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Want to grow your own veg but don’t have the space? Here’s how

Want to grow your own veg but don’t have the space? Here’s how

Eating a plant-based diet, as any good vegan will tell you, is good for the planet and good for you too.

The Royal Horticultural Society is reporting that sales of vegetable seeds are outstripping those of flowers.

Houseplants sales, too, are on the up: sales of Monstera – the cheese plant – shot up by 150% last year. But what if you simply don’t have a garden to grow them in – or even a balcony? 

Thankfully, growing indoors with limited space is entirely practical as long as you stick to a fast turn-around. Microgreens are ideal – these are the first flush of a seedling’s leaves and are harvested at about 5-10cm tall.

Windowsills are often narrow and traditional seed trays are too big, so raid your recycling bin for something to grow your microgreens in.

Plastic takeaway trays are ideal. Poke holes in the bottom of the tray for drainage and use the lid as a saucer. Then, fill the tray with peat-free compost, until just below the rim, and sow your seeds fairly thickly, leaving about 1cm between each seed, then water them in.

The seeds will germinate quickly indoors – within a week – and you can usually start harvesting a week or two later. Use scissors to harvest the leaves.

Lettuce, herbs such as basil, mint, coriander and parsley, peas, celery, chard, any cabbage, watercress, mustards, rocket, chives, radishes and spinach are all ideal.

Don’t buy F1 hybrids (selectively bred plants) or expensive seeds: you will be eating this lot before they have started to get going so you want the most seed for your money. If light is limited, invest in an LED grow light. They cost about £20 and allow you to grow anywhere.

Remember that when you harvest seedlings at such a young stage, they will not keep growing; once cut, you will need to resow.

To get a plant to reflush with new leaves, you need a deep root run, 30cm or more, and that is hard to do on a windowsill. Instead, embrace fast-and-furious growing; baby leaves are highly nutritious and pack a mighty punch full of flavour.

 

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