the largest leaves already. They are tender and wonderful and it only took less than 2 weeks to get there! Since I have several more of these growing, we’ll be in lettuce until the heat eliminates lettuce growing season, which is a while away just yet!
I put the first lot in a container as I wanted to see how well they do even when grown in a pot. It seems they do just fine, which means that as long as you have a nice sunny spot, even on a balcony, and enough room for a pot, you are good to go!
You know that stump you have left when you cut your stalks of celery off?
Yes, that. Just drop it in some soil, give it some sun, water and time and you’re growing a whole new celery from it.
Here we are going in. A regular half inch stump of celery, no roots, nothing.
Here we are a week later. It’s starting to grow! I would guess that at this rate it’ll be about 5-6 weeks before I have anything harvestable, but that’s fine by me! I will update you in a few weeks time!
3. Green Onions.
Love green onions but never have them around when you need them or have them go bad on you because you didn’t need as much as you have to buy? No more! Just stick them in a glass of water and set them on a sunny window sill. Harvest the green tops as you need them. They will keep on re-growing!
You need to replace the water with fresh water every now and then and give the roots a rinse, but that’s about it!
Edited to add:
4. Coyote squash.
Oh my goodness I totally forgot about my Chayote squash!
This one isn’t strictly speaking a re-grow, since I didn’t actually use it before I planted it, but since I’ve never seen chayote squash seedlings or such anywhere, I suspect it might be the only way to grow them. And they are a wonderful apple substitute for low carbers and very healthy, but usually only available for a limited amount of months in the fall. So it’s worthwhile testing the home growing potential!
I had about 3 accidently root on my last fall and thought I just plant them and see if they will grown. They did. Rather quickly in fact in the case of the one I didn’t plant quite as deep.
I tried to do some research on the web, since I wasn’t’ familiar with Chayote squash growing at all, but I couldn’t find very much at the time. The two sites that were at all mentioning planting them, said to basically just set them on top of soil, hardly covering them at all.
Since I had three, I tried various degrees of coverage.
In retrospect, the not covering didn’t really work so well for me and I suspect won’t work in even harsher climates!
But then we had several night frosts and storms and I thought I had seen the last of them. But not so.
One looks a little worse for wear, but it keeps on growing, the other is looking pretty well, probably because I planted it so it was covered with soil, so it started growing later and wasn’t as big when the storms hit. And sheltered in the pot.
The third one didn’t make it however. That was the one I had just sitting on top of the soil. The frost got it pretty quickly!
So, if you are going to do this, plant them deeper and cover them with soil.
Now let’s see if they’ll survive the Phoenix scorching heat!