How to have greens all year roundStart now and you will be taking leaves within a month.
1 fixture flourescent lights, 40 Watts, 2 lights is enough.
Timer for the lights
1 to 4 trays (each tray holds 16 bags) Trays will have to be made waterproof by putting a drop of glue in each corner (Goop, Home Depot, Paint Department).
Bags, 16 per tray
Seeds (Order as many as you need)
Choose a location in front of a southern window preferably. Place a table or a shelf on front of the window, install the lights so they are directly on top of the shelf, and 14" above it. Since we get only 9 hours of sunshine during the winter months, and the plants require at least 14 hours, the light will have to be supplemented, that is where the flourescent lights come in. Set the timer so the lights go on at sundown and off at sunup.
Fill the bags with soil and put them in the trays. Water the trays and plant the seeds. You can put one or two seeds in each bag, and label them. Some plants will start growing within 3 days, others will take longer. After the plants start growing water them on a daily basis, not much but keep the bottom of the trays wet. Water between the bags. You can give them some liquid fertilizer every week or so.
What to plant?
Wait until the leaves are about 3 inches from the lights before taking them. Always take the largest leaves. Once you start taking leaves to eat, you can take leaves almost every day.
My indoor garden
Warning: Be sure there is always air circulation around your indoor garden, otherwise humidity will increase and with it, the danger of damping off. This disease can decimate your crop overnight.
Aphids. The eternal pest. They are almost invisible but are attracted to most greens... come out of nowhere and multiply rapidly. They linger on the stems of the plants, on the underside of the leaves and they always pick the very top of the plants. If you have any, that is where you will find them. The only way to exterminate them safely is with NEEM oil... it works. this is how I use it.
As the weather turns nice, you can take your trays out and put them on the deck or some place in full sun. Transplant them in much larger containers. At this time you have to be sure to water them every morning. Any and all these plants can be planted outdoors after all danger of frost is over. Allow some of them to grow large and make seeds. Save the seeds and plant again in the Fall so you can have uninterrupted supply of greens.
When grown outside, Malabar Spinach can grow unchecked and will make a jungle in a few days. Plant 2 or 3 plants and you will have your hands full. Give them at least 6 ft. around to spread.
Planting Swiss Chard is better. you can space them about 14 inches but again, don't plant too many. Each leaf can be as large as 18 " long, enough for a full salad, and it is delicious.
Kang Kong will also spread, plant only a couple of plants, Kale is much smaller and very manageable but be careful, groundhogs love those two plants..