The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Microgreens
Turn your window sill into a microgarden with our easy tips and tricks
It might be the case that the only thought you've given to microgreens, perhaps precariously topping your dish at a dining establishment, is "How cute!" But what exactly are these miniature little greens?
As you can probably infer from the name, microgreens are really nothing other than small, edible vegetable greens that are harvested in the stage between sprout and full on baby green. Most often reserved for high-end restaurant kitchens, microgreens are actually perfect for growing at home and quite versatile. We’ll show you why these plants are tiny yet mighty, how to grow them at home, and the tastiest ways to use them.
Why you should grow microgreens at home?
Maybe you already tried to grow tomatoes, herbs, or spring onions at home but noticed that it’s not as easy as it seems. Home gardening in an apartment can be hard, and even with a yard you need quite a lot of space, tools, and money to keep your garden looking vibrant and fruitful.
But this is not the case with microgreens! You don’t even need a garden or a balcony to grow these tasty greens—your window sill will do just fine. Plus, unlike many other vegetables and fruits, you can grow microgreens all year round. They are fast-growing, easy to plant, and relatively inexpensive. Once you have the proper tools, you can start planting and harvesting over and over again.
Microgreens are healthy, as they contain the same amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as the bigger, leaved versions, just compressed into a smaller plant. They are also rumored to have digestive and antioxidant characteristics—a true tiny superfood.
Which kind of microgreens you should plant at home
The selection of seedlings for microgreens is huge. From classics like cress, mustard, arugula, red cabbage, to herbs like mint and cilantro, even broccoli, pea, mung bean, radish, and beetroot—nearly no leaf sprouting vegetable is off the table.
You’ll sometimes come across microgreen seeds and seedlings in the garden department of a home improvement store or even in some organic supermarkets. So next time you go grocery shopping, keep your eyes open to find your microgreen seed supplier. You can also find them online if you’ve had no luck at your local shops.
How to grow your own microgreens at home
There are different options and ways to grow microgreens at home, from special pre-made sets designed for growing them to sprout glasses, which you can easily make at home. The advantage of buying a set, is that they usually come together with the seedlings—which can give you a little leg up and lead to a quicker harvest.
Here’s our DIY way that can be done with any flat bowl you have on hand.
What you’ll need:
- 1 bowl for growing (you can use any flat bowl, even a casserole dish)
- sprouts/ seedlings
- spray bottle filled with water
- plastic wrap
How to grow microgreens:
Fill your bowl with soil, approx. 2 cm/0.8 inch high. Spread your seedlings all over the soil and gently press them in. Generously spray the soil with your spray bottle.Some microgreens grow better in darker places, while others need a lot of light. When you need to grow your greens need a dark place, just cover the bowl with another bowl or sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the seeds. Germs which need light can be covered with plastic wrap, which helps retain heat to boost the growth.Place the bowl on your window sill, avoiding sills with direct sunlight. In the first days you should pay them a bit of attention, airing them out if they are covered with a bowl or plsatic wrap, and watering them with the spray bottle if the soil is dry.After 4 – 6 days you should see tiny plants sprouting. Now, you can remove any covers. If your greens were covered with a bowl and are yellow, don’t worry–they’ll turn green as soon as they break into the light.After 10 – 14 days your microgreens should be “thumb high” and bright green. They are ready for harvest! Simply cut them near the base with scissors or a knife and rinse them gently.
How to prepare microgreens
Microgreens are versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. Toss them into salads or layer them on sandwiches; pulse them into pestos, smoothies, or spreads.
Substitute the basil in this simple pesto recipe with any homegrown microgreen to get started.
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Have you grown your own microgreens and have more questions for us? Share your questions, stories, and photos of your tiny greens with us in the comments!
Published on May 12, 2018