Keeping young kids entertained at home can be a daily challenge. I am constantly trying to come up with enriching activities to get through the weekdays. As the hours of daylight extend and the weather warms, outdoor fun wins over indoor playtime for my 5-year-old. My daughter’s school has an on-site garden where the kids would engage in hands-on learning about growing various plants. With this in mind, I felt it would be good to continue to educate her on the growth cycle of plants. I discovered an easy gardening activity for kids: regrow your vegetables!
Regrow Your Lettuce:
Many times I have discarded the stem of my romaine or red lettuce without giving it a second thought. I then learned that these lettuces can actually regrow from their stem with very little effort! I decided to give it a go with my daughter. It worked! Here is what we did:
- Cut lettuce 1 inch above the stem
- Place into a small dish or bowl with shallow water to cover the stem, approximately 1/2 inch
- Ensure dish is in an area receiving natural light
- Change water every 1-2 days
- After 10-12 days, you will see that you have new leaves of lettuce of a 3-6 inches in height or more
- Transfer to the soil to continue growing, or cut and enjoy your new lettuce leaves as part of a meal!
Regrow Your Celery:
Similarly, celery can be regrown by retaining the lower portion of the stalk. The steps to optimizing your success for growth are very much the same as with lettuce!
- Cut celery 1-2 inches from the bottom of the stalk.
- Place into a dish of shallow water, approximately 1/2 inch deep.
- Ensure the dish is in an area receiving natural light.
- Change water every 1-2 days.
- Celery will grow bright new shoots. As it does, discard the outer layers. Roots will start to form.
- Transfer celery plant to the soil after 20 days for continued growth.
Regrow Your Potatoes:
This has proven a great way for me to feel less wasteful if I don’t use all of the potatoes in my bag before they start to grow eyes. Got a softening potato with at least two eyes? Give this a try! Once transplanted to the soil, potatoes grow a lovely green leafy vine guaranteed to brighten up a garden bed. You may get 5-10 potatoes from one store-bought potato!
- Cut a potato in half, ensuring each half has 1-2 sets of eyes. Allow each half to dry out until dry to the touch, which may take 1-2 days.
- Plant the potato halves in the soil 8 inches deep and a foot apart.
- Water soil to keep the soil damp. Green sprouts appear within a few days.
- Sprouts will grow into vines. Keep the plants well-watered.
- Potatoes are ready to harvest in approximately 90 days. When the vines begin to die at the top, this is a sign they are ready.