- You probably know you can grow vegetables from seeds. But do you know, you can also grow new vegetables from veggie scraps? Watch this episode to find out how. If you're thinking about starting a vegetable garden, you don't necessarily have to reach for seeds. Some vegetables can regrow even after some of their parts have been removed. And normally when you buy green onions from the store, they look something like this. The roots are nicely trimmed and they have these nice green stems. These can actually regrow after you've eaten part of them. So I ate some green onions earlier this week. I basically cut off the stems so that I left around four inches or so left. And I did this over a few days just to be able to see how much regrows per day. So I have one here that I cut just yesterday and another one that I cut two days ago. And you can see that in just one or two days, these green onions start to regrow. Here's one that I cut over a week ago, and you can see that it's regrown almost past the size that it did when I bought from the store. You'll also notice that the roots start to grow back. And these roots are pulling in water into the plant. And I could keep cutting this and leaving it in a jar of water until it regrows. This one, I've recut a couple of times. You can see that it's a little limper than this fresh one, and the color is a little lighter. Eventually, these plants will need more nutrients. So I'll probably take this one and plant it in the yard today. That way it can get nutrients to continue to grow and provide me green onions as long as I'm hungry. Potatoes can also regrow. So I pulled this potato plant out of my garden this morning. You can see that the plant side was sticking up out of the ground. And the potatoes actually grow off of the roots of the plant. Now, this grew from a single potato that I put into my yard many months ago. It was a fingerling potato that I bought from the store and left on the counter until it sprouted. Maybe you've accidentally sprouted a potato. Next time that happens, you can actually plant it, and it'll grow into a potato plant. Over time these potatoes will grow. And this one I'll probably just put back into my yard, actually. 'Cause they'll keep growing until you have a nice sized potato ready to go. The potatoes sprout from their eyes. And here I have some kind of ancient looking potatoes that I actually sprouted. And you can see the sprouts came from the eyes. And I've just left this sitting. And it looks kind of dried out and dead, but you can see that two little sprouts have grown where the two eyes were. Now, this looks like it's dead and kind of past its good years, but I'm gonna put it in the yard, and a few months from now, I'll be able to harvest a whole new batch of potatoes. These little guys are sometimes referred to as seed potatoes, but they are not actually the seeds. The seeds would come from any flowers that grew from the plant side. So how does this plant grow from something that wasn't a seed? Unlike you and me, plants have a special ability to continuously grow throughout their lives. And this ability is due to some special cells called meristematic cells. These cells can turn into any cell type that a plant needs, whether it's to grow more roots, stems or leaves. If you've ever heard of stem cells in humans, these are the plant versions of it. You can experiment for yourself to see which parts of which plants have these cells. If you just cut off your green onions and put the green tops in water, will it grow? What happens if you put a part of a potato that doesn't have an eye in the ground? Play around and experiment for yourself, and make sure to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of your labor.
No Seeds, No Problem
Published: July 21, 2020
Total Running Time: 00:04:04
You don’t necessarily need seeds to grow a vegetable garden. In this episode of Hungry for Science, learn to take advantage of special cells in plants that allow them to grow continuously and turn your veggie scraps into another meal.