Re-growing carrot scraps into leafy greens is easier than you think. If you are in the beginning stages of: “In the life of a gardener” growing carrot tops is a fantastic place to start, or as a great project for kids. The process to this is quite simple, so this would be a great starting point getting them involved and  familiar with the growing process of plants.  

 Why is it a good place to start, you ask? Well, for this project you do not need any heavy or hard-to-find equipment. Depending on the method you choose; method one or method two; essentially all you would need to begin is the carrot top(s), a container, and water. For the second method, in addition to the supplies in method one, all you would need to add is potting mix. So let’s begin.

Side note: these two methods will not produce an actual carrot, just the greens that you can either eat or wait for it to flower, then eventually produce seeds.

Method number one: growing carrot top in water. This method is really simple to do and allows you to see all of the growth that is taking place each step of the way. You will be up close and personal, being able to identify any problems along the way or if you simply want to record the process to save for a later time to share.

To do so you would first need to cut off a portion of the top (about ¼ to ½ of an inch). Cutting the carrot top off too thin might lessen the success rate of the growth, but it can be done. That is because the new roots will sprout from the sides of the carrot top, not the bottom. Next, get the container of your choice. This could be a small saucer, bowl, or glass container; the choice is yours. Place the carrot top in the container and pour water in, covering about half of the carrot top. 

Once you have covered the carrot top with water about the halfway mark, you will then need to place the container in an area that has bright lighting, not direct sunlight. Direct sun will be too much. To care for your new project, you will need to change the water regularly; every two to three days to keep it fresh and free from rotting. Within 2-5 days, you will notice new growth! leafy greens will be abundant.

 After 1-2 weeks of growth, you may either place them in soil or opt to continue the growth process in water, allowing the leafy greens to continue growing. If you choose to continue with this method, however, the leaves may become top-heavy which may result in it toppling over. This is the best method if you want to see the roots grow and marvel at their beauty. Try a few at a time and take notice if there are any noticeable differences in the growth of each one. Here is a fun video on growing carrot greens in water: https://youtu.be/uoE7nhkYf4E 

And another, how to grow carrot tops: https://youtu.be/tSqYvJQBwr0

The second method involves soil. You will want to give this method a try if your goal is to harvest seeds. Start by cutting off about an inch of the carrot top off. You could either choose to put the top in the soil immediately or wait a couple of days for the bottom of the carrot to dry out. This technique almost ensures a healthy growing environment. It’s been noted that allowing the carrot top, or bottom, depending on the way you look at it to dry out, will keep rotting at bay.  If you started off with the water method, you could transfer those into soil. You will need to cover the carrot almost completely, just leave the very top showing. Make sure the container you are using has adequate drainage. A pot with little to no drainage spells disaster. Now place the pot in a bright area (windowsill or patio door).

 A tip for a healthy growing environment is: do not overwater the soil. Keep the soil moist; only water when the top of the soil (about one to two inches) is dry to the touch.

Growing the carrot tops in the soil gives the plant a longer life. You will be able to keep the plant for several months, as opposed to the water method. There are much more nutrients in the soil, resulting in sustainability; compared to growing solely in water. Here is a short video showing the process:  https://youtu.be/_eS7hD_-Hrc

The portion of the carrot planted will grow roots deep into the soil. After a brief time; an abundance of leafy greens will show up on top; watch how quickly they grow! Marvel in its beauty! Shortly thereafter, you will notice the flowering of this beautiful plant. These flowers can get fairly tall, depending on the size of the pot you chose. The white flowers eventually will produce seeds. Once the plant is finished flowering, there usually are no more leaves produced. You could, however, attempt to get a little more leaves from that top by cutting off the flower stalk. There is a possibility that you will be able to get a little more leaves, fingers crossed. Here is another video on growing carrot tops in soil. https://youtu.be/_pWri_IYIxE 

As an added bonus, I would like to share one more method of growing carrot tops. This method is also fairly simple. It is: using newspapers. With this technique, you will not have to worry about changing any water every couple of days. All you would need to do is get a few layers of newspaper and fully soak them. After doing so, get a plate and lay the well-soaked newspaper on the plate (make sure there is no excess water running off the newspaper onto the plate). Now place the carrot tops on top of the newspaper. Keep an eye on the carrot top and remember to keep the newspaper wet during this process. Shortly there after, you will notice the sprouting of roots, and the top begins to produce leaves. At that point, you can move them into the soil. I hope this bonus serves as a bonus in your life. Wishing you love and light.

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