How to Grow a Salad Indoors
There is no shortage of literature on how to grow vegetables in your own garden. Homegrown food is truly a joy to eat and there is great pleasure in cultivating your own foods grown from seed. However, the fact remains that not everyone has wide swaths of fertile soil to plant seeds in. And, even if they do, many yards are vulnerable to natural predators like bunnies and bugs which delight (with good reason) in eating your hard earned fresh vegetables before they are ready for human consumption.
One way to work around this is to grow your vegetables indoors. Not only does this eliminate the threat of animals, it also can be done year-round, and achieved in the smallest of indoor spaces. Win! Of course, the quantity of each vegetable you grow is reduced since it is grown in a pot. However, for a small family it is completely doable to grow the makings of a good salad indoors. Here are the plants I recommend:
Many lettuces, including arugula, grow well indoors. Select a seed packet of lettuces you?d like and note the recommended amount of sunlight. Then, fill a large pot with soil and position it in the area of your home that receives the most light, or the amount recommended on the seed packet. Water according to instructions and germination should occur within two weeks. Then, harvest the lettuce to eat once it is full grown which may take up to 4 weeks. Note: immature leaves are just as delicious as mature leaves and are perfectly safe to eat.
Microgreens & Wheatgrass
We?ve all seen wheatgrass palettes on desktops before. The reason being is that it thrives both indoors and out! Similarly, microgreens can often be grown in trays because their root systems aren?t particularly deep. Both taste great in salads, and wheatgrass is frequently used in juices. To grow them, layer soil into a tray roughly 9×9 in shape with 2-inch high sides. Sprinkle in the seed packets, position in the sunlight, and water according to directions. They will typically germinate within a week and then be ready to harvest shortly thereafter.
Radishes grow well indoors as long as there is plenty of sunlight. Prepare a large pot filled with soil and plant the seeds. Be sure to choose a radish with a shallow root system, daikon radishes grow very deep and are not optimal for growing in pots. Water the seeds according to directions and they should germinate within a week. Then, they are ready for harvest when the shoulder (the red part of the root) is about 1-inch wide. Harvest, and enjoy!
Baby carrots are terrific kids snacks and perfect for growing indoors. To do so, ?prepare a pot that is at least 8-inches deep. Then, sprinkle the seeds on the surface. Once they germinate, thin out the carrots so that they are 1/2-inch apart. As they grow more cut any carrots that seem flimsy so the sturdy ones can thrive. Then, continue to water according to directions until they are ready to harvest in about 10-14 days.
Green beans take about 2 months to grow, but once they are growing you are in good shape! Prepare a tall, narrow pot with soil and have stakes ready. Then plant and nurture the seeds according to directions. Once the seeds begin to germinate you can insert the stakes into the soil for the beans to grow on. The vines will grow up and tangle around and green beans will start to appear. It will look pretty and once they are ready you can just pluck them off!
Red, orange, yellow, and green peppers are notoriously easy to grow in pots which is great news for those who like a little color in their diets. Plant one seed in a large pot prepared with soil. Place it in a sunlit area of your home and nurture the seed as instructed with water. Once the plant begins to grow you?ll notice it begin to flower. From the flower the peppers will grow. Harvest them once the peppers are bright in color and the appropriate size.
These sweet, small tomatoes are perfect for growing indoors. Large tomatoes will flourish too, but they can be more finicky and less delicious than the cherry variety. To grow cherry tomatoes indoors it is important that they have at least 12 hours of daylight. Position a large pot filled with soil in a sunlit area and plant the seeds. Water and nurture them until they germinate. Then, add stakes to the pot so the tomato vines can climb. Once the vine begins to flower you?ll know tomatoes are not far behind! The tomatoes will grow out of the flower bud and you can harvest them once they are a bright red tomato color and give when squeezed.
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