In my previous gardening post, I introduced Peter Burke's Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days. His soil sprout gardening meets his 10 wishes for a garden which seemed very tempting to me. So in this post I'm going to show you that I have taken a plunge or you can say I made a step - made two trips to stores, got 6 things on his Get Ready Guide in the book, spent $55.45. Below are the 6 things:
1. Soil mix
3. Sea Kelp
5. Mini loaf bread pans (3" by 6" by 2")
6. Fabric scraps (4" by 7")
If you are new to soil sprouting indoor salad gardening like me and you don't have Peter's book in hand, Here are the detailed notes for each item:
1. The soil mix isn't the outdoor backyard soil, it's standard germination mix, usually peat moss, vermiculite, perlite and lime. In his book, he discussed in detail what's to use, what's not to, and how to make your own soil mix. Here is a reference of the same or closest to his recommendation.
2. Compost can be commercial or homemade. It's the cheapest item on the shopping list, I suggest you buy commercial compost. In his book he discussed in detail what's to use, what's not to, and how to make your own compost. Here is a reference of the same or closest to his recommendation.
3. Liquid sea kelp or dry kelp meal are both okay as fertilizer. Here is a reference.
I bought the first 3 things in a garden store.
4. Seeds are the most expensive items. He recommended 5 varieties of sunflower, pea, radish, buchwheat, and broccoli for a salad of great color, texture and taste. I bought seeds from an organic food store. It doesn't have buckwheat seeds. So I bought some organic buckwheat and mung bean from the bulk food section. As soon as I got home I had a concern because the buckwheat kernels have been processed and don't have hulls already, I have a feeling they might not work for sprouting, the mung beans should work I think. I plan to plant buckwheat and mung bean in one tray just to see if they work. The good thing is it takes only 7-10 days to know the results.
Bottom line: As far as the seeds are concerned, the best option I think is to buy a 5 part salad sprouting mix for now and grow variety of seeds in your outdoor garden as the planting season is approaching for your indoor salad gardening afterward the harvest. As I'm preparing this post, I found some seeds are a few times cheaper on Amazon than in my local store. I think I'm returning some seeds I bought from the local store. Oh well, what a hassle!
5. Aluminum bread loaf pans are in almost any grocery store, and you can reuse them to certain times of planting.
6. In Perter's book, he placed a stack of newpaper on top of the trays to keep the sprouts moistured during the 4 days of "do nothing" time. Although he mentioned that today's newspapers are printed with ink derivated from soybean oil, still it's ink and I'm not a fan of it touching my food. So I opted to use fabric scraps from my sewing projects. They are new, washed, and 100% cotton. I cut 4" by 7" rectangles and stitched 4 layers together with 3" by 6" area in the center. Again we'll know in 7-10 days if this is a great success or just a nice try.
Closing thought: I haven't aggressively gardened. I'm not familiar with any of the first 4 out of the 6 supplies. So I decided to investigate the options in local stores. If you're like me, I have 3 good news for you: 1st one is you don't even need to step outside your door because I have done the research and driving for you, provided links to the right supplies as reference. Shopping online saves a lot time and mileage if you know exactly what you want; 2nd good news is that the same product is a couple dollars (some seeds are a few times) cheaper on Amazon than in my local stores; 3rd good news is the total cost of the supplies will qualify for Amazon free shipping. What else can you ask for!
Horray! I'm off to start this thing! Keep your fingers crossed for me and see you in 7-10 days for the results!