I like growing useful plants and it’s the time of year when we start to think about what edibles we can plant and sow in our gardens and allotments for the spring and summer. But what if you don’t have a lot of space to grow at home? Have you got a sunny spot on a windowsill? A tray or plate and some tissue/cotton wool or a bit of compost?
How about growing some nutritious and flavoursome microveg with leftover seeds from seed packets that need using up such as carrots, chard, cabbage, herbs. You can also use seeds and pulses from packets sold for cooking such as peas, coriander, fenugreek and dill.
- Put some compost in a clean seed tray/pot or layer a plate with at least four layers tissue or cotton wool and moisten the compost/tissue.
- Sprinkle on the seeds (so they look like a sesame seeded bun) and put on a sunny windowsill.
- Check the compost/tissue a couple of times a day to make sure it is moist (not wet) and you should see sprouts starting to grow from the seeds in a few days.
Depending on what you have sown the microveg will be ready for harvesting from 5 days to a few weeks, when they look like cress that you buy in punnets from the shop. Snip with scissors, wash and eat in salad, a sandwich or sprinkle into a soup or onto your dinner to add flavour. Remember to re-sow every few days.
But what if you don’t have any seeds? Did you ever put a carrot top in a dish of water to see how it grows? You can do the same with lettuce, celery and spring onion bottoms, the bit you usually cut off and throw away. Try putting them in a dish of water or pot of compost and once they are growing you can harvest the leaves/tips, wash and add to your cooking. You can also plant them into a pot of compost to grow into more mature plants. There are a couple of interesting Youtube clips with more info: