Microgreens are a nutritious and delicious addition to any garden that many people are beginning to grow. What’s more, growing microgreens is simple, and can be done easily indoors as well as out. Microgreens are the perfect veggies to grow on a sunny windowsill, and can take up as little or as much space as you want them to. This makes growing microgreens an excellent choice year round and for any level of gardener!
What To Plant?
Microgreen is sort of a catch all term for a wide variety of green plants. It generally refers to greens that are eaten before they mature, usually only after a few weeks or so after germination. This means that typically microgreens will only be a couple of inches tall, and just starting to produce small leaves.
With that in mind, there’s a large variety of veggies that can be grown. Some of the easiest to start with are leafy and salad greens. Don’t feel constrained by that though, there are large variety to grow such as broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage. For beginners, it’s best to start with a single type and branch out from there. You can also buy premixed packages that combine multiple greens with similar growth rates. These pre-packaged items are also a great starting point for beginners and can provide a lot more variety and flavor than a single green.
Planting Your Seeds
Start with a small clean container. You can use a wide variety of non-traditional containers when growing microgreens, and many people use plastic containers like takeout trays or even pie tins. That said, feel free to use any sort of container or pot that you have available. In any case, make sure there is some drainage in your chosen container, and if not, poke a few holes in the bottom or you’ll have to be very careful not to overwater.
The key thing to remember here is that since these plants will not grow that large their root systems do not require a deep container. Using a container that is wider than deep will allow for more to be planted, but use what you have available and what you have room for!
Fill your chosen container with about two inches of soil. If you’re using a standard pot that is quite deep you can fill the majority of the container with small pebbles, this will also help with drainage. Give the soil a solid watering to moisten it.
Next, scatter the seeds evenly over the top of the soil, don’t worry too much about spacing. Give them a light covering with a bit more soil, not more than a quarter inch or so, and they’re ready to go.
Light, Water, and Harvest
Once your seeds are planted, you’ll want to place them in a location that gets bright light for at least 4 hours a day. If growing in the winter, aim for 6 hours plus to compensate for lessened intensity of sunlight during these months. In proper conditions, you should expect your plants to germinate in less than a week.
Before and after germination aim to keep the soil moist. You don’t want it to be drenched, but a consistent moisture. This generally requires a good misting once per day, and maybe a light watering after a week or two. As noted, keep the soil moist but don’t let the plants sit in overly wet water.
Keep the light and water up for roughly 2-3 weeks and your greens will be ready to harvest. This should be about the time your greens start to develop their true leaves. Simply grab a pair of scissors, and snip the plants just above the soil line taking the stem and the leaves.
Serve the cuttings immediately for freshest flavors, or they can be stored in a fridge for around a week. It’s also okay to let the greens sit before harvesting them, if you’ve grown a lot at once you can come back each day to harvest a fresh bit.
What About Outdoors?
During the warmer months, the same process can also be used outdoors. The main thing to keep in mind here is the general frailness of the seedlings. This means keeping them safe from things like heavy rain or winds. It’s also a good idea to plant them in a spot that gets a decent amount of shade to prevent them from being burned out by the more intense outdoor sun.
Microgreens are easy to grow, and a delicious addition to many meals. Growing microgreens is a great way to add some veggies to your diet, and being super easy means anyone can do it! We highly recommend it for any level of gardener!