Lifestyle Home How to Grow Edible Plants On Your Windowsill at Home — It's Easier Than You Think! If you can't buy 'em, grow 'em By Hannah Chubb Published on April 30, 2020 11:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan Going to the grocery store has become increasingly difficult (and anxiety-inducing) for many amid the ongoing pandemic — but there's a simple way to get your greens without leaving the house. Home gardens are seeing a surge in popularity as people continue to practice social distancing, and for good reason. According to gardening blogger Taylor O'Sullivan, taking care of plants is an easy way to incorporate sustainability into your life. It's also a great activity for the whole family, has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and bolster feelings of positivity and, best of all, provides you with fresh, healthy veggies to eat. "Gardening is a practice that you can pick up now during quarantine and continue for the rest of your life," O'Sullivan tells PEOPLE, noting that we have more time now than ever to learn things we've always wanted to try. "I can say with confidence that there is nothing more rewarding than eating a meal with plants that you've grown with your own two hands." If you don't have a backyard with plenty of space for planting, that's okay, O'Sullivan says. In fact, you don't need a backyard at all! There are plenty of options for growing produce at home if you've got a windowsill with a little bit of sunlight. Joanna Gaines Says Gardening Brings Her Family Closer Together: 'It's a Sweet Way to Connect' Regrowing Produce Using Just Water and Sunlight "Regrowing veggies from scraps you would normally toss into the trash is so easy and so rewarding," O'Sullivan says. If you're new to the process and want to experiment, she suggests starting by regrowing green onions — also known as scallions. "To prepare, take any store bought green onion, then chop it at the white base, right above the dangling brown roots," she says. "Add one to two inches of water into a small glass jar, set the green onion roots inside the jar, facing up, and place it in a sunny windowsill." Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan She notes that it's important to empty and replace the water every other day, to keep the roots from getting moldy. Within about two days, you'll start seeing growth from the tops, and within a week, you should have enough (about six inches) to start snipping the tops and eating them. "In theory, if you trim the green onion tops and not the base, you should be able to eat the same green onions for months and months," O'Sullivan says. In addition to green onions, romaine lettuce can also be easily grown using only water, O'Sullivan says. "You can harvest the new leaves as they shoot up from the center, so it's not necessary to replant in soil." Regrowing Produce Using Soil There are a number of edible plants you can regrow to harvest in your kitchen with water and a little bit of potting soil, O'Sullivan says. Celery, carrots, radishes, leeks, basil, bok choy and fennel are all good candidates. An easy veggie to start with, O'Sullivan says, is celery. "To prepare, chop two inches above the base of the celery stalk, then fill a glass with one to two inches of water and stick the glass in a sunny windowsill," she says. To increase the rate of growth, she suggests filling a spray bottle with water and spritzing the stalks once a day. "In a week you will begin to see new celery stalks and leaves emerging from the center," she says. "Once the leafy stalks are two to three inches tall, you can transfer them to a pot with soil. Place the potting soil in a planter, dig a hole two inches deep and bury the celery base, leaving the celery leaves exposed to the sun." Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan If you water them regularly — just enough to keep the soil from drying out — the celery should be ready to harvest in a few weeks, O'Sullivan says. Though the regrown stalks likely won't grow as large as store bought ones, and may be more leafy than normal, O'Sullivan suggests sautéing the regrown celery and using it as a base for soup stock. There's also no need for a fancy planter or pot! To be even more sustainable, you can repurpose plastic containers or dishes into a home for plants — just make sure they're big enough to accomodate any roots. Kits for Growing Produce From Scratch At Home If you'd rather grow a plant from the ground up, there are plenty of options — and buying seeds is almost always cheaper than buying a seedling or mature plant. You can purchase seeds online from a variety of gardening websites, including Burpee, Park Seed, Harris Seeds and even Amazon. And while many are not delivering seeds at the moment, you can also contact your local home and garden store — like Home Depot or Lowe's — to see if they will do curbside pickup. Some of the easiest plants to start growing from seed are microgreens — which are delicious (and nutritious) when sprinkled on a variety of dishes. "Microgreens are essentially just baby seedlings — you can think of them like baby veggies before they grow into full adults — and they're incredible because they pack up to 30x more nutrient density than their adult veggie counterparts," says O'Sullivan. Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan While you can plant your own microgreens using a flat container, potting soil and seeds, O'Sullivan notes bringing soil into the kitchen can get messy — and an easier method may be to buy a microgreens grow tray. She suggests ordering from Hamama Greens. "They make it fool proof by mailing you seed quilts (think of it like a blanket of seeds) every month, so you don't have to worry about soil messes. You put the seed quilt in the grow tray, add three cups of water and let it sit for a week — that's it! In seven to 10 days the microgreens will be ready for harvest." Taylor O'Sullivan/@taylorosullivan Buy It! Microgreens Starter Kit, $49; hamama.com Back to the Roots is another company — designed to be beginner-friendly — that will send ready-to-grow microgreens kits to your door, with windowsill-sized trays for growing. Their 6-Grow Variety Pack comes with three trays: Broccoli, Rainbow Mix (sango radish, purple kohlrabi and red cabbage) and Mighty Mix (broccoli, kale, purple kohlrabi and red cabbage). They suggest adding a pinch of the harvested sprouts to sandwiches, salads and smoothies. Back to the Roots Back to the Roots Buy It! Organic Microgreens Kit 6-Grow Variety Pack, $40; backtotheroots.com They also offer grow kits for produce like cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, shishito peppers, mushrooms, herbs and more, which include everything you need to grow them on your windowsill in mason jars and tin cans. Best of all, they're currently offering 25 percent off all gardening kits for PEOPLE readers using the code PEOPLEGROW25. Back to the Roots Buy It! Cherry Tomato Windowsill Planter Grow Kit, $30; backtotheroots.com 10 Plants That Will Bring Butterflies to Your Garden That You Can Buy Right Now Pre-Grown Plants You Can Get Delivered to Grow Produce At Home Lastly, if you don't want to get your hands dirty with any planting or potting, there are a variety of services that will ship edible plants straight to your door. Bloomscape, for example, sells well-packaged, potted plants with proper drainage. All you need to provide to get growing is water and sunlight. They recently launched an "Edible Garden" section of their site, which features tomatoes, peppers and a variety of herbs (including the spicy herbs collection, aromatic herbs collection and savory herbs collection), all of which can be grown indoors. Bloomscape Buy It! Spicy Herbs Collection, $65; bloomscape.com If you're a beginner planning on starting with herbs (some of the easiest and smallest plants to take care of), 1800-Flowers also offers a ready-made planter that can be delivered to your front door. Their Herb Garden Trio includes oregano, parsley and thyme, and comes in a decorative planter that can be placed near a window, or outside on a deck. It also comes with herb scissors, specially made for snipping your herbs to cook with. 1800-Flowers Buy It! Herb Garden Trio, $44.99; 1800flowers.com And if you are willing and able to leave home, you can always go the old school route — picking up potted and unpotted edible plants at home and garden stores like Lowe's, Home Depot and Walmart. Many of these stores are offering curbside delivery right now, so you can stay a safe social distance and still get your greens.