Planting store bought fruit & vegetables

by Lala

From the supermarket to the garden? Don’t things usually go in the opposite direction? Not for me if I can help it. I like planting store bought greens that I enjoy, to see if they’ll grow well in my garden, and so that I can enjoy them much longer for free.

I’ve been successful with growing green onions and spring onions like this, when I find the packets with the roots of the onions still on them. I also planted sweet potatoes at our first house, from tubers that I had forgotten in the veggie drawer, when they started to grow shoots. They make a beautiful, spreading ground cover and some are even sold as ornamentals. I often wonder if our tenants there ever dug them up and found a surprise harvest.

This week I found this amazing living baby butter lettuce, with the roots still on, while grocery shopping. I bought four of them (only R13 each) and will be planting them out tomorrow afternoon when the weather is cooler.

Red purple living baby butter lettuce

I planted red and green oakleaf lettuce from the garden center last year, which grew well into the warm season, but went to seed sometime in December. I really miss being able to walk into the garden and pick fresh lettuce as I need it, rather than buying it in plastic bags and feeling guilty when it wilts before we’ve used it all. The garden lettuce also packs a bigger flavour punch in my opinion. Store bought salad greens, except rocket, tend to be very bland.

This is truly instant, easy and foolproof vegetable gardening. If you’re impatient or feel like you have a brown thumb, try planting something like this from the grocery store, keep it watered and mulched and enjoy. For me, this is the start of my winter gardening cycle. I’ve been really looking forward to growing some of the “fractal” broccoli I bought last year. I hope the seeds are still good.

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