How to Grow Microgreens

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Microgreens are actually young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs that are used to garnish salads, sandwiches and other dishes. Recent studies have shown that microgreens have even more nutrients than the mature vegetables themselves. If you have little room or time and want to maximize your gardening experience, microgreens are a fabulous option. Microgreens are super easy to grow, don't require a lot of space or care, and are incredibly nutritious.

How to grow microgreens

Choose a container that is at least 3" deep and has good drainage. Plastic containers from fruits, vegetables, roasted chicken and take-out work great for this purpose. The fruit and vegetable containers will most likely already have drainage holes in them, but the other plastic containers are easy to punch holes in the bottom. Wash them thoroughly and allow to dry before planting.

Choose an organic sterile potting soil that drains well, yet retains moisture. Most bagged products are ideal. Place a coffee filter or napkin in the bottom of the container to prevent the soil from flowing out of the holes. Moisten the soil and place it in the container about 2" deep. Press the soil gently with the back of a measuring cup to smooth the surface.

Sprinkle the seeds on top of the surface of the soil and gently press them into the soil using the back of the measuring cup. Don't cover the seeds with soil, just press them so they make full contact with the soil surface. Sow seeds together that have the same moisture and light requirements.

How to grow microgreens

Place the containers on a tray to catch an loose soil and water and then mist the seeds with water. Since the soil was already moistened with water, a mister works well at this stage. Place in a south facing window that gets good light all day long. If a natural light source is a problem, a fluorescent light can be placed a few inches above the containers once the seeds begin to sprout. Seeds should sprout within 3-7 days depending on the plant varieties chosen.

Keep the soil evenly moist, either by using the mister bottle or a small watering can that has a nice fine aerator on it. The microgreens will be ready to harvest in 7-14 days after they have germinated or just after they get their first set of true leaves. To harvest, cut the greens at the soil line, rinse with water, pat dry with a paper towel and enjoy.

  

Following are some plants that are suitable to grow and harvest as microgreens:

Alfalfa
Amaranth
Arugula
Basil
Beet
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Celery
Chard
Chervil
Chia
Chives
Cilantro
Clover
Collard
Cress
Dill
Fennel
Flax
Garlic Chives
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lemon Balm
Mesclun
Mustard Greens
Pea
Purslane
Radish
Scallion
Sorrel
Sunflower
Turnip

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