Wednesday, December 28

Winter salad leaves and micro-herbs

In November I decided to use our Indoor Grow Garden to try and grow some salad leaves and micro-herbs over winter. I posted about it here

Within a couple of days the salad leaves/lettuce had germinated and they are now at the stage where we can use them. 
I decided to sow some more seeds so that I had some leaves to follow on from these once they are used and decided just to sow a few of all the types of lettuce that we have left over from last season namely Saladin, Red Iceberg, Great Lakes, Little Gem and Rougette du Midi. Some quickly germinated so it will be interesting to see how these varieties perform.

As for the micro-herbs; we have used the coriander. I waited until it had grown its first true leaves. Unfortunately at this stage the seed leaves had turned a little yellow. We used the herbs as a garnish to a curry and there was a distinct coriander flavour so it was a success. The one problem was that I had sown the seed as though they were going to produce full size plants - rather thinly and so we didn't really have much to pick. I've sown some more which has already germinated and this time have been a bit more generous. I'll have to start saving coriander seed as there isn't a huge amount in the seed packets for using in this way.
The purple basil is also growing well - not sure where the odd green leaves have come from.  Again I didn't really sow enough seed. We haven't used any yet as I am waiting for the first pair of true leaves to grow.


  1. Regarding the coriander, just had a thought when reading your blog, wonder if one could buy the seeds at an Indian food supply shop where one would use them in cooking..would they germinate and would they be more of a saving than buying seeds in a packet from a garden supply. Must try germinating mine that I have for cooking to see if it will work. Worth a try if the seeds aren't too old.

    Lovely greens and especially the basil, looks very healthy.

  2. Looks great and you have me thinking about starting some herbs on my windowsill now.

  3. I reckon, as Gardeningbren has said, that coriander seeds sold for culinary purposes would probably germinate OK. Wouldn't cost much to find out, either!
    I grew some Purple Basil like this last year, but had some trouble with damping-off - must have over-watered their pot. We did get about a dozen plants though, which we ate at the 4-leaf stage. A tasty and colourful salad ingredient.

  4. That's a good idea Bren I'll have to try that.
    We ate some of the salad leaves in a sandwich.

    Have a go Becky!

    Basil can be temperamental can't it Mark? When you say four leaf stage is that four true leaves?

  5. OK, trust me to ask an awkward question: even if you sow more thickly, will the harvests be worth it vs. the cost of seed and cost of running the grow lights?

    (the purple basil looks amazing, BTW)

  6. Great idea to use those punnets as seed trays. I love the idea of micro herbs but need to find a cheap source of seed otherwise they really are quite expensive to grow. You lettuce looks fab as does the purple basil.

  7. Good idea growing them in trays - I must grow more herbs next year as we always run out of the main ones.

  8. BW and Liz you're right it does make for expensive herbs but at the moment I'm just using up old seed and the grow light would be running anyway for the salad leaves.

    Basil and coriander always seem to be the ones that are awkward to grow for us Damo I'll try bush basil next year as when I grew that it was more successful

  9. Nice to have your own salad leaves to eat in winter, salad leaves sold in supermarkets are tasteless.

  10. It is Jo and they last longer too

  11. I think it's great to be able to grow even throughout the winter. I have just put in some seeds...(not Veggies) of a special plant which can take up to three months to germinate...hope they do. I think once new year is out the way i will be starting on my sprouting seeds again!

  12. I hope your special plant grows for you Tanya - growing things through winter does stop you having withdrawal symptoms.


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