Stuck for time but still want to give it a grow? One Pot Pledge champion Alys Fowler suggests microgreens:
“Microgreens are highly nutritious baby herb leaves that you harvest once or twice before resowing. They take less than two weeks to grow and are perfect when added to pasta, salads or pizzas. As the leaves are so young they are full of energy and flavour. It’s incredible how something so small can taste so good.”
Here’s how to do it.
- Find a flat container with a large surface area that will sit on a windowsill, ensuring there are holes punched in the bottom for drainage.
- Use good quality peat-free seed compost and sow your seeds liberally across the top, roughly a centimetre apart.
- Cover with a little more compost and water by sitting the container in a bowl of water and allowing the compost to soak it up (this stops the seeds from being disturbed by gushes of water).
- If the seeds need high temperatures to germinate (basil, fenugreek, dill, amaranth) then cover with a shower cap or clear plastic bag. This will keep the moisture in and let the air surrounding the seeds heat up.
- In a few days they should have sprouted. Once you’ve got a thick carpet of young seedlings between 5-10cm high, start harvesting. The easiest way to harvest is with scissors.
Alys’ best seeds for microgreens:
Varieties don’t matter so much when harvesting such young plants so go for the cheapest seed.
- Basil (lemon, lime sweet genovese and Thai or cinnamon)
- Carrots (the greens taste surprisingly just like their roots)
- Amaranth ‘red army’
- Swiss chard (bright lights for multicolour salads or ruby for intense red leaves)
- Red cabbage
- Garlic chives (Herb)
- Coriander (lemon coriander has an intense flavour)
- Fennel (Herb, bronze fennel looks very pretty as garnish)
- Mustards (look for red frills or golden streaks for their unusually shaped leaves)
- Summer savoury (herb)
Image: ‘Micro Greens (And Some Reds)’ via ilovemypit/flickr