Forgot your password?

Frugal Gardening: How to Recycle your Old Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

By Edited Mar 9, 2016 4 13

Frugal Gardening

Regrow Your Old Vegetables

We all love to save money where we can but have you ever thought to recycle your old vegetables and grow healthy new ones. That is right you can grow almost anything in your garden without buying fresh from the supermarket.

Gardeners have done this for years although some growers of non-organic vegetables may now treat them with sprout-suppressing chemicals, which prevent re-growth. I have kept tomato, cucumber and capsicum seeds from produce I bought fresh from the supermarkets. The plants grow from the seeds, although they never produce any vegetables.

Frugal Gardening - Growing your own Potatoes is easy

For that reason, I suggest you collect seeds from people who have grown their own vegetables for years so you know they will continue to produce fresh vegetables or salads for you.

These can be grown in a vegetable garden or mixed in between flower beds or anywhere in your garden to add nutrition to the rest of your soil.

Types of Vegetables You Can Recycle

Most vegetables can be regrown

This article will show you how to recycle potatoes and sweet potatoes although you can regrow these vegetables too:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Silver beet (spinach)
  • Onions
  • Bok Choy

Like other vegetables, there are different types of potatoes and the way they are grown. You can buy normal unwashed ones sold with the dirt still on them.  Although many sellers are now rolling the old ones, in the dirty soil to pass them off as newly dug potatoes so watch out for these.


These are the same as above, except they wash and pack them to look more appetising on the supermarket shelves.


The skin of these are pink in colour when peeled they seem a deeper yellow than the white spuds. I prefer the white myself.

How to reproduce healthy Potatoes from old ones

You can reduce the risk of eating chemically treated vegetables by growing your own more economically.  If you speak to the gardening experts they will tell you to buy seed potatoes, and yes you can do this. As I am talking about being frugal, why waste money buying them when we have potatoes in the cupboard that quite often start shooting, ready to grow? 

Need to Know about Potatoes

The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know
Amazon Price: $34.95 $20.08 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 9, 2016)
If you want to have a good garden of potatoes then this book is for you.It will guide you through the process of planting, growing and problems you can encounter too.

How to Reproduce Healthy Potatoes from Old Ones

Grow Potatoes from the Peelings

For the people who peel their spuds, do not throw those peels away.  If you look closely at them, you will see little eyes in the peelings.  That is how your potato will shoot. 

Soil Preparation

There is no need to do anything special to grow potatoes other than digging up the ground.  Make a trench and put the peelings in the hollow. Cover and water well. They will shoot in a couple of weeks.

When the leaves and stems grow heap mulch or soil around the plant to form a hill.  This will prevent the potato from showing above the soil and stop it from going green. As the plant grows heap more soil around the stem of the plant. Potatoes are ready once the leaves turn yellow although you could sneak one or two if careful without disturbing the roots too much. They say you should never eat green spuds, as they are poisonous, although I believe you would have to eat a fair amount before it would be harmful.

Grow potatoes by cutting the end with eyes off

Before you cook them with the skins on, wash to see any imperfections.  You may notice that some potatoes may be spoiled or damaged. If your potato is green or damaged, cut the end with the eyes off. Leave this on top of the soil to dry for a day then plant in the same way as mentioned above, although a little deeper. Plant your old whole spuds as above and produce more.

I remember people growing potatoes in their front lawns before planting the lawn because it encouraged better lawn growth. This also helps to improve your soil before planting a new garden.

Did you know?

You can grow your spuds in straw or hang a sack on the wall and fill with straw. Plant the potatoes and water as you would when planting in the garden. By planting in hay or straw, it reduces the need to dig the spuds, and they stay clean too. 

Grow bag Containers

Island Grow Pots- 1 Gallon Grow Bag Container- Perfect for Growing Tomatoes, Potatoes and All Other Plants
Amazon Price: $12.95 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 9, 2016)
These help your plants to breath. The containers are easily moved by their handles.

How to Produce Sweet Potato Plants

Plant Sweet Potatoes from Runners

Instructions for growing Sweet Potatoes


How to produce several sweet potato plants from one small organic one. Always use vegetables free of chemicals.

