Homegrown Hint: Plants in Your Pantry

Discover a whole new source of seeds in your pantry.
How-To Grow Edamame

How-To Grow Edamame

You can dry seeds from edamame pods to grow in next year's garden.

You can dry seeds from edamame pods to grow in next year's garden.

Most gardeners know that they can save seeds from vegetables they've grown. For example, you can leave some edamame pods to dry on the bush. When the pods are browned and papery, and the seeds are dried, pick the pods, shell them and store the seeds over winter until it's time to plant next year. What a lot of gardeners don't realize is that dried seeds just like this can be found right in their kitchen pantry.

Frugal gardeners know that they can grow acres of vegetables from a few dollars' worth of groceries. You can dry and save your edamame beans as an inexpensive source of plants for next year, but another option would be to use dried beans from the grocery.

Beans, Beets and Spices

dried beans are really just dry seeds

dried beans are really just dry seeds

Beans are essentially large seeds. Almost any kind of dried bean or pea you find in your pantry can be planted and grown. Dried kidney beans, black-eyed peas and pinto beans (clockwise from bottom) are just a few of the varieties you can plant.

Another option for kitchen gourmets is to raid the refrigerator. Beets that are past their prime can be planted and will produce tasty greens that are wonderful when slightly steamed. Dried-out cloves of garlic can be planted in the garden and in a few months will yield lots of fresh garlic bulbs. Ginger root, green onions and old potatoes can all be planted and grown.

Another fun source of seeds is your spice rack. Just about any dried whole spice seed will grow. Dill, sesame, fennel, anise and poppy can all be grown from seed.

You can sow spice seeds out-of-doors after the last frost, or you can start some in pots to grow on your windowsill over the winter. Fill pots with a moistened potting soil and plant with dill seeds or fennel seeds. Cover the seeds with 1/8" of soil and set them in the windowsill to sprout. Once they germinate, thin them to one plant per pot. Then enjoy snipping fresh dill and fennel for the next few months.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Geranium Seeds

Grow these popular garden staples from seed.

Preparing Soil for a Garden

Learn how to thoroughly prepare soil for a successful garden.

Shade-Tolerant Plants

Check out 11 shade-tolerant plants and the planting information for each zone.

Gardening By the Numbers: How to Calculate Cubic Feet and Cubic Yards

What seems like simple math may not be so simple for some, but it's crucial when ordering soil, mulch or compost. Get answers without anyone knowing you asked.

Lawn Fertilizers Explained

The finer points of applying fertilizer, organic or not, to the lawn are discussed.

Beneficial Insects

By attracting natural predators, you can keep insect pests from destroying the plants in your garden without the use of chemicals.

The Right Way to Water and Feed a Lawn

Keeping your lawn properly watered and fertilized will ensure its health and appearance. Here are a few tips to keep a lawn healthy.

Fertilizer Tips

Fertilizer is key to full and healthy grass. Here are some basic tips about fertilizing.

Controlling Japanese Beetles

You won't be able to eliminate Japanese beetles forever. Instead, the trick is to learn how to manage them.

Fertilizers, Pests and Harvesting Techniques for Squash

Once squash starts to emerge, maximize the output of your plants -- and protect them from predators -- with these easy tips.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.