This post sums the steps and findings of my experiment with Peter Burke's Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening, anybody tried his approach or similar methods of someone else's?
I followed almost exactly the steps Peter laid out in detail in his book: soak the seeds; moisten soil mix; plant the seeds; incubate in the dark for 4 days; water daily and green the sprouts indoor for 3-5 days.
Here are snapshots of the above steps:
Below are findings of this experiment:
1. This gardening approach works but not without any modifications/improvements.
2. Do not use the aluminum bread loaf pans as containers. Peter mentioned in his book they were his preferred containers and he could reuse them for up to a few times. This was not true for me. Mine started to leak at the end of the 4-day incubation period. Choose ceramic (if you don't have small children or pets) or plastic indoor window planter to use instead.
3. Use of seeds that can actually sprout is key to success. I used organic mung beans, hulled buckwheat from bulk section of a grocery store, cilantro seeds from my last year's garden, cilantro seeds from a grocery store as a spice for cooking, and green peas for sprouting (Picture 1). Even before start, I knew the hulled buckwheat probably wouldn't work since they have been damaged and I was confirmed right. The mung beans did sprout but became rotten. Both cilantro seeds sprouted but they grow slowly (Picture 4). They have been growing for more than 5 days and are still growing on my window sill (Picture 6).
4. Soil mix and seeds especially the later are cost limiting factors of this gardening practice. If you know how to make the mix yourself or grow the seeds yourself, then you make it a few times more money friendly. In Peter's book, he discussed on such topics.
5. My first adaptation to use new and washed fabric wet with water instead of newspaper proved to be good. Not only I don't need to worry about eating ink, they are also reusable to almost unlimited times. And I have a lot such fabric scraps from my sewing projects. So this is a small but win win win situation for me.
6. Thanks thanks thanks for the one loaf of green pea sprouts! I used it in a salad. Absolutely great!
In my next gardening post I'll outline things I do differently from Peter's guide to make the year-round indoor salad gardening my own way. Please subscribe to my post or check back later if you're interested in the outcomes of my further experiment.