In the frenzy of the “how-to grow food from scraps”movement, I tried to do the experiment. I was surprised at how easy it was to regrow scallions/green onions from the scrap. I also tried with leek, and found out that while it takes longer than green onions, it’s also very easy. Here is what I learned while doing the experiment:
- Cut the scallions about 1 inch from the base. Too short and it’ll be in too much contact with water. Too long and you are losing some precious veggie flesh.
- There’s no need to leave them in the water until fully grown. I began with leaving the scallions in the water, but unlike what some information said, at some point the scallion’s growth slowed down and wouldn’t grow to it’s full size.
- It’s best to plant green onions in soil. By planting these in pots or in the garden, they get more sun and nutrients, thus growing faster. What I do now is I’ll start a sprout in a baby jar with enough water to cover the roots and transfer these in the ground the next day (or within 2-3 days), making sure to water the soil after planting so it doesn’t dry up.
- It takes longer than a week (or 10 days as some website say) to regrow from scrap. I’d say at least 2-3 weeks before having a decent-sized scallion (here in my part of California). That’s why I suggest replanting the ones you use over the course of 3 weeks. This way, you always have fresh scallions waiting to be picked in your garden.
- You can shorten the roots. Once you have regrown the green onions, used them and are preparing to regrow again, you can cut the roots down to 3/4 – 1 inch long before putting them in a jar of water. I you decide to keep the roots as is you may end up with a lot more roots than easily manageable in the very near future.
Right now I have about 30-40 scallions regrowing in my yard. You can see some green onions are ready to be picked while others have just been planted in the soil. You can also find nearby the first leek I regrew from scrap that has been awaiting to be picked up for a while now… I think I just found a way to save a few dollars every week on my grocery bill!