Growing your own salad with a Sprout Mini-Greenhouse
Salad is a fundamental linchpin of British Summer Time, and because of this, gardeners grow salad for summer year after year, producing all of their favourite ingredients. What could be more satisfying than serving up a plate of home-grown, fresh salad at your BBQ? Even better, let your guests pick directly from your greenhouse!
Although it’s hard to beat the crunch of a head of lettuce, most of us expect much more from our salads these days. Today, a top-notch, instagrammable salad contains various different colours, shapes, sizes, textures and flavours. In addition to different types of lettuce, it may also include spinach, cress, arugula and herbs.
Once you have decided what you’re going to grow and have your seeds, it’s time to get planting! People say that growing a garden can be more complicated than you expect, and you can’t just ‘set it & forget it’. In that sense, we are changing the game. Our smart, web-app controlled mini-greenhouses allow you to manage your growing from your mobile phone. That’s right – if you really wanted to set it and forget it – you can.
Our Sprout range of mini-greenhouses give your plants everything they need from self-ventilation, automatic watering, heating and & lighting – helping you to grow all year round. We want everyone to be able to grow fresh produce at home, and the optimum, climate controlled conditions in our Sprout Mini Greenhouses mean you will have more success with your plants, for less effort.
Plant your seeds according to best practices
Before seeds can really grow, they need to germinate in the soil. For some plants, like tomatoes – you can germinate them in a starting tray. Other plants such as onions and lettuce, can go directly into the soil. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the seed packet or in our various grow guides and you won’t go wrong! Germination can take different amounts of time based on the plant type.
What salad can I grow in my Sprout?
Grow your own celery to go into your home-grown salad and your Bloody Marys’. Celery must not get cold when it’s young, so it’s a great choice to sow in your Sprout as you can manage the temperature control.
A nutritious, versatile leafy green, Chard is easy to grow from seed and can be sown directly or transplanted later. A single plant can produce food for up to 12 months if it’s happy! When seedlings are small they can only tolerate a very light frost, so a mini-greenhouse is perfect for the protection. Chard can be harvested as baby leaves (or left to grow really big in the ground if you would prefer) which are the perfect addition to your salad!
Lettuce is generally a cool-season crop, but there are heat tolerant and bolt resistant varieties to grow in the warmer months too. The key is to sow little and often – we would recommend every 3 weeks and you should have a constant supply.
A low growing salad with small dark green leaves is best grown in the Winter, Spring & Autumn. The seeds tend to germinate in around 7-14 days at an ideal temperature of 10-20 degrees. A climate controlled environment is exactly what Lambs Lettuce needs to grow successfully, making a Sprout the perfect growing place!
There are many sizes of bush type tomatoes, but in our guide we focus on the tiniest of all – Micro Dwarf Tomatoes. They are sometimes called Dwarf, Micro Dwarf or Windowsill tomatoes. The tomatoes referred to in our guide are generally between 15-45cm high, and can therefore be kept in your Sprout mini greenhouse as long as you want. They will product delicious cherry tomatoes, a colourful and yummy addition to your salad.
Top Tip: It is important to know that some labelled Dwarf tomatoes can actually grow to over 1 metre high, so remember to read the description carefully!
Pea shoots are the absolute easiest thing you can grow! They are fantastic for small spaces, low light levels, grow incredibly fast, taste delicious and are rich in Vitamin C, A and protein.
Top Tip: They grow very fast (2-3 weeks) and if you miss the ideal harvest time and they have gone slightly stringy then make a pesto! Perfect addition to your BBQ.
There are many other delicious things you could grow in a Sprout Mini Greenhouse. You can see all of our hints, tips & growing guides here. Growing couldn’t be easier!
You really don’t need much space in your garden to successfully grow your own salad. Our mini-greenhouses have such a small footprint, they are perfect for small spaces like small patios or balconies. The most important element to consider when growing your salad is to make sure your plants are getting the sunlight and water they need. You can easily manage these elements (plus heating and automatic ventilation!) with a Sprout mini-greenhouse.
If there’s anything more satisfying than a refreshing salad, it’s the feeling of accomplishment that you grew it from scratch. Sow your seeds in small batches every 2-3 weeks and you will have a steady supply of tasty, fresh salad.