Wednesday 6 January 2016

Satisfying the urge to sow something

How many gardeners can honestly say that they don't have an urge to sow something - anything - as soon as the Christmas holiday has finished??? Not me!

Well, I have the ideal solution to this. While clearing out my seed-box the other day I found a few half-used packets of various types of Baby Leaf Salad mixtures, so I decided to use some up. On Sunday it poured with rain all day, so it was an ideal day for Indoor Gardening...

Gourmet Salad Mix

I quickly filled a seed-tray with compost and brought it indoors out of the rain. After moistening the compost with warm water (warm in order to hasten germination), I sprinkled on it the remaining contents of a pack of T-and-M's "Gourmet Salad Mix", a mixture which includes Green Pak Choy, Lettuce Red Salad Bowl, Mibuna, Mizuna, Mustard Red Giant and Salad Rocket. The packet says "Sow all year round on the windowsill" and "Ideal for sowing in containers on the patio".

Since I plan to grow this stuff (at least initially) on a windowsill, I have used two seed-trays in way I have found in the past to be effective. The upper tray, with the compost in it, has drainage holes so that the compost never gets waterlogged, but the lower tray has no holes, and acts as a saucer so that water does not leak out onto the windowsill.

My 2-tier seed-tray system

I shall definitely keep this tray indoors until the seeds have germinated, but after that I may move it outside and put it in one of my plastic mini greenhouses. A lot will depend upon what the weather is like at that time. Growing seeds on a windowsill can provide the requisite warmth, but it may not be able to provide enough light, and the plants might become etiolated (aka "leggy"). Of course I could always use my Growlight House, but that will shortly be required for hosting chillis, which have the first priority!

Garland Growlight House

Well, that may have satisfied the urge to sow something, but I still have to be patient for a little (a lot) longer. On the packet it says ""Quick growing, under 30 days during summer, 60 days in winter." I guess that means I have to wait the best part of TWO MONTHS before I can harvest any leaves!


  1. I'm sure that I will attempt growing winter greens at some point so will be following your progress on this one closely. I'm especially interested to see how successful you will be growing these on the windowsill as your daylight hours are lower (by about an hour) than ours during this time of year.

  2. Ah, funnily enough I was thinking of doing something similar Mark. I'm also including cress in my seed order, to grow on the window sill. Sounds a bit 1980's but will be some nice easy greenery hopefully

  3. I hope you have more success than we did with this mix. We sowed some at the beginning of winter or rather backend of autumn in the greenhouse and although some germinated it is growing very, very, very slowly. Maybe we just need to try and sow some more indoors under our grow garden.


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