Create your own vegetable patch for free with this genius tip

All you will need is a few leftovers from the fridge

If you are keen to try growing your own vegetables at home but can't get hold off any seeds or plants, try giving propagation ago.

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Propagating leftover vegetables or fresh herbs is an easy way to start your own vegetable patch for free. 'You can easily use your leftover stalks to grow your own salad essentials with this method,' explains sustainability warrior, Lynne Lambourne. 'You can even grow your own herbs and spices.'

'Not only does this reduce your household waste but you don't need lots of space to do it. It's a great skill to learn and also a fantastic way to teach children how to be more sustainable.'

With the help of gardening brand, Gardena, here are a few of Lynne's top tip to grow your salad with leftovers from the fridge.

How to propagate vegetables

vegetable propagation of fresh herbs

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)


'Start with the staple salad ingredient, both gem and romaine varieties work well,' Lynne explains. 'You need to keep the stalk that you would normally waste and place this in a glass or clear container with some water and lots of sunlight; windowsills and balconies work well.'

'Change the water daily and as the days pass you will begin to see the stem sprout, once the sprout has grown and the roots begin to show it's planting time.'

When it comes to planting up simply pop your propagated lettuce into a pot or vegetable patch with damp potting soil. Make sure it is somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight.

potted plants and gardening tools on table beside windowsill

(Image credit: Future PLC /Jamie Mason)


Celery is one of the most versatile ingredients in the fridge, but can often be forgotten about. You can easily grow more of this surprisingly useful veg by following the same method as the lettuce. 'But this time use the white roots of the stalks and place them into the water with good sunlight,' explains Lynne.

'Be sure to change the water daily and when the leaves start to sprout, plant the growing roots in damp soil.'

3.Spring onions

These are super easy to propagate. Simply keep the roots of the onions and cover them in water with access to lots of sunlight and change the water daily.

potted plants with wooden open shelve with fresh herbs

(Image credit: Future PLC /Colin Poole)


Herbs can be propagated from stalks in a similar way to lettuce. However, for root herbs such as ginger and garlic, you will need to treat them a little differently.

For ginger simply plant it straight into well-watered potting soil with the head of the ginger popping out the soil. Keep it at approximately 20 degrees. When gree shoots appear it is ready to use. For garlic wait for it to begin to sprout before following a similar process.

Related: No garden? No problem, here's how to grow your own veg on a windowsill or balcony

Will you be making use of your leftovers this weekend?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.