Our friends at stylish gardening blog Fennel & Fern teach us how to sow and grow in small spaces. 


Nowhere to grow? Try flavoursome micro greens.You really don't need a garden or even a windowbox to be able to grow your own veg. All you need is a windowsill or a sunny spot in a room, a handful of soil and a container, and you can grow micro greens. They are small, flavoursome herbs or salad leaves, grown for only a few days until a second pair of leaves emerge. The taste is much more concentrated and in just one little seedling you get all the punch of an entire plant. They make great salad fillings or garnishes for salad. Here are five of our favourite micro greens.

1. Lavender


Few people eat adult lavender leaves, but when you try one of these seedlings, you'll be hooked. Great scattered over a tagine or on cheese on toast. Sow these seeds in compost in a warm place. If you have a propagator, that's great, or else put them in a seed tray, put the seed tray in a see-through plastic bag and put near to your cooker in your kitchen so they get all the warmth.

2. Beetroot


Picking beets when they are only at seedling stage (rather than waiting a week longer for their true leaves to appear) means you have a perfect garnish. You still have that sweet, earthy, beety flavour in the tiny plant, and the bright stems look fab as the crest of a salad, or sprinkled at the last minute over a dish of food.

3. Shiso greens



Shiso has a really strong aniseed taste, with a gentle warmth to it as well. You can pack these seeds in and serve when the first pair of true leaves appear.

4. Pea shoots



These really are clever and cheap salads. You just need a bag of cheap dried peas from your local shop and some soil. Sow and wait until you've got about three sets of leaves on the plant. They taste like peas, but better.

5. Mustard



These really are quick. Sow in a warm place and you'll get intense leaves within a week. they're great for giving early salads a flavoursome punch.


Fennel and Fern is a blogging collective inspiring gardeners all over the world; a big happy team of organic gardeners who love the soil under their fingernails and munching on thier own homegrown veg. For more urban growing tips and advice on great gardening click here.