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Garden Lifestyle

Grow a Spring Centerpiece

Growing a spring centerpiece from carrot tops is a fun way to recycle kitchen discards and get kids interested in the science of growing plants.

  • Carrot tops will sprout fine green leaves after sitting in water for 1-2 weeks.
    Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey
  • After carrot tops sprout their frilly foliage, they can be potted for a inexpensive spring table decoration.
    Photo/Illustration: John Pendleton

Carrot Tops Grow Greens

It’s the time of year to stop discarding carrot tops and start recycling them into centerpieces for the spring holiday table. Kids will have fun watching these leftovers sprout new greens and then planting them in little pots. It’s a good way to learn about recycling, planting and how plants grow.

Turning carrot tops into frilly greens is simple and it’s a clever way to reuse the tops of carrots you’d probably toss on the compost pile or into the garbage disposal. You won’t be able to grow carrots from the tops, but they can be used as a mini-science experiment to show kids a carrot top contains everything it needs for a new plant to grow.

Children can get involved in the process by caring for the carrot top and by measuring and recording the green’s growth. They can also decide when it’s time to plant.

How to Grow a Carrot Top

  1. Select fresh carrots (not baby carrots) that sport a little green on the top.
  2. Cut off the top 2 inches from the crown of one or more carrots.
  3. Place the tops in a shallow saucer, cut side down.
  4. Add water so that half of the carrot top is submerged in the water.
  5. Place the saucer on a windowsill where it will get light.
  6. Add water to the saucer as needed to keep the tops from drying out.

The carrot tops will sprout in about 1-2 weeks.

Use as a Spring Table Decoration

Once the greens are several inches tall and bushy, transplant them into a ceramic planter or several small pots with the top of the carrot showing.

Use the carrot tops as a table decoration for a spring holiday meal or place smaller pots at each person’s place setting.

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