Grow your own mini edible knot garden
by Rhiannon James
Micro greens are a great way to grow your own even if you’ve only got space indoors. These diminutive versions of herbs and leaves such as basil, rocket and mizuna may be small in stature but pack a big punch of flavour when added to a dish.
If they’re going to take up space in your living room or kitchen though, they should really look just as good as they taste. So why not use them to create mini garden masterpieces – think knot garden, parterre or maze. Best of all, while all those with full-size gardens are waiting years for their designs to come to fruition, yours will peak in as little as a week – and if you’re not totally happy with the result, you can eat the evidence!
Things you’ll need
1. A seed tray and a clear propagator lid with sliding ventilator
2. Seed compost
3. Micro green seeds – we used broccoli green – sprouting, rocket ‘Victoria’ and basil ‘Dark Opal’
4. Some horticultural grit (optional depending on your design)
1. Draw up a design for your knot garden. Avoid making it too intricate as the pattern may be lost as the micro greens grow and coordinating germination times for different varieties can be quite complex.
2. Fill a seed tray with compost and firm lightly.
3. Sprinkle seeds on the surface of the compost to form your design. In our first tray, we created a framework using horticultural grit and filled the gaps with rocket ‘Victoria’. If you’re using more than one type of micro green and they germinate at different rates, you may want to sow the seeds in stages. In our second tray, we started by creating a simple cross shape using basil ‘Dark Opal’.
4. Water the compost using a watering can with a very fine rose and put the propagator lid on the tray. Place the tray on a well-lit window sill in a warm location for five to seven days (longer in the colder, darker months), making sure you keep the seeds moist and check regularly that there are no problems with ‘damping off’. Allow air to circulate around the seed tray by opening the vents in the top of the propagator lid.
5. If you’re sowing different micro green seeds at different stages, when the first set of seeds are far enough along, sprinkle your second type on to the compost. In our second tray, we sowed broccoli green – sprouting into the triangular gaps created by the cross shape.
6. Continue to keep a close check on moisture levels. The seeds may need watering each day as they grow rapidly when they have germinated. When the seed leaves start to appear, take the lid off the tray.
7. Wait for the full glory of your design to appear!