The sprouts or sprouts help to create a fun, healthy, cheap urban garden, without leaving home
No need for a terrace. Setting up an urban garden in winter only requires a bright window that allows the vegetables to obtain the rays of sunlight they need to grow. Of course, the possibility of planting an urban garden with cold requires choosing crops resistant to low temperatures. And this includes the so-called sprouts, also called sprouts (or micro-vegetables), so fashionable in the vegetable section of the supermarket. How? Pay attention to the following lines.
The concept of urban horticulture is taking hold in Spain. "Starting an ecological urban garden in autumn or winter is not only possible, but also has some advantages", acknowledges Marta Rosque, environmentalist and horticulturist creator of Plantea en Verde. Among them, there are fewer pests and you have to be less aware of irrigation. But it is also that the crops, says Rosique, taste better in autumn and winter, "when they do not live under the scorching summer sun."
Salad crops, such as arugula and the increasingly fashionable pak choi (Asian cabbage), and even aromatic herbs, such as basil and coriander, can be grown in an urban garden set up in the living room. But there are more options. Broad beans and even peas can be eaten as shoots or seedlings (small plants that have not finished growing). And even some root crops, which take advantage of the thickened part underground, such as carrots and radishes, are vegetables that grow perfectly when the thermometer is lowered. The reason is that the soil acts as a regulator of thermal inertia, protecting the plant from the stakes of the cold that would otherwise ruin the plant.
This is how winter shoots are sown: the rule of thumb
If the winter harvest is to be successful, the sowing has to be dense, since a proportion of the seed may not germinate. To do this, you must use the rule of thumb. In the world of horticulture this rule refers to the distance that must be respected between each seed, since this separation will increase the chances that the plant will thrive.
And you don't have to take the subway. This guideline is approximate and does not need to be perfect. But if you want to plant larger vegetables, make sure to increase the spacing distance between the seeds in proportion.
The planter: reuse and save
You do not need a large pot, or expensive. A seedling tray that is at least an inch deep is all that is required to start a winter garden. And it will be more than enough if what is intended is to obtain sprouts and sprouts.
The trays for sowing can be obtained free of charge at the supermarket, since you can take advantage of the trays of mushrooms or certain fruits. But if they have holes, the bottom should be covered with newspaper to prevent the compost from running to the bottom.
But the options do not end here, since other plastic containers can be used for sowing. And if they don't have holes, just make them with a sharp knife. In the case of wanting to make a mini-winter greenhouse, you can use half a plastic bottle with holes that allow aeration. The reuse of materials is a requirement for a garden to be more sustainable and it also saves money, resources and work.
And if you want them to grow faster ...
To help the seeds germinate, simply soak the seeds for about 24 hours before planting them in the compost. This simple gesture will facilitate germination and will make the sprouts appear in less time.
It is also important to lightly wet the compost or substrate before placing the seeds. It does not need to be soaked, but it does need to be damp. And to maintain humidity after having put the seeds, the pots or trays can be covered with a transparent plastic bag that has holes to facilitate aeration. But it is important to remove the plastic cover as soon as the first sprouts appear, in addition to watering the sprouts regularly, although even better if it is done with a spray bottle.
Time to collect
Indoor plant sprouts typically take two to four weeks to grow. Also, most sprouts do not have an exact harvest date, so you can experiment with different sprout times and lengths. While some people prefer to collect the sprouts once the first two leaves appear (cotyledons or embryonic leaf), others choose to let them grow a little more.
In any case, the easiest way to collect sprouts is to use sharp kitchen shears to cut them. And you don't have to root them out, as some sprouts like peas can grow back.
The best winter shoots
The possibilities of growing winter shoots in the living room are enormous. And the recommendation is to jump into experimenting. As an idea, you can start with basil and coriander sprouts, but you can also try less classic sprout crops such as mustard, radish, chickpea, pea or broad beans.
By EVA SAN MARTÍN