I just pulled some radishes from the fridge. I forgot they were in there and the stems and leaves had turned to mush. The radishes themselves were fine, but it made me think: why didn't I just plant them instead of putting them in a cold dark drawer?

Many people have seen and enjoyed this trick with romain lettuce:


I do something similar with lemon grass.

It makes me wonder: why not have a growing zone in the kitchen for keeping fresh produce sold in whole plant form? Couldn't lead to better taste, longer lasting and maybe even more abundant food?

Are there any resources that list some of the methods for doing this with produce?

How did all of our food end up in the fridge, which works well for some foods, but seem to kill others?

  • 1
    The cold of the frig slows decomposition. Anything ANYTHING that was once alive and now dead/dying will immediately start decomposing. Root vegetables were designed to 'last longer' to feed the next generation. Same with seeds. They are meant to not only produce a baby plant but also feed that baby plant until it can photosynthesize and make its own food. Far easier to just keep sowing seed than trying to make a head of lettuce last longer. Vegetables are short term perishables, root vegeys medium length perishability...house plants, long term perishables.
    – stormy
    Oct 3, 2016 at 18:54
  • Also consider that in the western world, most vegetables/fruit from the supermarket has been picked long ago, often before ripening, and is transported and stored in refrigeration for who knows how long, before being displayed in an air conditioned store where it is then bought by you the consumer. This severely limits the chances of growing on any suitable stock. However, there are some successful methods with certain plants. I myself have successfully planted spring onion, leek, coriander and potato using bought vegetables (with root structure intact).
    – Viv
    Oct 4, 2016 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


You can't treat radishes in the same way because the radish you eat is actually the root of the radish plant, unlike lettuce, where you're not eating the roots but the topgrowth. If you cut the tops off radishes and put those in water, you should get roots, then the resulting plant can be potted up but its unlikely to produce more radishes, it'll just be topgrowth. Radishes in particular are a fast crop, so growing from seed indoors might be possible, but if you leave them in the soil too long, they become spongy and unpleasant to eat if they're still growing. Equally, if you took your shop bought radishes and immediately reburied them in soil, they're unlikely to continue growing, and will start to mature and rot off probably more quickly than they do in the fridge.

So although the process you link to may work for topgrowth vegetables like lettuce and celery, its only because the bottoms of both plants will generate new roots if stood in water, and thus produce more topgrowth. Even so, from a nutritional point of view, it's best to pot the lettuce up into potting medium rather than just cropping from lettuce left with its roots sitting in water. More info re radishes here http://homeguides.sfgate.com/radish-top-regrow-98007.html

  • I usually eat the tops too... are they bad?
    – futurebird
    Oct 3, 2016 at 19:08
  • Not at all,they're absolutely edible
    – Bamboo
    Oct 3, 2016 at 19:10

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