Our new temporary lockdown lifestyles have resulted in many of us adopting new hobbies in an attempt to fill the time we would normally be spending out socialising or going to work. And the combination of having more free time on our hands and fresh produce disappearing off the shelves quicker than the supermarkets can replenish them means that growing our own food suddenly seems like a rather appealing idea to many of us.
So it’s no wonder that New Yorker food writer Helen Rosner‘s tweet about regrowing spring onions in a glass of water has attracted no less than 23,200 likes and 1,300 retweets in less than 24 hours.
We’re all regrowing our scallions right pic.twitter.com/Qg9uw1hZuR
— Helen Rosner (@hels) April 7, 2020
The comments section of the tweet is full of two camps of people – those in awe of this green-fingered magic who never knew this was possible and others proudly showing off their own regrown spring onions and other salad vegetables.
I’m regrowing romaine pic.twitter.com/Xc4k2lNNP4
— Julia DeSpain (@JuliaDeSpain) April 7, 2020
— mack (@allbageldiet) April 7, 2020
If you’re of the first camp, you’ll be pleased to know that yes, this is possible and it really is as easy as it sounds.
How to regrow vegetables from scraps
Once you’ve used your spring onions, simply save the root part (leave a bit more on the plant than you normally would so there’s something for the new plant to grow from) and place them root-down in a tall cup of water. Top up the water every few days and in as little as a week you’ll have fresh spring onions!
You can also produce brand new spring onions by taking a whole white onion and submerging the root in water, using cocktail sticks to prop it up.
But spring onions aren’t the only vegetable capable of regrowing in a cup of water. Lettuce, cabbage, carrot greens, herbs, celery, fennel, leeks and lemongrass can all be regrown in much the same way as spring onions – just swap the glass for a shallow bowl for wider plants like lettuce, cabbage and leeks.
You can also grow garlic chives from part submerging a single garlic clove in water.
If you really want to flex those green fingers, there are even more vegetables that can be thrown into a small pot of soil, a window box or the ground to continue blossoming into a brand new plant ready for a not-too-distant dinnertime.
How to regrow potatoes and mushrooms
Old potatoes that have spawned eyes can be chopped up and planted in a pot of soil to regrow into multiple new ones, and mushroom stems can regrow into whole mushrooms if put in soil – just keep an eye on them for the first few days as they’ll either grow or rot (if they go bad, start again).
How to regrow avocado from a stone
It’ll take a bit longer, but you can also pop an avocado stone in water for about eight weeks to let roots form, then transfer to soil and an avocado tree will grow (it could be a couple years before you can harvest your avos, but it’s a fun long-term project all the same!). Gardening made easy.