It is possible to reuse the remains of carrots with greens, growing new carrots from them. If you prefer to garden instead of composting, there are some simple methods that you can try yourself at home. In addition, you can make the most of your food scraps and avoid kitchen waste. Herbs, scallions, lettuce and celery are all popular, but you can even regrow carrots. Since the taproot or orange part of the carrot does not form from leftovers, the vegetable can be replanted. Here is some useful information and instructions that may be of interest to amateur gardeners.
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Harvest more vegetables for the kitchen and grow new carrots from leftovers
Although you can not really grow carrots from scraps, it would be possible to give the tops with carrot greens that you normally throw in the compost , a second chance in your garden or in pots. This will give you a new crop of bright, fresh greens with a nice herb flavor. For example, you can use the vegetables to prepare a pesto with carrot greens. You can serve this accordingly with pasta, grilled meat or many other dishes. It also goes well with salads or you can use them the delicious paste as a garnish.
If you keep growing the greens, they will even produce beautiful white flowers. In addition, carrots are biennials, which means they produce flowers and seeds in their second year. However, until their flowers bloom, they produce an abundance of delicious greens. So this guide will walk you through growing carrots from remaining parts, which can also be a fun experiment for all family members.
Prepare the carrots for regrowth
To prepare leftover vegetables for regrowth, you should use a knife to cut a 2.5-inch piece from the carrot that has the green attached to the end. When doing this, make sure your piece is large enough and still has a few “lines” running across it. These are in fact called lateral root scars and are where the new roots will grow. Depending on how and when the carrot you used was harvested, you may already see the white roots growing out of these lines. If the green is still attached, you can chop it off, but leave some of the stem on. Otherwise, the vegetable may become too top-heavy for the next step. If you harvested carrots from your own garden, save the greens for soups, salads and pestos. Or you can use this in place of parsley.
Use water and grow pieces of carrots
To get the carrots to start rooting, place the pieces cut side down in a shallow container filled with just a little water. Find a shallow bowl or plastic container and fill the bottom with enough water to cover the pieces about halfway. However, the top should not be submerged or excessively wet or it may rot. If you have left greens on the carrots, it may be difficult at this point to get the carrot to sit properly. If this is a problem, or if the greens are growing, you can create a support system using toothpicks or skewers. Place the container in a shady but relatively warm location, but away from areas that may harbor rodents or scavengers. Add water as needed to keep the cut sides submerged.
Wait for the carrots to form shoots and roots.
Once you’ve placed your carrot scraps in water, it should only take a few days for the carrots to start producing new growth. The green shoots usually appear first and grow fairly quickly. After a few days, the piece will also begin to form tiny, hair-like roots. You can start eating your carrot greens at this point, and be sure to change the water every three days or so. However, don’t wait too long to proceed with this step or the carrots may rot, which will ruin the whole experiment.
Prepare the soil and grow the carrots
Once the carrot has started to sprout small roots, it is time to transfer the remains into the soil. You can try planting them directly in a garden bed, but they grow best when they start in a pot. This allows the carrots to acclimate better to direct sunlight and cold weather. In either case, use soil that contains plenty of compost and nutrients folded into the top few inches. However, the pot does not need to be particularly deep, as the carrot does not send out deep roots. Make a small hole in the soil and plant the carrot. Then cover the piece with more soil, leaving only the top sticking out. Water the vegetable and put it in a place with bright but indirect light for a week before allowing the carrot to thrive in a place with more sun.
Harvest carrot greens
After the plants have grown in a pot for a few days, you can acclimate them to direct sun and cold. This process is called “curing.” Start by placing the pot outside in direct sunlight for only three to four hours a day, then bring it back indoors. If the weather is fairly warm, you can do the entire process outside, but put the pot back in the shade. Gradually let the sprouts get more direct sun and more cold by adding an hour or two each day for four to five days. You can continue to harvest carrot greens for eating, but if you want more carrots later, leave the carrot greens alone. Although the taproot of your carrots will not regrow, the flowers of this plant will provide you with countless seeds.
Once the carrot greens have acclimated to their new location and are growing well, you can pinch off small leaves for garnish, let them grow up, and then use the carrot greens to make pesto or let them bloom. Just be sure to leave some of the stems on the carrot scraps when you cut them, and they will keep growing new shoots and give you an endless supply of delicious greens.
Tips for collecting carrot seeds
- If you grow carrots in your garden, you will need to wait until spring for them to flower.
- In the event that you left the plants indoors, they can bloom earlier. Eventually, white flowers will form. Leave them until they begin to brown and dry, leaving a seed head behind. Using scissors, cut off each seed head and place in a paper bag.
- Let the seeds sit for a few weeks to dry completely.
- Once the seeds have darkened, they can be harvested. If you only have a few heads, you can do this by picking them by hand.
- For larger harvests, you may need to set up a drop tray and use a sieve to sort the seeds.
- Be sure to find a cool, dry place to store them over the winter. Sow the seeds in the spring and reap the harvest of all your hard work.