Eating home grown fresh greens every day of the year is a worthwhile and achievable target. Lettuce is lovely in summer but it grows too slowly in most of New Zealand in winter. There are lots of other leaves you can use as a change that grow and even germinate in mid winter. I’ve talked about my favourite winter crops here and here and here.
Sprouts grow indoors and are ready in about a week. I generally eat them fresh but add a few mung beans to stir fries too. And you can choose a different flavour every week or a mixture to sprout at once. You can start with an old pasta sauce jar with a clean piece of old sheet over the top, secured with an elastic band. Here is my most recent sprouting project.
Microgreens are a stage older and just as varied as sprouts. A shallow take-away tray with a few drainage holes in the bottom, filled with potting mix and set on a on a sunny window sill will produce a great crop.
Rocket tastes delicious and in cool weather doesn’t go to seed. Slugs and snails pretty much ignore it which makes it another favourite for winter growing.
4. Mizuna and Mibuna (pictured)
These quick growing leaves from the brassica family will benefit from some protection but I sowed some in a polystyrene crate outside in late April and they’re ready to pick now. If you want a wider selection of leaves, try Kings Seeds ‘Oriental Mesclun’ in winter.
Mint, coriander, parsley and chives need to be growing before winter but make a very useful and tasty addition to salads. If you’re in an area where they die back outside, pot some up and bring them onto a windowsill to grow.