Saturday, January 5, 2019

Grow veggies from store bought produce leftovers

Seed starting in garage
Saturday, January 5, 2019

Surprisingly, you can grow veggies from pieces of produce you buy along with seeds from store or farmers market produce.  Granny always said to save the seeds from the best vegetable your plant grew. You can apply this same principle to the veggies you buy from the store or farmers market.  Save the seeds from the best tasting produce.

You can grow any vegetable or fruit from its seed.  It is easy to save seeds from store bought fruit and vegetables.  Great candidates are any heirloom peppers, eggplants, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, apples, peaches, cucumbers, avocados and many more.  Any advertised as heirloom will come up like its parents.  Hybrids may or may not be the same as the parent.  It's worth a try!  I have gotten some plants that give me even better fruits than what I bought at the store.  
What do the terms GMO, natural, heirloom, organic, hybrid really mean?    

Best chance for success is with heirloom, organic as they have been treated with least toxic chemicals, are sure to be GMO free, and will not have been irradiated which basically kills the seed.

I have successfully grown peppers, tomatoes, oranges, sweet potatoes, onions, squash and avocados from seeds from organic produce I bought at the grocery store.  
Seeds from store bought acorn squash
The best success I have had with avocados is to use seeds from overly ripe avocados.  Remove the seed and look to see if there is a root starting to form on the flat side of the seed.  When I find these, I just place in a pot that I keep moist until it sprouts.  I have also sprouted them in water and then planted in a pot.  Then I back off the watering and let dry in between. 
Growing avocado from seed 

You can also use the pieces and parts of some vegetables to grow new ones.  Onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, heads of lettuce, garlic are all great candidates for this approach.  
*Cut off the bottom of onions and celery and replant them.  Everything to know about growing onions  I have kept celery in the garage over winter for several years with great luck.  Give celery a try, an easy to grow garden staple
*Save the “heart” or stem portion of lettuce to replant. Everything you need to know about growing lettuce 
*Breaking your garlic into cloves and planting them can work.  Time to plant garlic! With growing tips......
*Same with the eyes of potatoes and sweet potatoes.  Choose the eye that is already sprouting.  Time to plant potatoes, even if you only have a patio
*Replant or place in water the top portion of carrots.  The carrot top greens are great for salads.  All you need to know about growing carrots
*Any rhizomes (roots) will also grow when planted like ginger and horseradish.  I potted ginger that was sprouting into a pot last month and it is doing just fine.

Sprouting ginger
Some veggies are treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting on the shelf so this approach may not work for all, but it is worth a try!  The will for propagation is very strong in nature.

If you do potatoes, plant them in a potato planting bag to be sure that you don’t accidentally transmit potato diseases into your soil.  The starters you buy from garden centers are certified to be disease free.

It doesn’t cost a thing to try and it so nice to see things growing this time of year!  

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