Sunday, June 28, 2020

Regrow your Veggies: Growing Vegetables from Roots, Cuttings, and Scraps

Regrow your Veggies is a DIY/gardening/plant recycling manual by Melissa Raupach and Felix Lill. Originally released in 2018 in German, this English translation edition from Fox Chapel is 144 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

There have been a number of videos and posts on youtube, instagram, and the like on this subject but they're generally either sensationalized or vague/incomplete (or both). This book takes a logical and thorough look at the methods of regenerative and vegetative propagation for different specific vegetables and herbs and also gives a good overview over common problems and how to troubleshoot less than desirable results.

It is undeniably a cool exercise to grow an avocado tree from a pit, or regrow spring onions from the bulb roots. These would make superlative home activities for young kids to do with the family and they are both interesting and educational. I would caution readers from thinking that they can make a significant contribution to their food needs, especially restricted growing to indoor windowsills. This is more of a philosophical process than a practical one. There are some exceptions of course, it's perfectly feasible to keep many herbs growing indoors and move them outdoors when weather permits.

The introduction includes a good overview over vegetative propagation and plant culture requirements. The second part of the book contains a primer with entries for 21 different vegetables and herbs; from scallions and leeks, to ginger and coriander. There's a good troubleshooting guide with what happens when things go bad (which was my personal experience, whether fungus gnats, aphids, or fusarium wilt (my basil has -never- done extremely well in my cool wet climate). The authors also include a useful bibliography, short index, and online links list for further reading,

This is an interesting and fun guide to regrow some vegetables. Limited practicality in my experience, however.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.  

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