Growing Microgreens is a wonderful way to eat fresh, homegrown food all year round!
Quick growing, space efficient, nutrient dense & enzyme rich; Microgreens make a lot of sense in the gardening "shoulder-season". They are especially satisfying during the Winter months, when we are justitching to be surrounded by & eating green things. ⛄
For urban growers, these compact crops are perfect year round, especially if you don't have a lot of outdoor growing space.
Growing microgreens is easy and they add a lush aesthetic to your kitchen too!
So, what exactly are Microgreens?
Truly, the plants themselves are no different from the broccoli, kale, radish, cabbage, etc. that we all grow in our gardens. The difference is how & where they're planted, as well as when they are harvested.
Microgreens are typically grown indoors & densely seeded, so that they grow as a thick "lawn" in the container. Instead of allowing the plants to grow to their "normal" harvest stage, Microgreens are harvested when very young; only a few inches tall & just a couple of weeks old.
Plants in the nightshade family, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants should never be grown for microgreens as their leaves & stems are toxic. Also, although many legumes can be used for microgreens, some beans, like kidney beans, are incredibly toxic when raw (more on that here) Please use caution if you are uncertain.
How to grow Microgreens
As with everything that becomes "trendy", companies will do their best to convince you that you absolutely NEED to buy a plethora of things to succeed. Our philosophy is a bit different: Keep things simple and maintain the Earth by using what you already have on hand. You can grow Microgreens in any type of shallow container.
Use transplant trays or recycled food containers; 1-2” deep is preferred for improved air circulation. These containers need drainage holes. Place the growing containers on a second, watertight tray.
You can just use garden soil or potting mix!
Before seeding, hydrate your soil. When you squeeze it, no more than a few drops of water should come out.
Microgreens can be grown either in full or indirect sunlight or under grow lamps.
Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Microgreens
1. To soak or not to soak? Smaller seeds do not need soaking & are easiest to sow when they are dry. Larger seeds like Lentils, Mung Beans& Peas should be soaked for 6 - 12hrs to improve germination.
2. Sprinkle seeds evenly across the surface of your properly hydrated soil. Gently press them into the soil. There is no need to bury them.
3. Watering: Do not let your microgreen seeds dry out! Check daily to see if they need watering. The soil should remain moist though & not wet. We recommend pouring the water directly into your bottom tray, so that it can soak up through the drainage holes. Cover your containers with a clear, domed lid or lay a moist paper towel directly over the seeds until they germinate.
4. When the majority of seeds have sprouted, make sure they have access to light. Keep the lid off from here on in.
5. Microgreens are ready to harvest in around 2 weeks. Cut the shoots just above the soil line with a knife or scissors as needed. If you are storing extra in the fridge, be sure they are not damp or wet.
Just like with succession planting in the garden, it's good to get a few rounds of Microgreens going. It takes 14 days for most to grow, so if you plant new seeds, in a second container, once every week, you should have your microgreen needs covered. Have fun!