Windowsill kitchen garden: Week 5
Week 5 is here, and the longer days and sunny moments have cheered the windowsill up no end. I thought I’d ring the changes with some of the things I’ve been growing, so off I went back to Poundland for another of their bargain £1 mixed packets of seed.
I bought their ‘fresh salad’ multipack, which contains radish, cress, spring onion, tomato, iceberg lettuce and cucumber, all of which I hear can be grown indoors. The tomato variety is Moneymaker, which I won’t be growing this year as I’ve set my heart on growing other varieties (more about that later). The lettuce will probably be eaten at the baby leaf stage, or there won’t be enough room for it. Iceberg isn’t exactly gourmet, but it does have a mild flavour and a good crunch, and it mixes well with pea shoots.
Speaking of which, I cut the last lot of shoots for a garnish. They tasted as good as the first crop, but there were fewer of them and they grew smaller leaves. To complete the experiment I’ll try to grow a third set of shoots from the same pot, although I’m not too hopeful they’ll be as good. Here’s what they look like now, rather depleted.
Here are some of the herbs: dill (new), mint and parsley. The basil is still being finnicky and I’m probably going to end up re-seeding the pots at this rate. I have loads of different seeds left over from my outdoor herb garden so will probably try a few different varieties on the windowsill too to see how they turn out.
Next up, the radishes and cucumber were planted 6 days ago and are already going strong. They’re the pots on the left. Will be pulling up radish thinnings soon and adding them to salads – sowed 8 seeds as an experiment and wasn’t expecting them to have quite so much oomph. Haven’t started the spring onions off yet, but maybe at the weekend…
Mini-lettuces just sprouted, and all I can say is that I hope the other salad leaves start to take note of their work ethic:
The spicy salad leaves are still looking like overgrown cress, the slackers. Might decide to grow a second batch soon, but start them off in a mini-propagator instead and hot-house the little gits.
Speaking of mini propagators, the tomato seeds I planted (cherry and plum) last week are doing really well.
I’ve been bartering on GardenSwapShop and bidding on eBay to get some more interesting salad seeds too, as cheaply as possible. I now have red and green salad bowl, Lazio spinach, red mustard, lollo rossa and rocket to sow, all of which are cut-and-come again varieties so hopefully we’ll get several crops out of each plant. There’s also some land cress, which is supposed to be easier to grow than watercress, but let’s wait and see.
The total spend so far is £3.99, which I’m hoping will keep me in salad ingredients for several months. About the same price as a couple of bags of supermarket baby leaf salad, and with lots of variety so we don’t get bored.
Are you growing food in your kitchen too? How’s it coming along?
Looks great ! Parsley looks wonderful, can’t wait to see what the lettace and cucumber looks like over summer. Bad mint and basil – although once this comes out it should be quite hardy and smell awesome!
Sasha @ The Happiness Project London
Hi Penny – have been meaning to ping you to report great progress on pea shoots! I used the soaking method on Monday and by yesterday they had begun to sprout big style. I’m going to leave it another day and then take them out from under their wraps and wait for them to go green. Other than that, I threw some radishes, carrots, baby beets and onions into pots on Monday morning so am not expecting to see much yet; I’m also trying potatoes for the first time, in bags for the balcony – they are busy chitting indoors in trays in the sun at the moment but hope to transfer them this weekend or next. Your idea for radish tops in salad is great – it has never occured to me before but then, like all the other things, I have never grown them before. So, keep the tips coming, I am already a devoted fan – I found myself saying ‘what does Penny say I should do?’ out loud – then rushing to find your week 2 entry on my laptop – when potting my seed peas the other da. What have you done to me!! Enjoying all your tweets, gardening, bargains or otherwise. xx
Hi Sasha – have high hopes for the salad veg, if we get enough sun. Do you have any news or pics from your garden? (yes, being nosey again!) Found out today that microgreens are happiest when watered via a saucer underneath them so will be trying that out from tomorrow. I’ve also been reliably informed that I should wait 3 more weeks and then re-sow the basil, when it’s warmer and there’s longer hours of sunlight. Do feel free to keep telling the mint off though, that stuff’s just being naughty. P x
Hi Sophie – You have been busy! Home grown spuds taste amazing, so much nicer than the supermarket…Have you grown them before? I was lucky when I grew them, just chucked a couple of seed potatoes right into the ground and that was it. Have never chitted them before but just about everybody says that you should do it 🙂 The radish thinnings idea was from the New Urban Farmer book I reviewed a few days ago – must credit the author for that. Had forgotten how fast radishes grow, what a shock – bet yours come up in 3 or 4 days as well. Really glad you’re enjoying the site and thanks for your contributions. P x
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