Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening

Archie Hope | Friday, 3rd November 2017
An easy to follow guide to growing indoor salads, such as buckwheat, broccoli and peas.
Author: Peter Burke
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication year: 2015
RRP: £19.99

Through passion and curiosity Peter Burke has devised a very detailed (yet extremely simple) method of growing soil sprouts on windowsills, requiring minimal cost, space and time. Did you know that for about 15-20 minutes a day, you can harvest a pound of nutritionally dense greens on a regular basis for a fraction of the cost if you were to buy them? It doesn’t matter how large or small your home is or what the time of year is. You don’t need a greenhouse, artificial lights or pumps, just a windowsill and cupboard. And you don’t need to know anything about indoor gardening. It’s clear, concise and friendly, holding your hand every step of the way. 

Peter recommends starting your indoor salad garden with five varieties: buckwheat, broccoli, pea, sunflower and daikon, which you can add to as you become more accustomed to the growing methods. These methods are very unconventional as the sprouts are grown in trays as opposed to jars, which reduces time spent on cleaning and gives greater yields. They are kept in darkness for the first four days and this is what makes it so good – you don’t even need to do anything during this time! After this it is just a case of watering once a day and some basic nurturing. 

Peter explores the different techniques for growing immature greens and argues in depth as to why they are the cheapest and most productive. The book also does a great job at explaining terminology in a coherent manner that will leave you feeling very encouraged to start your garden.

You need very little to get started, in fact, and will more than likely have many of the required tools and accessories already! This is all laid out in the mid-way point as get ready and quick start guides are both presented, offering quick reference points. You need not worry about how to store the seeds, what soil to use and how to make the fertiliser, as there is expert advice on how to do so in order to create the right conditions for a nutritiously dense indoor garden.

Then comes the wonderfully illustrated step-by-step guide to the planting, growing, greening and harvesting which allows you to visualise and follow each part of the process. These are accompanied with tried and tested techniques, and you are also made well aware of any potential hazards or pitfalls with troubleshooting methods and contingency plans.

The seed index is invaluable, as there are not only detailed instructions on how to grow the five varieties aforementioned, but also other popular favourites such as popcorn, lentils, fenugreek, turnips and kale. The book finishes with tried and tested recipes that Peter and his whole family have enjoyed straight from their windowsill, and by following this book you could be doing the same.

Whether you wish to garden during the winter, are trying to be more healthy, or trying to save time and money, you can achieve all of these by applying the principles laid out in this book to your own life. I know I will be.

Archie Hope subscriptions manager at PM