As a kid I remember the lessons at school. Runner beans in jam jars sitting on damp tissue paper, growing cress in small trays, and learning how to grow carrots from scraps, and a plethora of other vegetables too.
I enjoyed those times, funny how such apparently simple things seem like so much fun. Well, it’s not too late to rekindle some interest. If you’ve got kids, they will love it, but even if you don’t, growing vegetables for kitchen scraps can be quite fulfilling.
Carrot tops are one of the simplest plants to grow from scraps that you’d usually throw into the waste bin. Carrots are actually quite a pretty plant when you see the vibrant green, soft leaves poking out of the ground. Carrot leaves are actually edible, they have something of a Parsley-like taste. Eaten raw they can taste a little bitter, but they are definitely fine to eat. so growing some carrots from scraps is a worthwhile thing to do.
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How To Grow Carrots From Scraps
If you’re instructing some little ones on how to grow carrots from scraps this way, it’s important to tell them that we need to top of the carrot, where the foliage was (usually cut off at the supermarket), and that we can’t just stick the orange root part of the carrot into water or back into the ground and expect it to grow. The root part of the carrot (the bit we eat with our dinner) won’t grow back. We’re aiming to grow the leaves into carrot greens, and probably get some pretty white flowers as part of the deal.
There are 3 ways you can grow carrot tops from carrots. They all work and are really just different methods to get moisture to the carrot top.
Growing Carrots From Scraps On A Saucer
Growing vegetables from scraps is easy. The simplest way to grow yourself some carrots greens from the kitchen offcuts is to place the top of the carrot into a saucer of water. Aim to cut the carrot top off and leave 3/4 to 1 inch of the orange part intact.
Place it on a sauce with a little water in it, and leave in a sunny spot. Change the water every couple of days, making sure the saucer doesn’t dry out. You’ll soon spot the green wispy leaves starting to emerge. Continue growing and keep harvesting for use in cooking, or just enjoy the journey and wait to see those delicate flowers appear.
Growing Carrot Tops On Newspaper
A less messy, and equally effective method for sprouting carrot tops is to simply cut a few sheets of newspaper to the size of a plate. Lay them out on the plate in several layers and soak with water.
You can then place one or many carrot tops directly onto the paper. As before, just remember to ensure the paper does not dry out by adding a little water every day or two.
Growing Carrot Tops On A Pie Plate
If you choose to use a pie plate or dish to sprout your carrot offcuts, you can lay a few pie marbles into the dish to cover the bottom. Then add water to just cover the marbles.
Place your carrot tops atop the marbles and wait for them to grow.
With any of these methods, providing the plate is large enough, you can sprout multiple carrots this way.
What To Do Next?
I mentioned at the start of this article that you aren’t going to be growing whole carrots this way, just the tops….
I wasn’t quite being TOTALLY honest there. No, you’re never going to grow whole, edible carrots on a saucer, but once the tops are well established, they can be planted into soil, and the root part will start to grow. Kids love the process of starting indoors, seeing it grow, then transplanting out into the garden and then harvesting fresh carrots, all done with the bits you would generally throw away.
Growing Carrots From Scraps (infographic)
Need a quick guide, here’s one that you might like.
How To Regrow Carrots (video)
Growing carrots from scraps is fun for kids and teaches them about how plants grow under different circumstances.
I love the fact that they can produce something tangible with just stuff that is lying around the home or destined for the scrap bin. Learning how to grow your own vegetables is a really wonderful and empowering thing to do, great for adults and kids alike.