Dig a fresh dandelion root from
your garden. Trim away the larger leaves and insert that spindly
root into the neck of your GrowFlute. Turn the flute upside down.
Now put a capillary cord into the flute. This can be any non-degradable
fibre like a shoe lace, or a strip cut from nylon socks or stockings
and twisted together. Wind it around the taproot. Now add damp
compost to the bottle and tamp it down firmly.
Put your GrowFlute on a tray,
such as the plastic packs used by supermarkets for perishable
Raise the flute a half-inch
high on gravel or even cut-down corks. Don't worry about roots
growing in the gravel. As soon as they meet the air, they'll
dive back again!
Fill the saucer with water and
make sure your capillary cord is well steeped too. Now expose
your flute to good light, such as a south-facing window. In a
week or so you'll be rewarded with fresh lush leafy, and edible,
growth. One term for this system is ring culture but do it this
way and it becomes an ornament in the home - beautiful as well
You don't need a garden to
raise delicious food
You can cut the leaves two or
three times a week and gain fresh-food vitamins without even
needing to leave your house. Eventually, they may flower into
a beautiful blossom. (Just don't let them go to seed or you'll
be cropping fresh dandelions from your curtains.)
For long-term food production,
the GrowFlute will need feeding after a few weeks. The ideal
organic feeds are nettle or comfrey infusions but do be careful
about using them indoors. They have a powerful smell.
Of course, dandelions are just
one possible candidate for your GrowFlute. Any small plant can
be grown in a GrowFlute, either from a seedling or the seed itself.
Once the plant has grown good roots, the flute can be watered
simply by filling the saucer. The capillary cord will keep the
Grow salad plants in the
depths of winter
Good crops of common beans (Phaseolus
vulgaris) and broad beans can be grown successfully in GrowFlutes,
indoors on a south-facing window sill, even in December. Water,
food and light are what legumes need most, rather than space
for their roots.
A great indoor gardening idea
is to put tinfoil or metallic 'holographic' gift wrap paper under,
and ideally behind, any plants you grow on your windowsill to
throw back the light.
The GrowFlute is a modern twist
on the 'forcing' methods used by old-time gardeners. Our grandparents
could grow just about any plant, even exotica like pineapples
and melons, out of season and in temperate climates using hothouses.
But we don't need a hothouse; our own homes are warm enough!
One joy of GrowFlutes is that, if you have a windowsill filled
with these salad machines, you can add an inch of water to the
tray and go on holiday.
They're decorative too! Paint
the outside of the flutes before you fill them and rest them
in a matching painted saucer. And you'll have a very pretty room
A wicked idea for a dinner party
is to place a GrowFlute beside each guest and let them cut their
own fresh salads. Your dinner party will certainly be remembered!