Learn how to grow leafy greens indoors at home. With simple supplies, fresh salad greens are quick and easy to grow any time of year.
Of all the vegetables you can grow indoors, leafy greens are the easiest.
Grow Greens Indoors
I started growing a wide variety of leafy salad greens indoors—in my kitchen—years ago in the middle of winter after I accidentally grew peas indoors. Surprised and pleased with the results, I started experimenting with more food crops.
While you hear about various hydroponic methods or special grow light kits made for growing food inside, I just wanted to use what I had on hand. If it’s simple and inexpensive, I’m in.
Turns out, leafy greens are the easiest of all to grow.
It’s much like indoor seed starting only simpler. No need to transplant or repot. The whole thing goes from seed to harvest right where you started it.
And, because leafy greens don’t have to flower or fruit, they are edible at any stage.
If you would like detailed instructions for beginners to walk you through the entire growing process, the ebook, Growing Salads Indoors will help.
Do I need special lights to grow greens in my home? Can I grow them on a windowsill?
What you need for lighting will depend on how much natural light you can provide.
I do most of my indoor food growing in winter when the days are short. While I could grow the leafy greens on a sunny windowsill—and many people do this—I find it goes much faster under basic fluorescent shop lights or LED lights set to turn on for approximately 10 to 12 hours each day.
If natural sunlight were my only option and I knew they’d get at least 8 hours of light a day, I’d definitely still try it.
You could also supplement the light with some household lamps fitted with bulbs suitable for plant growing.
What kinds of leafy greens can I grow indoors?
There are a lot of options. Just about any vegetable grown for its edible stems and leaves works.
In the early stages we call them microgreens. Next they become baby greens. After a month or more—depending on how vigorous the growth is—you’ve got leafy salad greens.
Some types are also what we call “cut and come again.” This means you can harvest some leaves while leaving the roots intact and more leaves will grow in their place.
To get started, I recommend buying a couple of packs of mesclun mix.
The contents vary by seed seller but these mixtures usually have some combination of red and green leaf lettuces, arugula (rocket), mustard, cress, kale, endive, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, bok choi, and spinach.
Because they all require the same growing conditions, you just sow them in a pot and grow. And what delicious salads they make.
In addition to mesclun mixes, you could also grow any of these crops as well:
Can I grow iceberg or romaine lettuce indoors?
Not likely. It is very challenging and slow to try growing head lettuces like iceberg or something like romaine indoors at home without special equipment. Plus they demand far more resources than leafy greens.
Peace of Mind
While I got into this for fun and delicious salads, the whole topic of food safety and security seems more relevant than ever.
Who doesn’t want to know they can trust the food they are eating?
When you grow at home, and this case, right inside your home, you can choose all the inputs. Food-safe containers, organic potting mix made for growing food in containers, and fresh water: it all matters. Plus, it’s as local as you can get.
Ebook For Beginners
If you are new to seed starting and indoor growing, this ebook walks through all the basics to get you started.
Growing Salads Indoors
Simple & Fast Way to Grow Leafy Greens In Your Home Year-Round
by Melissa J. Will
Learn how to grow leafy salad greens indoors all year-round with simple household supplies. Healthy, frugal & delicious!
This ebook is a digital file (PDF format) you save to your device. It is not a physical product.
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- Seeds | What’s possible
- Supplies | Recommendations – most are common household items
- Sowing & Growing | How to setup your growing space and sow the seeds
- Care | Basic daily care of your seedlings
- Harvest | Harvesting your crops and succession sowing
It should get you well on your way to growing an assortment of leafy greens and provide the basic skills to explore other future indoor food growing adventures.
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