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How to grow speedy windowsill crops

Growing your own speedy windowsill crops is a great, low cost way to grow a variety of leaves and sprouting seeds. Pick them together for a delicious range of colours, textures and tastes for your salad bowl. Don't worry if you don't have a greenhouse, all you need is a bright windowsill.

Shopping List

  • Shopping List
  • Window box
  • Your choice of speedy salad, herb or and sprouting seeds
  • A glass jar
  • Good quality Seed and Cutting compost
  • Plant label
  • Watering can
  • Gardening gloves
  • Fine sieve

Method:

  • For speedy 'cut-and-come-again' salad leaves, fill a window-box with good quality Seed and Cutting compost, firming gently for a level sowing surface. If you don't have a window box, use a plant pot or recycled plastic container instead, making sure it has drainage holes in the botom. Water the compost gently until moist.
  • Sprinkle your speedy seeds thinly and evenly across the surface of the compost. Don't worry if you accudently sow too many, you will be able to thin them out as they grow. Lightly cover with a fine layer of compost and pop a clear plastic lid or polythene bag over the top to keep in the heat and moisture. Stand on a bright windowsill, removing the cover once seedlings start to grow to keep them aired.
  • Keep the compost moist as your seeds grow until they are big enough to pick. In summer this can be as little as four weeks from sowing. Pick baby salad leaves as you need them, a few from each plant.
  • To grow nutritious and tasty sprouting seeds in a just a few days, soak a couple of tablespoons of your choice of seeds overnight in a glass jar before draining in a fine sieve. Rinse well with clean water then put them back in the jar to start sprouting.
  • Stand your jar on any warm, light windowsill away from bright sunlight. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't dry out, continuing to drain and rinse at least twice daily with fresh clean water.
  • Sprouting shoots are ready to eat in five to ten days when they have grown to around 1 inch/2cm in length. Give them a final rinse befgore adding to your salad bowl.

 

Top Tip: Store any extra picked leaves and sprouted shoots in a covered bowl in the fridge and use within a few days.

Know Your Salad Leaves and Sprouting Seeds

Salad Leaves 'Speedy Mix'

A colourful and tasty blend including Japanese Greens, Oriental Mustard and Salad Rocket ready to pick in as little as 25 days from sowing.

Basil and Parsley

Easy to grow herbs, ideal for windowsill growing and great in lots of dishes. Your home-grown plants will give you lots of tasty aromatic leaves, ready to pick just when you need them.

Sprouting Seed Alfalfa

Easy to sprout, Alfalfa can be ready to eat within days when the seedlings are about 1 inc/2cm long and just starting to turn green. It's highly nutritious and flavoursome with a crunchy texture.