Onions are such fantastically versatile vegetables packed full of health benefits. But the next time you prepare a bunch for a salad or vegetable dish, don't toss the root (the hard part at the bottom of the onion) to the garbage. You can use these roots to re-grow your very own, fresh supply of onions and it couldn't be easier. All you need is the root, some pots, some dirt and some water! If you want to drop the pot, you can plant the roots directly into the ground if you prefer.
1. Chop off the onion bottom, being sure to save the root in good condition. The more 'bottom' you can save, the better so try to keep at least 1.5 inches.
2. Dry the onion in a well ventilated place for a couple of hours.
3. Grab your pot - one which leaves a couple of inches around each side of the onion is ideal - and fill it up with soil until it's about 2/3 full.
4. Make a indentation in the soil and plant the onion. Cover it over with 1-2 inches of soil.
5. Wait until the onion bottom has developed a few leaves, then remove it from the pot. If more than one plant develops from the root bottom, separate them by slicing between the different plants.
6. Cut any leaves to 1/3 the size of the bulb to allow the plant to grow more easily. Replant in a larger box.
Re-grow Romaine Lettuce
Next time you chop up romaine lettuce to make a nutritious salad, consider holding on to the stalk that you would usually throw in the garbage. The reason? Well, this stalk can be classed as the 'heart' of the lettuce, and if you plant it in some water and show a little bit of patience, it will eventually grow a whole new lettuce ready to be plucked, prepared, eaten and then re-planted again:
1. Remove a few inches from the bottom or 'heart of the lettuce'.
2. Put the hearts you have collected into a container or cup and add a couple of inches of water. Each heart should be placed in its own container.
3. Wait for a few days. Make sure that the root is always fed with water, and change the water regularly.
4. Ensure that the plant is fed by light - so place your chosen container on a window ledge.
5. Fresh lettuce will begin to sprout from the root in no time. Once it grows big enough to harvest, use it and then re-start the process.