If you are feeling like I am right now, you are just itching to get outside and start prepping the garden for the spring. Except that it's freezing and wet outside, and there's still snow on the ground. Bummer. So what to do....
GROW PLANTS INDOORS!
That's right, you don't have to wait until the weather warms up and the ground is green again to grow some plants that you can ACTUALLY eat! You can do that right now (and with relatively few supplies).
Ready to get started? Good. I thought so... Read on or Watch the video below!
HERE ARE MY TOP 4 SUGGESTIONS FOR INDOOR GARDENING:
All you will really need is some potting soil, some containers with drainage holes, seeds, and a place to set them (preferably near a sunny window). If you decide to grow sprouts, you will need a bowl, a fine mesh strainer and a plate or lid of some sort. So, let's start there...
Sprouts are really the easiest thing to grow indoors because you don't need soil or light. You will need a bowl to soak them in for 12 hours, a fine mesh strainer to, well, strain them, and a plate to put over the bowl and strainer to keep it dark and to keep dirt and pests (or pets) out.
1. Gauge how many seeds you will use by the size of your bowl or strainer.
When sprouting seeds this way, you will want to make sure that your seeds are not clumped on top of one another, but are laying flat in a single layer (as much as possible). So I suggest pouring your dry seeds into the container or you're going to sprout them in BEFORE soaking them so you can see about how many you will reasonably be able to fit in one layer.
For me, I used a flat bottom strainer instead of a rounded strainer, as this gave me more surface space. Just make sure it's FINE MESH so your seeds don't fall through.
You can also use a mason jar with some cheese cloth secured across the opening, but this gives you a much smaller surface to work with. Once you've determined how many seeds you can use, put the extra ones back in the seed packet and save them for the next batch.
2. Soak your seeds.
You can soak your seeds in pretty much anything. You just want to make sure you can cover the bowl or container with a lid of some sort. I used a glass cooking bowl and placed a plate over the top (my strainer fit inside that bowl as well).
Once you've determined what to use, put the seeds you measured out in the container and cover them with clean, cool water (preferably filtered). Make sure the water is about an inch above the seeds in case they expand while soaking. You will soak them (covered) for 12 hours or overnight, which is what I suggest.
3. Rinse your seeds.
Once you've soaked the seeds, you will want to rinse them really well. HOT TIP: Don't throw out the water you soaked them in! It's full of nutrients and you can use that to water other house plants or seedlings you have growing.
Once you've rinsed your seeds, you will strain them with the fine mesh strainer AND THIS IS WHERE THEY WILL STAY for the next 5-7 days. You will be rinsing them twice a day until they have reached the "eating stage", which depending on the variety, takes about 5-7 days.
Once you've rinsed and strained your seeds, place the seeds in the strainer onto a bowl or container that will catch the remaining water droplets and cover the strainer with a lid or plate.
Rinse your seeds/sprouts twice I day. I suggest in the morning when you're getting your coffee or tea and in the evening when you are closing up the kitchen.
Remember to try and keep your seeds in a single layer after rinsing to help encourage air flow and prevent the growth of mold or mildew. You will rinse your sprouts until the have reach the "sprout" stage.
4. Watch and Be Amazed!
Within three to four days, you’ll start to see the seeds swell a little bit before a tiny white tail emerges. That tail is the radical, the very first root of the radish plant. If it was growing in soil, the radical would search for nutrients, light, and water, but since we’re just growing these plants as sprouts, it will be content for now with water.
When they have started to grow their first set of leaves. You will want to harvest them within 1-2 days of seeing those leaves. And to be clear, I'm talking about the cotyledon leaves (or "seed" leaves) not their first set of "true" leaves.
Simply rinse the sprouts one last time, remove the sprouts and place them in a glass or metal container in your fridge. I like to put some paper towel in the bottom of the container to help absorb extra moisture and inhibit the growth of mold or mildew.
If you're worried about bacteria on your sprouts, you can always rinse them before you eat them fresh or throw them atop your food at the final stages of cooking.
NOTE: If you're tossing radish sprouts in a stir fry or a cooked dish, make sure to add them last minute. Sprouts will wilt after more than 20 seconds or so of cooking.
And keep an eye (and nose) out for spoilage. Like any green thing in our fridge, sprouts won't last forever, so you'll want to look for slimy-looking sprouts and a foul (not fresh) smell. Throw them out if they reach this point.
There are so many different varieties of seeds you can grow! Just grab a packet of seeds and give it a try! Here's a few to start with:
I like adding radish sprouts to wraps, sandwiches, salads, and tacos. I make crunchy and incredibly nutritious salads from nothing more than sprouts and microgreens.
That's right... I don't have to rely on grocery store greens when I'm growing my own indoors! And you can too!
You can also eat sprouts on a toasted bagel or toast with some eggs and cream cheese or avocado. YUM!
Here's a quick and simple recipe you can enjoy!
Learn to Grow Microgreens! Though the process is slightly different, they're just as easy and fun to grow! Learn More HERE!
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