Growing microgreens is a great way to add more greens to your diet, and they are a great thing to start your indoor gardening journey when you’re first starting out. These small plants are perfect for growing from seed in a small space, and they provide big flavor with relatively little effort.
In addition to tasting great, microgreens have the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants. The science behind it is that because they’re so young, microgreens still have high concentrations of the compounds that make them so healthy for us.
Another great thing about microgreens is that they are super easy to grow at home, even if you have a tiny indoor space and no access to direct sunlight. Read on to learn everything you need to know about growing microgreens.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the young sprouts of edible greens that are harvested and eaten before they have time to fully grow. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with “sprouts”, but sprouts are actually the germinated seeds of any plant. These are easier to grow than most vegetables.
Because they’re so young, they have significantly more nutritional value than fully grown lettuce, broccoli, etc. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and can be eaten raw or used in salads, sandwiches, in smoothies, or even on top of pancakes!
Microgreens are usually grown indoors in small containers, but you can also grow them indoors in a window sill if you have enough light.
Grow Microgreens From Seeds
Growing microgreens from seeds is easy and less expensive than buying a microgreen kit. You can grow them indoors or out, and you can use any type of seed. One thing to keep in mind is that seeds can take several days to germinate, so you’ll need to plan for growing microgreens from seeds a bit in advance.
- Choose Your Greens – First, choose which greens you want to grow as microgreens. You can plant seeds of any edible green, but some are better suited to growing indoors than others. Basil, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, tarragon, and parsley are all excellent choices.
- Pre-Soak Your Seeds – Some seeds, like cilantro and fennel, germinate slowly. You can help things along by pre-soaking your seeds in water overnight.
- Sow Your Seeds – Once your seeds have soaked overnight, scatter them thinly across your growing tray and cover with a thin layer of soil.
- Keep Your Soil Moist – As your seeds begin to sprout and grow, you’ll need to water them regularly. If you’re growing indoors, you’ll likely need to keep your soil moist at all times, even if it doesn’t rain. You can do this by watering from the bottom with a tray of water at the bottom of your growing tray.
- -Harvest Your Greens – Your microgreens will be ready to harvest when they’re an inch to two inches tall. It’s best to harvest your greens when they’re young for maximum nutritional value. Harvesting them early will also help to prevent over-growing, which can happen if you leave them too long.
Grow Microgreens From Sprouts
You can also grow microgreens from sprouts, which are basically immature seeds. Sprouts are great to grow indoors because they don’t need any soil or sunlight. Sprouts are basically seeds that are germinated (sprouted) with almost no soil and no light.
It’s a simple process that involves soaking seeds in water and leaving them in a warm place covered with a moist towel. Most seeds grow well as sprouts, but alfalfa, clover, and radish sprouts are best avoided because they contain chemicals that can cause gas. See the table below for some excellent options.
- Choose Your Seeds – If you’re growing microgreens from sprouts, you can use almost any seed. Some seeds sprout better than others, so you may want to try a few different types to see what grows best for you.
- Rinse and Soak Your Seeds – When you’re ready to start growing sprouts, soak your seeds in water for about five to 10 minutes. This will help them to germinate. Drain the water and transfer the seeds to a sprouting tray with holes.
- Keep Your Sprouts Moist And Warm – Put your sprouting tray in a warm, dark place such as your kitchen. You’ll need to keep your sprouts moist at all times, so you’ll need to keep the tray under a bowl of water at all times.
- Harvest Your Sprouts – Once your sprouts have grown to the desired length, you can harvest them. Harvesting microgreens from sprouts is the same as with seeds: harvest them when they’re an inch to two inches tall.
4 Tips For Growing Microgreens
- Start Growing In Advance – As we discussed earlier, growing microgreens from seeds can take a few days. If you’re planning a special event or meal, you may want to start growing microgreens in advance to be sure you have enough.
- Grow In Groups – Growing microgreens in large groups will help them grow more quickly. You can grow many different types of microgreens together in one tray. This is a great way to add variety to your diet while growing your own food.
- Harvest Frequently – Microgreens are best when harvested young, at one to two inches tall. Harvesting your greens frequently will help to prevent them from growing too long and becoming too fibrous and bitter. You can harvest as needed and replant the remaining greens to keep them growing.
- Don’t Let Your Seedlings Get Too Tall – While harvesting your microgreens as soon as they sprout is important, it’s also important to keep them from getting too tall. If you leave them too long, they’ll develop a root system so large that it’s difficult to transfer them to soil or a larger growing tray.
2 Must-Have Items For Growing Microgreens
- Growing Tray – You’ll need a tray to sow your seeds and sprouts. You can buy a growing tray to use just once, or you can invest in a reusable tray that you can use again and again.
- Watering Tray Or Tray At The Bottom Of Your Growing Tray – You’ll also need something to catch and keep your water at the bottom of your growing tray. You may want to get a tray that has a tray built in to collect the water, or you can use a separate tray. You may also want to invest in some gardening gloves and a pair of gardening scissors.
Growing microgreens is an excellent way to add more greens to your diet. These small plants are perfect for growing from seed in a small space and they provide big flavor with relatively little effort. In addition to tasting great, microgreens have the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants.
The science behind it is that because they’re so young, microgreens still have high concentrations of the compounds that make them so healthy for us. Another great thing about microgreens is that they are super easy to grow at home, even if you have a tiny indoor space and no access to direct sunlight. Read on to learn everything you need to know about growing microgreens.
If you want to add more greens to your diet, growing microgreens is an excellent choice. These small plants are perfect for growing in a small space and they provide big flavor with relatively little effort. Do you want to start growing your own microgreens?