By Jen Wallace
Think just because you don’t have a yard or a patio or deck that you can’t garden? Think again. You can grow fresh and healthy microgreens right in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a sunny window sill and a few simple materials. Depending on which greens you decide to grow, you could manage to have weekly or biweekly crops.
Clamshell produce container with lid
Scoop for dirt
Screwdriver or awl
Step 1: Place the clamshell container on a safe surface (I used an old wooden cutting board). Using the awl or a screwdriver, tap it lightly with the hammer to get it started, and make about 5 or 6 holes in the bottom of the container. These are for water drainage. Do this before you have dirt in the container.
Step 2: Now add the dirt. I used Espoma Organic Seed Starter Mix that I got at my local Agway. You could use any potting soil — just make sure it’s potting soil and not topsoil or something else. Potting soils have the correct nutrient balance for starting seeds and they won’t retain too much water. Fill the container about ¾ of the way full, and tap the container to level the dirt.
Step 3: Sprinkle your seeds as densely as you can in a single layer across the top of the dirt. I used 2 seed packets of Astro arugula from High Mowing Seeds, but you can use whatever greens you like, such as mustard, mesclun, or spinach.
Step 4: Cover the seeds with dirt according to the seed package instructions. My Astro arugula called for a planting depth of ¼”, so I covered it with that amount.
Step 5: Place the container in a sunny window sill with the lid underneath it to catch any water drainage.
Step 6: Water your seeds just until the soil is moist — you don’t want to flood them — and water anytime you see the soil drying out.
Step 7: Wait for your seeds to grow! The Astro arugula that I grew called for seed germination in 3-7 days. Mine popped through the soil in about 3 days and were large enough to harvest in about 7 or 8 days. I used scissors to cut the plants off at the soil, rinsed them gently in a small strainer, and they were ready to eat. They were nice and peppery, and tasty on top of an egg-salad sandwich!
About the Author:
Jen Wallace has her hands in many things. She is the editor of the blog Indie Fixx, curates the Indie Fixx Galleria, coordinates Feed Your Soul: the free art project and runs a small PR biz called Buzz. She also likes to grow her own fresh veggies, inside the house and out.