ISSUE 20  |  Greek Isles

DIY Video: How to Sprout Seeds and Plant a Compost Garden

May 22, 2014 4:00 PM

BY Gardenista Team

After dinnertime prep, there’s no need to let your vegetable trimmings go to waste. Save seeds from citrus fruit or sprout seeds from legumes and watch them grow before your eyes. Save your vegetable trimmings–from carrots, beets, and garlic–and grow them into your very own “compost garden.”

Gardenista editor-in-chief Michelle Slatalla shows us how easy it is to make more efficient use of your dinnertime scraps:

Sprouting Seeds

  • Paper towels
  • Seeds from citrus fruit (or use lentils, raw nuts, chickpeas, or mung beans)
  • Plant mister or spray bottle

1. Using a spray bottle or plant mister, dampen a double layer of paper towels.

2. Sprinkle seeds on top of the paper towel, on one side only. Fold the paper towel onto itself so your seeds are covered, then moisten the paper towel again.

3. Place the moistened paper towel in a sunny, warm spot. Check back in a few days to see if your seeds have sprouted.

Compost Garden 

  • Shallow tray with divided compartments (such as a cutlery tray)
  • Leftover scraps from dinner prep, such as beet stalks, carrot tops, and cloves of garlic
  • Gravel or small rocks
  • Potting soil

1. Fill the tray with a layer of soil, plus rocks or gravel for drainage.

2. Gently tuck your vegetable scraps into the soil; use a different compartment for each kind of vegetable. You can even plant your sprouted seeds into one compartment. 

3. Add water to the top of the gravel, being careful not to soak them in the shallow tray. Keep them moist.

4. Check back in a week or so for growth from your plants. When you see hardy sprouts from each of them, transplant into your vegetable garden.