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Grow Your Own Produce: Simple Sprouting from Scraps

Have you ever wanted to get more life out of your produce? With grocery runs at an all-time low, people are harvesting fresh produce from, sometimes unused, portions of fruit and vegetables. Here’s an easy guide for sprouting food from what is in your fridge or compost bowl.

Sprouting Romaine Heart Stem Sprouting from Scraps

Simple Sprouting Materials (Seed or Stem)

You will need:

  • Zipper storage bag – any size 
  • Napkin or paper towel 
  • Small amount of water
  • Produce you want to sprout (this guide includes strawberry and Romaine lettuce sprouting)
  • Toothpicks (optional)
  • Glass or plastic cup
  • Marker

Simple Sprouting Instructions: Seed

If your produce has visible seeds – such as peppers, strawberries, or cucumbers, it will sprout in a Ziploc bag. I’ve used a strawberry as an example, below. Sprouting new produce from stem will be covered in the next section. 

Strawberries Visible Seeds 960x960

For seeds: 

1. Isolate the seed. A slice of a strawberry (or cucumber) can be rubbed on a paper towel to remove all of the flesh. Pepper seeds can easily be picked off the stem.

Strawberries Isolate the Seeds Sprouting from Scraps

2. Line the seeds up on one side of a paper towel or napkin.

Strawberries Line Up Seeds

3. Fold the paper towel over so all seeds are covered. 

4. Moisten paper towel with enough water that it is wet, but not dripping.

Strawberries Moisten Paper Towel

5. Place folded paper towel inside a zipper storage bag, and seal.

6. Write name of seed and date on bag.

Strawberries Ziploc

7. Place bag of seeds in a sunny window and wait. 

8. Wait for seeds to sprout leaves before planting in dirt. You can plant seeds and paper towel in a plastic cup until ready to move outside or to larger container. 

Seed Sprouting on Paper Towel Cup

Here is an example of bell pepper seeds that I harvested using this technique, and then planted the sprouts. 

Sprouting Pepper Seeds

Simple Sprouting Instructions: Stem

If your produce has a stem – such as lettuce or pineapple, it will sprout in a glass of water. I’ve used the scrap end of a Romaine lettuce heart for this example. Continue reading for the step-by-step instructions!

For stems: 

1. Cut top of romaine to leave about 1” of stem.

2. Fill glass with about 1” of water.

3. Place stem in water and put in sunny window until new growth or roots start to appear.

Romaine Cut Stem Sprouting from Scraps

4. Plant stem in soil, inside of a plastic cup or pot.

Sprouting Romaine Planted Stem
Here is the sprouted Romaine heart after one week of growth. 

Going Green

Have an itchy green thumb? Check out these other plant-based articles at Women’s Outdoor News!

Friday FIX: Plant a Pest-Resistant Garden

Shady Gardens to Hot Spots: Working With Challenging Garden Styles

FIX.com: Everything You Need to Know About Succulents

DIY: Starting Seeds in the Winter for a Spring Garden

About Morgan Maples

Morgan Maples is a commercial interior designer who has an incredible green thumb. Every available sunny space in her Chicago condo is filled with her flora babes. Besides plants, she brings an artistic flair to everything she touches – from crafting, to cooking and DIY projects. 

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.

     

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