Grow a Year-Round Indoor Salad Garden

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Peter Burke
When the greens are about 6 to 10 inches high, use scissors or a knife to cut them about a quarter-inch above the soil line.

Growing lettuce indoors in winter — even year-round — is possible using Peter Burke’s unique indoor salad garden technique.

A very simple idea put me on the path toward growing a year-round indoor salad garden: I wanted fresh salad greens throughout winter. This desire occurred to me one fall afternoon as I was putting my garden to bed and planting my garlic for the following year.

With a pantry, cold cellar, and freezer full of the season’s harvest, the one thing that was missing in my larder was fresh salad greens, there is simply no way to store them. So I experimented with different techniques, and what I discovered exceeded my expectations and eventually became my book Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening. I can now grow all the salad greens I need for my family of four with a kitchen cupboard and a windowsill, I don’t need lights, special equipment, or a greenhouse.

Indoor Salad Garden Setup

My wife was used to me harvesting a wide variety of unusual salad greens, so when I started to harvest sunflower greens, pea shoots, buckwheat lettuce, and radish greens, she wasn’t too surprised, just amused. I call the greens “soil sprouts,” because they grow quickly like traditional sprouts grown in a jar, but are grown in soil instead. The soil allows me to grow seeds with hulls, such as sunflower and buckwheat seeds, and maintains enough moisture for the plants to grow, so I only need to water once a day.

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