This one is an oldie but goodie and can be done any time of year indoors or out. Don’t let its simplicity fool you, it never fails to impress when a kitchen scrap sprouts up into a new plant! It can also be an experiential initial lesson for discussions on plant physiology, sprouting, and anatomy.
From Kitchen Scraps to Sprouts
Glass jars, one for each sprout
Top end of a carrot
Sweet or white potato
Sweet potato photo credit homejoys.blogspot.com
Fill the jars with water
Insert 3-4 toothpicks into the sides of the vegetables. (Sometimes the girth of the potato is larger than that of the jar’s mouth so toothpicks are not necessary. You will have to see about your particular potato)
Carrots can be done with toothpicks or simple set into a saucer.
Place the toothpicks so they rest on the mouth of the jar suspend the vegetable a little into the water. You may need to add more water, or remove some at this stage.
Place jars on a tray in a sunny window and watch them sprout!
Be sure the plants stay touching the water so they will not dry out.
Carrot top photo credit www.gardeningknowhow.com
What you can expect
They can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks to begin sprouting so be patient.
The carrot will begin to sprout green from the top! This will grow in the dish for a little while, but will not grow a new carrot. If you use the dish, rather than the toothpick method, once the greens grow the carrot can become top heavy and tip out of the water.
The avocado seed may crack open partially or completely and will sprout roots and a shoot and leaves. This sprouted seed can then be planted into the ground or pot depending on where you live and will grow into a large or small tree.
The potatoes will sprout leaves and roots and can either be planted into a small pot to become a house plant (sweet potatoes are especially nice for this as they grow into long vines I once grew one in college that was 7 feet long) or they can be planted into the garden to grow more potatoes.
Avocado sprout photo credit avocado99.wordpress.com
Seeds to Sprout:
Lots more vegetables you can regrow in your window from the Black Thumb Gardener. This is a really cool blog post.
Tips for growing sprouted white potatoes
Cool time lapse videos of sprouting and lots more plant videos like venus fly traps, plant reproduction, and adaptation, also more plant lesson plans
For older children, here is a lesson plan for experimenting with different liquids and see which ones are best for sprouting
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Boy would I like to get a copy of this vintage treasure! Photo credit marashgirl.blogspot.com