Growing microgreens is a recent trend, gaining high popularity among home gardeners. In the earlier days, microgreens were mainly grown by chefs who used these in different salads and soups. The popularity grew and today these healthy microgreens are considered to be the hottest food trend. These can be grown indoors in small containers throughout the year.
Are Microgreens Similar to Sprouts?
Microgreens are small edible plants and they are a bit older than sprouts. Since these are small in size, they are often confused with sprouts. Sprouts are germinated seeds that are grown in water and eaten whole. When we have sprouts we are actually consuming their seeds, stem and root. Microgreens grow in soil or even on a sterile growing mat like a fiber mat. You can grow them indoors with little exposure to sunlight. These are harvested just after the development of first ‘true’ leaves. Quite easy to grow and can be grown from any type of plant variety but the most popular are mustard, radish and beet. The seed density when planted is also lower than with sprouts which makes sure that they have plenty of space to grow. Microgreens also have less contamination problems than sprouts. Lastly, unlike sprouts, they are harvested with their roots. High in nutritional value, microgreens are an easy way to create a healthier diet for yourself.
Growing Microgreens in Your Garden
Home gardeners are now showing great interest in growing microgreens as these can be grown indoors since they need very little space. These can be grown in wide varieties to add that spicy ‘zing’ to any salad or main course. The common types of microgreens grown in home gardens are cabbage, cilantro, celery, radish and mustard. The best part is that these are completely ready to be harvested in just two weeks or less which means if you are really fond of these greens, you can produce at least 20 crops in a year and enjoy their freshness and nutritional value everyday.
Tips For Growing Microgreens
Seeds for Microgreens - You will need untreated seeds to grow microgreens at home. These should preferably be organic. The same seeds are used in growing full size plants. The plants grow quite close to one another – you will always need more seeds to grow microgreens than in case of other crops when you are planting them in your garden. Sprinkle several seeds if you are trying to grow them in containers.
Soil Needed – Potting soil is good for growing microgreens. If you add natural nutrients it is surely going to help further. You need to remember that microgreens grow well in a moist soil but it shouldn’t be too soggy or it will damage them completely.
Harvesting Time – Plants emerge within 5 days and they are completely ready to harvest when the leaves are unfolded and they are about 2 inches tall. Watch out for the second set of leaves that are often referred to as ‘true leaves’. This is the harvesting time, though many growers like to grow a week more. You need to pick them from their base which is close to the dirt.