If you’d like to save on your grocery bill and you’re up for a fun experiment, why not try regrowing romaine lettuce? Although you won’t grow another whole head of lettuce, it’s a great way to make the most of your kitchen scraps. In this article, learn how to grow romaine lettuce from scraps, when to harvest your regrown lettuce, and the best uses for it.
All you need for growing romaine lettuce from scraps is a sunny windowsill, water, and patience. There are several possible techniques when it comes to how to regrow romaine lettuce.
Most people opt for growing romaine lettuce in water, but it’s also possible to plant the root end of a lettuce stem in potting soil.
By regrowing produce from the grocery store, you can grow more of your own food at home year-round. You don’t need a fancy hydroponic system for regrowing lettuce. A glass of water or a large pot will do just fine.
How to Regrow Romaine Lettuce
If you’ve never tried to regrow lettuce, you might be amazed at how quickly it starts sprouting new leaves. The new roots begin growing soon afterward. It’s also possible to regrow other types of lettuce as long as they have a distinctive root end or stump and to grow celery from stalk.
Purchase organic lettuce for regrowing at home. Otherwise, the product may have been sprayed with pesticides and chemical growth inhibitors that prevent new roots from regrowing after harvest.
Next time you purchase a romaine heart at the grocery store, don’t toss the stem in your garbage can or compost bin. Instead, place it in a shallow glass of water or a pot filled with soil and situate it in a warm, sunny spot for a week or two.
You’ll be able to enjoy a continuous supply of fresh lettuce leaves grown right at home. When it comes to locally grown produce, it doesn’t get much more local than your own kitchen windowsill.
Growing Romaine Lettuce in Water
The easiest method for regrowing romaine lettuce is to place the cut stem in a shallow dish or glass of water. Cut the stem off of the head of lettuce about two or three inches above the roots.
Fill your glass or another container with just enough water to cover the root end, but don’t submerge the leaves. Change the water daily to avoid problems with mold or rot. You’ll begin to see the new shoots emerge within a couple of days.
You can regrow pineapple in water the same way, by putting the crown in water. Growing pineapples takes much longer than growing lettuce.
How to Grow Romaine Lettuce from Scraps in a Pot
If you’d prefer to try growing romaine lettuce from a stump planted in a container, you’ll still begin by rooting it in water. Since potting soil contains additional nutrients, most growers report getting larger and healthier lettuce leaves regrowing them in a large pot.
The root system begins growing back within a few days of soaking in water. If you are regrowing several heads of lettuce, fill a large pot with nutrient-rich potting soil and take care of planting lettuce together, or use smaller containers and grow the new plants individually.
Keep them indoors like house plants or set them in a sheltered, sunny location outside. Be sure to keep the soil consistently watered. Mulching with dry leaves, grass clippings, or straw helps retain soil moisture.
When to Harvest Regrown Lettuce
Harvest your regrown lettuce leaves within about two weeks from when they begin sprouting. If left too long, the plants start to bolt, ceasing leaf production and sending up a large flower stem.
Once the plant starts flowering and trying to produce seeds, the leaves have a bitter taste.
Trim the leaves as needed, or wait to harvest all of them at once. Expect to get the equivalent of a half-head of lettuce from regrowing one romaine heart.
Regrowing Other Veggies from Kitchen Scraps
Regrowing kitchen scraps into edible produce is a fun project for DIY enthusiasts. Some provide a quick turnaround, like lettuce and green onions.
Others require several years before they’ll produce a harvest, like sprouting an avocado seed by suspending it over water with toothpicks. Here are a few other herbs and veggies to try regrowing.
Growing romaine lettuce in water or potting soil is a fun and worthwhile endeavor. Regrowing certain veggies from kitchen scraps is not only easier on your wallet but also the environment.
Make the most of your grocery store purchases by learning how to regrow romaine lettuce on your kitchen windowsill. Whether you regrow lettuce in a glass of water or as a potted house plant, you’ll enjoy a second harvest of fresh lettuce leaves within two weeks.
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