3 Plants To Grow From Kitchen Scraps
Before you throw out that peach or avocado pit, think about how incredible it would be to have a peach or avocado tree. It would be awesome, right?! Avocados seem to only be skyrocketing in price and store-bought peaches are lacking in flavor compared to freshly picked fruits. Take more control of your food sources and discover the delight and better quality fruits you will get when growing your own. The best part, it costs practically nothing to do.
Next time you're eating a perfect, juicy, delicious peach, don't toss out that pit! When you find one that you enjoy, save it so you can grow your own delectable peaches. Clean off the pit and let it sit for a few days to dry. This makes it easier to break open so you can access the seed inside. A hammer still may be necessary to break that tough pit open, though!
Peach seeds need a cold-stratification germination process. Simply put, they need to be kept cool before being planted to induce germination. Place the seeds in a plastic bag with some moist potting soil and put the bag in the refrigerator. In 1-3 months, they should show little green sprouts. The time it takes depends on the variety of peach and the viability of the seed. The only way to know is to plant them!
Once they've sprouted, they can be planted in pots or the ground. The best time to plant peaches outside is in the early spring, about a month before the last frost. The sprouts can be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them.
Grocery store ginger is called ginger root for a reason. The root, or actually rhizome, just needs a little encouragement for it to produce more. Choose an organic ginger root to ensure it hasn't been treated with any anti-sprouting chemicals. Choose a ginger root that has nodes that look like they will sprout, or better yet, find one that is already starting to bud.
Keep the ginger on the counter in a nice sunny spot until the nodes begin sprouting; this can take several weeks. The nodes are light green and will swell up making them quite obvious and different from the root.
When the nodes sprout, cut each one off the root, letting the cut ends heal for a couple of hours before planting. Fill a container with good potting soil and place the node on top of the soil. Cover the sides with the soil being careful that the top is not entirely covered. The tip of the node needs to be close to the surface. Water it consistently and keep a humid environment. Ginger comes from the tropics. A well-lit bathroom windowsill is a great place to place this plant.
Each fall, harvest the roots by digging them up. It generally takes 8-10 months for the plant to be full-grown but you can harvest it at any time. Set aside a few to replant and you'll have lots of fresh ginger.
Contrary to the popular videos and DIY tutorials about sticking toothpicks into avocados and suspending them over water, there is a much easier way. Avocados are designed to sprout when they fall from the tree, which means, they want to be in soil growing. The key is not to let the pits dry out.
Do not remove the pit from the avocado until you are ready to plant it. Or, if it must be removed early, place it in a cup of water and change the water daily until you are ready to plant it. Plant a bunch of pits at a time since there is no guarantee which ones will sprout. A lot will depend on where it came from, the variety, and whether it was treated with anything. Organic is always best.
An avocado has sides, a rounded and a flat side. The flatter side is where the roots emerge from. Fill a container with potting soil and place the pit in with the flatter side down so the roots will be facing downwards. Cover the pit with a few inches of potting soil and water it well. Keep it consistently watered (wet but not soggy) in a warm, sunny location. In 1-2 months, the sprouts will emerge and can be moved to a bigger container or planted outdoors.
If you live in a cold winter location, sadly, it is unlikely the plant will produce fruit. It is still a beautiful tree, though, and absolutely worth the effort to plant since it's so easy.