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Save Money at the Grocery Store

Photo:  Pinterest

By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener


With the price of food increasing, you may be glad to know that some common vegetables can regenerate themselves letting you save money on your grocery bill.  And you can do it from leftover scraps.  Here are some ways you can get started.


Celery:  Simply buy a stalk of celery from your local produce department.  Cut the celery stalks off leaving about 3” of the base where it was pulled from the ground.  Plant in a pot inside or in partial shade on your patio in a good potting soil.  Leave about 1/2” of the plant showing and, in several weeks, you will start getting new leaves.  You can trim the leaves to use in a salad or let it continue to grow which will produce stalks.


Turmeric:  The rhizomes of Turmeric are available in the produce section as well.  Plant each rhizome about 2” deep in good soil and keep it watered.  It will take about a month for it to sprout and should be harvested about eight months later.  Water and fertilizer will help it flourish. 

Root Crops (Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Parsnips):  With root crops you are not regrowing the root but just the leafy tops.  Many of the plant’s nutrients are in the leaves and there are lots of uses for them.  They are great in smoothies or a salad and can also be sauteed in a stir-fry or omelet.

Cut 1” from the root end and place in a tray of shallow water.  In just a few days it should begin to grow new leaves which can be harvested when you need them.  They will continue to sprout leaves as long as you harvest the mature ones.

Lettuce:  Trim the lettuce about 2” above the base of the plant.  Plant in a healthy potting soil in an inside pot or a shady area of your yard or garden.  In about ten days, you will have new leaves growing which can be trimmed as needed.  As you trim the mature leaves, new ones will continue to sprout.

Green Onions:  Green onions are another super simple vegetable to regrow.  Just cut ½” from the root end and plant it.  It will grow roots and new tops. 

Tomatoes:  Lots of seeds can be harvested from store bought tomatoes.  Cut the seed portion of the tomato out and lay on a paper towel to dry out.  Once dry the seeds are easy to pick up and can be planted or stored in a baggie for use later.  When storing I add a folded paper towel to absorb any moisture that might remain.  This will work for peppers as well.

Last year there were posts on Pinterest about this.  Simply slice a tomato and plant it in a good potting soil.  I actually tried this, and it worked.  I didn’t let it dry, just planted the whole slice and it produced five tomato plants.  I transplanted them several feet apart once they had new leaves and harvested lots of tomatoes during the summer up until the first freeze.

Basil and Cilantro:  Growing cilantro and basil is easy.  Just cut a stem several inches long and place in a glass of water in a sunny window.  Don’t submerge the leaves.  Soon you will see roots. When they are about 1” long, plant in soil to produce your own herbs.

If you have questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700.   Additional information, and our blog for access to past articles, is available at  Click on “Resources”. 


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