Start gardening with leftover vegetables in the kitchen

9 minute read |

Start gardening

Household waste is the largest contributor to the total waste in the world. According to data from the Ministry of the Environment throughout 2020, 37,3% of the total waste in Indonesia is household waste. If this is left unchecked and no preventive action is taken, it is not impossible that more and more waste generated from households will threaten the survival of mankind. In fact, if we study further, most of the household waste is organic material such as food scraps, leftover vegetable consumption in the kitchen, wrapping (other than paper, rubber, and plastic), fruit peels, leaves, and twigs. Where organic waste is easier to decompose and there are more ways to recycle, one of which we can use to start gardening activities.


Gardening is a very fun activity and has a variety of benefits. Besides being able to be self-sufficient in food and reducing the potential for food waste in the landfill, gardening is very healthy for the body with physical activity. Gardening is also a solution to balance our mental health. According to research, being close to nature and interacting with plants is an activity that can maintain mental health as well as a means of therapy. Apart from that, it is certainly healthier because we can control the ingredients used in the planting process.


Has it ever crossed our minds that the remaining consumption of vegetables, fruit or food in the kitchen can be used to start gardening activities? So, let's start with a zero waste lifestyle to support the creation of sustainable agriculture from the easiest thing.


If all this time we are fixated that starting gardening activities is quite difficult because we have to buy planting material in the form of seeds or seedlings, buy fertilizer for plant nutrition or are still confused about finding containers for sowing or planting. From now on we can try to use leftover vegetable consumption in the kitchen and use unused used containers to start gardening easily and cheaply.


The basic things that we must instill in ourselves to start gardening are first, that gardening does not always have to be with a large yard or backyard. We can use used bottles, used milk cartons, used cans as containers that are neatly and beautifully arranged in front of the terrace or near the kitchen window. Second, start using leftover vegetable and fruit seeds such as chili seeds, eggplant seeds, avocado seeds, papaya seeds for us to make planting material and re-grow vegetable pieces (regrow) such as leeks, lemongrass, carrots, mustard greens, and potatoes. And third, make it a habit to use organic fertilizers that you can make yourself from leftover food consumption or rotten fruits and vegetables. In addition to reducing waste, we also help manage the ecosystem by not adding chemical fertilizers to the soil.


1. Making and preparing planting containers

Making and preparing planting containers

To start gardening, of course, you have to prepare a place to grow plants to be planted. As previously explained that gardening does not have to be with a large area because there are many alternatives that can be done. We can try gardening with a vertical system, which is a method of planting by arranging plants vertically using used bottles or with a wall planter bag. We can also start gardening without having to buy plastic pots, use used cans or used milk cartons to be plant containers. Of course it won't take up much space, we just need to arrange it neatly.


2. Planting from fruit seeds and vegetable scraps

Planting from fruit seeds and vegetable scraps

This is the most fun part of gardening using leftover vegetables. How not, we can make planting material from materials that we previously thought were useless. There are two types of planting material that we can regrow, the first by using fruit seeds and the second by utilizing the remaining pieces of vegetables. There are several types of fruits and vegetables that we can regrow, including:


a. Chilli

You must be familiar with this one food ingredient, including types of fruit, but ordinary people often categorize it into vegetables. It turns out that it is very easy to grow chilies, especially chili trees bear a lot of fruit and can be harvested many times. Using rotten chilies or dry chilies that are in the refrigerator for seeds, we can take them and use them as planting material.

The steps are quite easy, take the chili seeds and then dry them for approximately 24 hours or until the seeds become dry. Prepare the planting media in tin pots or other used containers then sow the chili seeds. Chili seeds will sprout after 25 - 30 days after the seeds are planted, and will bear fruit 60 days or 2 months later. Chili plants love full sun, so make sure to plant them outdoors. Do watering twice a day and give fertilizer once a month. Planting this chili makes us learn to be patient and painstaking.


b. Tomato

Just like chili, tomatoes can be grown using the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pulp and then dry for 2-3 days. Drying can be directly in the sun or just air dried. After drying, the tomato seeds are ready to be planted in a container with a loose planting medium. Tomato seeds will germinate 20-25 days after the seeds are planted. The first harvest of tomatoes can be done after the tomato plant is 40 days after the seeds sprout. Tomato harvest can be done every week until the tomato plants are more than 4 months old.


c. Avocado


Usually, avocado seeds become garbage that we just throw away. Though there is a unique way to regrow avocado seeds. We can use water propagation techniques to grow avocados from seeds. What we need to prepare is a transparent container that can use glasses, used glass bottles or flower vases that are no longer used. Fill with water approximately 3/4 of the total volume of the container. Then place the avocado seeds that have been cleaned of seeds in the container with the wider part on the bottom and the oval on the top. Make sure 1/4 of the seeds are submerged in water, because water will trigger the process of root and shoot growth. If the mouth of the container is too wide and causes the avocado seeds to completely submerge, then prepare three toothpicks at the three points of the avocado seed to prevent the seeds from sinking.


