Microgreens: A Guide to Growing Your Own
As the light slowly returns, it is a good time of year to start thinking about growing microgreens!
Microgreens are excellent choice for compact urban living, especially for those who do not have a garden to grow crops proper. They are also a solid choice to boost nutrition at this time of year, when our bodies can be slightly run down.
Some researchers claim that microgreens provide almost double the nutrition weight-for-weight compared with grown up veg!
Here is a step-by-step guide of how to grow your own:
Step 1: In a bucket, moisten the organic potting soil with water (moist but not soaked). Fill a tray or container with soil to within 1/2 inch of the top. Level the soil with your hand.
Step 2: Sprinkle the seeds across the entire soil surface. For smaller seeds, like radish, broccoli and amaranth, you want 1/4-inch spaces between seeds. For larger seeds, like sunflower, beets or mustard, the seeds should be touching, covering the entire surface of the soil. Make sure each seed is in contact with the soil surface (otherwise they will not germinate).
Step 3: Mist the seeds with a spray bottle (which will gently push the seeds into the soil) until the soil surface is damp.
Step 4: This is optional, but you can stack the seed containers on top of each other and place an empty container on top. The stacking keeps the seeds in the dark and in contact with the soil, ideal for germination. Keep the trays in a warm place (ideally between 72-75 degrees) for about 3-5 days. Each day check the moisture, if they are dry, mist with water. The seeds will also sprout if you leave them on a windowsill without being stacked, though the results may not be as good as being stacked.
Step 5: After about 3-5 days, as the seedlings start to push up, they are ready to be put under the light. Bigger seeds may take slightly longer, so just be patient :)
Step 6: Place the container(s) in front of a windowsill. Make sure to keep the soil moist. Rotate the tray(s) every few days so that all the seedlings get equal exposure to sunlight.
Step 7: Harvest the seedlings with scissors when the leaves are fully formed and are about 2-4 inches long (a few days to a week or so, depending on the microgreen).
Step 8: Enjoy! Use a bit as garnish to liven up just about any dish.
The microgreens can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Although, you can just harvest as needed.
The soil can be composted (with red worms) and recycled.
Here is a list of microgreens to try out:
Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, pak choi, beans, peas, carrot, amaranth, beets, spinach, lettuce, mustard, radish, turnips, sunflowers, basil, purslane, sorrel, coriander, fenugreek, dill.