Growing stuff found in your kitchen cupboards

mccommas(z5CT)May 14, 2005

last year I grew ordinary plain jane Ginger and will again. This year I am going to try to grow elephant garlic. I am soaking it in water right now and will plant tomorrow.

So what things have you all grown just for fun?

Onions? Do they flower? I planted one last year but it just rotted.


beans? Do potatos flower?

I also go shopping in the woods to steal wild stuff growing. Am I the only one to do this?? I just hate to spend money.

I am also trying to clone more plants I find on public property. Will these overwinter ok or should I keep them on the window sill for the first winter?

Lets share our ideas on how to avoid spending an arm and leg for interesting gardens. I am sure you all have lots of tips.

For seeds, you can get them real cheap on ebay.

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I grew small taro in a deep container last year. They are 0.99 a pound in supermarkets. Taro leaves are pretty but I haven't seen any flower. I brough the plants inside over winter. This year I repot the plants and found many new baby taro under the soil.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 12:30AM
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MimiB1(Z8 LA)

Being in zone 8 has advantages. When I cut up an onion I leave about 1/2 inch on the root end. I take the root & put it into a section of ground that I keep loosened up at the edge of my garden just for this. I have put them into a pot. (This doesn't work every time but often it does.) I cover it about 1 inch with dirt and water it. In a couple of weeks I wind up with green sprouts that I trim and use for salads, etc. I also recycle those that are going "bad". I take the onions that have sprouted and are getting all smelly & mushy and place them in the ground with the sprouts out of the ground. In a few weeks I have 2 or 3 shallot sized onions to use. My husband's grandmother was very thrifty back during the "depression". She saved the potato peelings and planted them. Eventually she would have small potatoes to stretch her meals. I love recycling and sharing these ideas.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 1:17PM
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LOVEZUKES(z7 piedmnt NC)

when cutting leeks if you cut just above the roots they will continue to grow another leek.saw some green on taro and ginger at the market so bought a small bit of each.took forever to sprout but the taro has now thrown up leaves and the ginger is sending out small white roots.if i see a large garden i will stop in to see if they would like to strike up a trade...most seem willing ,get to know new fellow gardeners that way also.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 10:33AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I think taro is a kind of Elephant Ear plant, heavy on leaf, short on flower.

I've heard that carrots will regrow if you leave the tops on, but I've never tried it.

Those potato peelings may grow if they've got an eye in them, if they can get started before fungus or bacteria get to them.

Seeds from the bulk bins or health food stores can be a real bonanza for a very low price if they haven't been heated, roasted or salted: beans, wheat, amaranthus, some of the seasonings that are still whole seeds, etc.

If you're growing veggies, keep them picked to keep them producing, as letting them get large or overripe can give them the message that it's time to stop producing and go to seed. If you cut that cabbage or broccoli head off just right, you may get several small heads that follow the main one.

And don't forget letting some things go to seed so they come up by themselves next spring (or the second spring if they're biennials like carrots). Make sure that the ones you let go to seed aren't hybrids or F1s or F2s or they won't come true to type.

One thing I won't do is save seed from regular grocery store veggies like tomatoes and melons that were bred for looks and shipping ability instead of flavor.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Sweet Potatoes make a beautiful plant...not sure if they will reproduce though.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 11:46PM
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An avacado stone... I planted about a year ago and its doing really well... It's so tall and has loads of leaves.

Lemon seeds, planted them about a month ago... They sprouted after about 6 days...

I'm going to try lime seeds next.

A mango that didn't do so well.

Peanuts, they work really well... I cracked the shell (but left it on) and planted them... They fun to grow...

And a few other things but i can't remember what they were...

If you get a big carrot and chop the top of and then carve a little well into it, hang it up and fill it with water it makes a kinda of hanging basket, full of carrot sprouts...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 2:22PM
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I have grown twelve Pink Lady apple trees from seed (the seeds have often sprouted right inside the apple), seven pomegranites from the seeds and have enjoyed bunches of Paradise melons grown from the seeds of the one I bought from Target (sometimes food is nothing more than a basic seed packet...).