Frugal Gardening - Growing Sweet Potatoes from end of vegetable


  1. Cut an old sweet potato in half
  2. Place both halves in a dish of water cut side down
  3. Place these in your kitchen window box or near well-lit window
  4. Leave for four-five weeks keeping the water up until they shoot
  5. These shoots will be your new sweet potato plants, most will form their own roots.
  6. Break these new plants off and plant into the freshly prepared potting mix in garden or pots.

Keep indoors if cold weather. When frosts over, take pots outside or re-plant in garden when stronger.  Water and watch them grow. 

Did you Know?

When your sweet potato plants produce runners like in the picture below, you can cut these off and plant cut end into the ground, leaving the end of runner above the ground. These will also grow and produce sweet potatoes.

Frugal Gardening: Growing sweet Potatoes

You can also plant your own fresh garden vegetables from seed it is quite easy and you can also do this by saving the seeds from your own vegetables.

Frugal Gardening: My first home grown sweet potato

Whoopee! This is my very first home grown sweet Potato. Looking for more to come. 

Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potato chips taste better than your normal deep-fried potato chips.  Therefore, once you have them growing in your garden, you can cut them up and eat at your leisure.

Why should I have a Vegetable Garden

Because you will enjoy growing and eating your fresh grown vegetables knowing they are free from chemicals and of course start banking the money you save by growing your own.

Did you know that you can also be a frugal gardener by growing other plants from cuttings?

I hope this article will encourage everyone to grow their own fresh vegetables from older vegetables. 

© TPhotos  images and writing of Shar_On and Eileen

Growing your own spuds



Nov 19, 2013 9:46am
But using old potatoes to grow new ones, does encourage disease and blights. In Montana, where I am from, this can be devastating to the potato farmer. It is wisest to buy certified potato seed.
Nov 19, 2013 7:30pm
Thanks JillMcIntyre7, I can definitely see your point and we have to be careful. At the same time my mum has done this for more than twenty years and has never had a problem growing them in our back yard. Maybe because we do it on a small scale not acres of growth.
Thanks for commenting.
Dec 18, 2013 9:40pm
Wow! Never knew the potato peelings could produce as well! That is awesome! Thank you for the info!
Dec 19, 2013 12:28am
Thanks highlandermck, yes it is so easy, I prefer to use ends of potato mainly though. You are welcome. Hope it works for you. It takes a while before they start to shoot and about 3 months before ready to eat.
Dec 19, 2013 1:08am
Fantastic! Thanks for the heads up on the time frame!
Dec 18, 2013 10:50pm
Thanks for giving me hope! We need to be reminded of being resourceful. Did you know that sweet potato shoots were used for making cortisone - way back then? I have done trials with the flesh and by eating it raw have raised progesterone levels. In one case, so high it stopped a menstrual cycle.
Dec 19, 2013 12:35am
Thanks Yindee, No I had no idea about making cortisone. It just goes to prove we are never to old to learn thing on Infobarrel. Thanks for sharing that.
Dec 18, 2013 11:38pm
It is sad that we turf out so much of what can be planted again. I am off to buy some compost!
Dec 19, 2013 12:37am
Thanks Elize, Yes we waste so much food I just wish we could send some of our food to other countries so they do not starve. Hope your weather is better than ours it too hot at the moment and killing some of garden.
Dec 22, 2013 4:47pm
Hi: I enjoyed your article and agree. As a home gardener you are so right and I recall the first year I ever grew my own potatoes--Both my wife and I were amazed at the way they tasted and swore never to buy store-bought potatoes again. The difference is truly night and day.
Anyway, thanks for the info and two BIG thumbs for you--plus a rating!
Dec 23, 2013 2:30am
Thanks so much Marlando, Yes you cannot beat growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Apr 13, 2014 4:42pm
I've grown potatoes from sprouted supermarket potatoes and used true "seed potatoes" from a farm store. The difference was pretty dramatic. Not sure the reasons though. The supermarket varieties do make potatoes, but they're very small.
Apr 14, 2014 9:59pm
Thanks AstroGremlin for reading my article. I have never grown seed spuds before, always grown from kitchen sprouted ones and never had a problem. But as people keep saying the seed ones are better I have done another article on Raised beds and growing some seed and kitchen ones in Hay as an experiment and growing in same situation. That way I will know one way or another.
As you know it takes ages for them to grow so will have to keep updating as I go.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Home & Garden