No seeds? No problem. Food you can grow without buying seeds

Bean seedling
No seeds? No problem. Food you can grow without buying seeds 3

You’ve decided you want to start a garden, but you’re wondering what you can grow without buying seeds. You might be surprised to know there are many things you can grow from your own kitchen.

Here is a quick list of things you can grow without buying seeds:

Dry beans

You probably have some of these in your kitchen right now (What about that 15-Bean Soup Mix you’ve had in your pantry for a few months now?):

  • Black beans
  • Black eyed peas
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Red beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lentils

Assuming they aren’t very old, you can sprout and then plant them to grow more. To do this, line a baking dish with a couple of damp paper towels. Space your beans apart on the paper towel and then cover with a few more paper towels. Spray the dish to ensure everything is nice and damp — not wet. Keep it damp for a few days and check every now and then and you should soon start seeing sprouts. At that point you’ll know those beans are viable and you can plant them in pots or directly in your garden.

For Lima Beans and Butter Beans, they have a great deal more starch. You can certainly try planting them, but you should skip the sprouting step and put them right in a pot or in the ground so they don’t mold.


See this article: Plant sprouted potatoes from your kitchen today

Sweet Potatoes

See this article: Get started growing Sweet Potatoes in your kitchen window!

Peppers & Chiles

Bell peppers, jalapeños, anchos, whatever kind of pepper you would like to grow, if you have them in your kitchen you can simply eat the pepper but put the seeds aside on a paper towel or paper plate and let them dry. Then you have seeds ready to plant in your garden!

Here are some ancho chile seeds I rescued out of some chiles that I had in my fridge that were starting to go bad. They’ve been drying on my counter for the last couple of days. I’ll try planting all of them and will keep the seedlings that sprout and look healthy and strong.

These dried ancho chile seeds will let me grow new chiles without buying seeds
Dried ancho chile pepper seeds


Growing tomatoes from store-bought can be done, but it isn’t quite as simple as taking the seeds out of a tomato. If you’ve ever noticed, tomato seeds are surrounded by a gel-like substance in the fruit. This video by Urban Gardening explains how to start growing tomatoes from the ones you already have in your kitchen.

Cucumbers grow without buying seeds

Cucumbers are easy to grow from store-bought. Do the same as you would for peppers. Remove the seeds, let them dry, and then they are ready to plant.

Green Onions grow without buying seeds

If you have green onions sitting in your fridge, you can keep them going by removing the tops and setting the bulbs and roots in water. After a few days they’ll be ready to transplant to pots or the ground. Read this article for pictures and more information on how to do it.


Here’s a helpful video from MIGardener about how to grow blueberries from store-bought fruit.

Strawberries grow without buying seeds

Christa’s Garden did a series of videos about her experience growing strawberries from store-bought.

Herbs grow without buying seeds

You can also grow herbs without buying seeds. This video by Jag Singh of Daisy Creek Farms details how to grow basil, mint, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme from cuttings.

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