Do want to mention that in many cases, collecting flowers/seed from the wild is illegal. Many wildflowers are endangered and protected.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 11:55PM
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nancysil(z6 New Engl)

I had a few expensive red and yellow bell peppers and thought, "what the heck" and sprouted the seeds. I didn't think I'd get anything decent, but I got really beautiful bell peppers.

Fenugeek seed makes nice fragrant spicy sprouts.

And I sprout ordinary lentils and whole dried peas all the time.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 1:20PM
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I saved some tomato seeds from my salad on New Years Day, dried them out and planted them. They now are large bushes with tomatoes all over them. These were the tomatoes that come on the vine. A few already are starting to blush!

I've got the bacon, lettuce, bread and mayo ready ...


    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 11:17PM
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momtoej(z8 TX)

I planted a whole red onion (didn't know I could cut it into pieces) last october that I got from the grocery store. In January it started sending up shoots from the ground and then a flower stalk in April. It now has three flowers as you can see in the picture. It's definitely very interesting to look at. I planted the onion because I had problems finding seed for red onions in the store and I didn't want to mail order them - so I figured I'd plant an onion and see if I can get some seeds. Who knows if it they will produce the same red onion that I planted, but it will be fun to try it.

I also saved some seeds from a hatch chile I bought at the store last year. I waited until it turned red to take out the seeds. When I planted the seeds this year, I sowed a lot since I didn't know how viable they'd be. So now I have about 10 plants since just about all of them germinated.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 1:10PM
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I planted the roots from green onions and had green onions when i needed them for some time.I planted them in a pot on the patio.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 10:17PM
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LOVEZUKES(z7 piedmnt NC)

you've got me thinking now!!! i have just been pulling my onions as scallions...maybe i should take a sharp knife and cut them...leaving the roots in place.that would be great to have another crop from the roots. i'll let you know how it works out.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:08PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

Whenever my housemates toss stuff in the compost bin that I think I can still use for soup/stock, or plant outside I try to do so. I get their old garlic and potatoes often, so I rarely buy any. It's so easy to poke this stuff in the ground it's nuts not to do so!

I cut up each spud into sections, and each spud provides a nice new meal or two, with very little care, and they often make tiny seed potatoes that I just leave in place for the next season. (Just harvested some yesterday in fact - and saw lots of tiny spuds left for next year!)

Sometimes bunches of greens, including Spinach, are sold at the store with bits of root intact. You can eat the larger leaves, and plant out the rest to give them a chance to make more. Keep 'em moist.

Many things that start growing in the compost can be encouraged to develop. I've gotten some great squash that way - different from the origional hybrid - but excellent.

Here's another idea: for those of us with cold winters, and sunrooms, lets ask our most successful organic gardening friends if you can help do their fall clean-up. Ask what plants they usually let die or compost in the fall, and try to rescue some! I use lots of 5 gallon buckets. Best to lighten up the compost with peat first, and add drainage holes. Pretty Peppers can go in fancier pots and be set around the house - but they want light to keep flowering and making Peppers. I harvest tomatoes into December that way...but prune & top plants, and pick all with any color before digging or pulling up the plants to bring inside. (Cages/stakes can go in the pots too)

Pepper plants, and coleus can easily be potted up instead of being left to die in the cold. Cuttings from coleus can be easily rooted in water to make more. I tried overwintering eggplant last year too, but mealybugs got to them during the winter. Also some Okra dried up fast. It's OK if things look rangy or dormant - many will still come back. Cut the pepper stems back hard before replanting outside in Spring - and they'll send out lush new growth and start flowering right away, while everyone else is nursing theirs from seed.

Right now my sunroom is jammed with tools, pots and seeds that are drying. Gotta make room in the next few weeks for the wintering over a cold snap can come in September some years and make toast of tomato plants.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 7:19PM
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TreeDazzled(z10 SF, CA)

I enjoyed the red onion photo!