When the shoots have grown 3 to 5 leaves, the roots are 5-7 cm in size and are about 1 month old, transfer them into the soil. Avocado plants propagated by seeds will bear fruit after 10-15 years after planting. Even though we have to wait a very long time to taste the fruit, but at least we have lots of avocado plants at home by multiplying ourselves.


d. Carrot


Carrots or other root crops such as radishes or beets can be regrown by using the fruit part. Cut the ends of the carrots about 5 cm and place them in a container or tray filled with water. The part of the carrot that is submerged in water is approximately 2 cm. Wait until the root comes out and shoots appear. After 2-3 weeks, move the carrot parts into a pot that already contains planting media. Place it in an area that gets enough sunlight, carrots will be ready to be harvested when they are 3-4 months old after being planted in the ground. Don't forget to regularly water the carrots and give compost once a month so that they thrive and maximize.


e. Mustard


Sometimes we don't realize that when we consume mustard greens, we will leave about 5 cm of the mustard hump. Then the rest of the pieces will become waste that we throw into the landfill. From now on we can get used to using the weevil for replanting. A very easy way to grow mustard from the cob, prepare a container that has been filled with water and put the cob of mustard greens by soaking the bottom 2 cm. After the roots and shoots appear, transfer them to the planting medium to maximize their growth. We can plant mustard without having to buy seeds first. To care for mustard greens is very easy, just water it once a day and give fertilizer once a week. Mustard can be harvested after the seeds from the weevil are 3 weeks old.


f. Leek


The leek weevil that we usually throw away can become a new plant and we can harvest it many times using the water propagation technique. Leave 5 - 8 cm of leek bulbs, put them in a container filled with water and let shoots and roots grow. To maximize the growth of the leek plant, place it near a window so that it is exposed to sunlight. Leeks can be harvested after 2 - 3 weeks. If you want more massive growth, move the rooted leeks into the soil media.


g. Ginger


First, choose a ginger rhizome that will no longer be cooked, cut the rhizome into several parts. Cutting the rhizome is useful to stimulate the growth of shoots. We plant the pieces of rhizome in the soil that has been perforated about 5-10 cm. Cover again with soil, place in an area that is exposed to the sun all the time. Ginger rhizome will sprout about 3-4 weeks after planting.


h. Kitchen lemongrass


Lemongrass is a type of plant that is very easy to cultivate. Kitchen lemongrass can be grown from the cuttings of the tubers. Plant the weevil into the mixture of planting media, let the weeds produce rhizomes of tillers. Within 4 - 6 months after planting the first weevil, we will get a thick clump of kitchen lemongrass. If you want to use lemongrass for cooking spices, take the rhizome of the saplings to the roots. Take care by doing pruning, namely cutting the leaves of the kitchen lemongrass leaving 10-15 cm from the base. The pruning will stimulate more rhizome growth of tillers. Lemongrass plants can also repel mosquitoes, you know, very suitable to be planted in the yard.


3. Making organic fertilizer from fruit peels, vegetables and rotten fruit


Making organic fertilizer

In gardening, of course, plants also need nutrients, one of which is the provision of sufficient fertilizer. We can use the rest of our consumption of vegetables and fruit at home to make organic fertilizer or compost.

How to compost can be seen at this link

The Easy Way to Compost! So easy!

Organic waste that can and cannot go into compost

Types of Composter You Need to Know

Or to hashtag


Increase the consumption of vegetables #BanyakinSayurnya You don't have to worry about increasing the amount of waste. It turns out that we can replant and recycle the remaining vegetable consumption into materials that are more useful for the sustainability of the ecosystem and the creation of sustainable agriculture, which we can start with simple things. With #BanyakinSayurnya, we can contribute to slowing climate change by reducing the production of household waste. We can power from home and slow climate change from the contents of our plates. You can follow the #BanyakinSayurnya movement from the #MakeItLast campaign series from Electrolux Indonesia. From small things we can contribute to maintaining the survival of our children and grandchildren in the future.


So, let’s Make it Last!

compare channel adviser image

    Purchase In-Store

    0804 111 9999