I bought raw sunflower seeds at Trader Joe's and scattered them in the garden with my son. For some reason I was surprised when they actually grew into plants. I figured I might get 10% germination or so...but no, it seems like practically every seed germinated.

A hilarious book on this topic, which I like to re-read occasionally, is "The After-Dinner Gardening Book," by Richard Langer.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 1:11AM
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Don't forget the pineapple! Just cut the top of the fruit, stick it on top of some soil. Takes some time, but the plant is beautiful (bromeliad, after all) and the fruit is worth the wait.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 2:54PM
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woodamand(portland, orego)

Dear Growing Stuff found in your kitchen cupboard: I have experimented with these and more -- here's what I have learned: yes, you can cut up potatoes ( with one or more eyes per cut section) and ginger, etc. and plant these in your garden. BUT beware - you could be transferring a very nasty virus or bacterial pest to your garden soil that will be very hard to eradicate. Seeds that you can gather from mature plants are much safer, and you should acquaint yourself with rooting hormone powder -- read up in a good gardening book how to take soft hardwood cuttings and propagate them! I have a windowsill full of clear water glasses full of cuttings. Here's what I have found will root very readily in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill: coleus, succulents, willow, artemisia, begonia. I keep these in a glass of water (change water daily) until they have a good root system, then I put them in potting soil in plastic pots! A very cheap way to propagate plants. Good Luck! Barbara in Oregon.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:40AM
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I buy poppy seeds in the bulk section at the grocery store. I have grown the most beautiful red and white poppies from these seeds. The strain of the poppy seeds are Papaver Somniferum. The flowers only keep their bloom for a couple of days, but they are well worth planting. (It's best to plant them in late fall for spring blooms).
The rumors that these seeds are sterlized are false.
These flowers have strong medicinal properties, although they are the same seeds that are used for baking, aka 'breadseed' poppies. The pods that are produced are the same ones sold in craft stores and they are beautiful used in dried flower arranging.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 5:32PM
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Growing dates from seed?
I purchased some dates at our local store (I think they were from somewhere in the Middle East)they have seeds in them.
What would I need to do so I can germinate those seeds will dates grow from seeds?
I am looking forward to making an attempt but I'm not sure how I should plant the seed?
Can someone help please?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 12:50PM
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Dear "New_garden_convert"

I just recently posted about Date Palms, I just pushed one of the seeds in the soil of one of my spider plants and forgot about it within a few months it now has 3 fronds !

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 1:21AM
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I grew guava seeds that you get from the store, as well as those black sesame seeds, they sprouted but died from my own hand. I also sprouted date seeds, they take years to get any appreciable size, fyi. I also sprouted kiwi seeds from the store, they are best sprouted fresh. I also grew ginger like you but I always seem to either neglect it or it dies when winter comes. Horseradish grows easily! Also, I got organic wild rice and that came up nicely.

BTW, I wouldn't harvest wild plants unless either you know they aren't rare/endangered or it's in a place that will be slated for 'development'. Also don't do it in a nature reserve or gamelands, they'll fine you bocu bucks if they catch you.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 4:14AM
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Well that is a good run for a thread huh? I have tiny tiny delicate poppy seedlings growing in the window sill. The first bunch got dried out and died so I have a sandwich bag over the pot to keep these from drying out.
They are different from the poppies grown for their flowers. These look like tiny bean sprouts whereas the other kind looks like lettuce to me. I threw a whole bottle from the cupboard in the garden early last fall. Maybe something will grow in the spring.

I have grown dill but the flowers were more green than yellow. I got a very interesting caterpillar eating away at them. I have never seen one like that. A visit from him was worth the green flowers! I grew ginger and got lots more ginger but no flowers.

I have a lemon tree growing that came from a slice in my Vodka Tonic. I gave up the Vodka but the tree is now almost four feet tall (indoors of course).

The only thing I harvested from the wild was pretty weeds. One of which still comes back every year. I don't know what they are called but they are everywhere. It�s not like I was hauling away trees or something! LOL

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 6:06PM
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