Grow microgreens in your garden bed outside or in containers. They are perfect quick growing crops for urban gardeners too, who don’t have space. You can grow them indoors on a windowsill or a balcony or other open space!
What are Microgreens
Microgreens are leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs that are harvested young when they are an inch or two. They are nutritious and can be picked quickly. You can also let a few of these baby plants grow to harvest them at a mature age.
Shallow trays, bowls, seed pots or if you have something else in your home that you want to reuse as a pot. A pot you use must be 3 inches deep and as wide as possible. 3 inches deep pots or more will allow you to keep your micro greens in case if you want to save some seedlings for transplant.
Best Microgreens to Grow
Leafy greens, herbs, edible flowers, vegetables, there are so many options to try. But the best microgreens are those with intense flavor.
- Cilantro (Coriander)
- Asian Greens
- Fava Bean
Edible Flowers and Other Best Microgreens to Grow
Read the instructions given on seed packets before sowing them as planting depth varies. Fill the pots with moistened soilless growing medium and scatter the tiny seeds over them. Cover the seeds with a thin layer (1/8 inch) of soil. After that water gently in a way that seeds may not dislocate.
We suggest using a separate pot for each microgreen crop, also, label it to identify what is what.
Put the trays or pots on the heating mat to provide warmth to the seeds that are about to germinate. If you don’t have mats, place the pots over the top of a warm appliance, for example, a fridge. The Dave’s Garden has an informative article on alternatives of the heat mat, so check that out!
The tips in the paragraphs above and below can be ignored if you are growing microgreens in a warm season or climate.
If you want to create a favorable humid environment for your planted seeds– Cover the pots with a clear lid or plastic wrap, puncture some holes for the airflow (*You can skip this step, especially if you live in a warm climate). Meanwhile, you wait for the next few days for your seeds to sprout, maintain the moisture by regularly misting the germinating seeds.
Choose a spot that is partially sunny and less windy. It is best to provide an exposure to 5 hours of direct sun for flavor and vigorous growth. Minimum 3 hours of direct sunlight is essential. If your baby plants are leggy, inclining to a side and pale green in appearance, they may need more sunlight.
However, microgreens can also survive in all day long bright indirect light. You can keep them under grow lights or fluorescent lights for 6-8 hours per day as well.
You can use seed starting mix or any soilless potting mix, prepare your own sterilized growing medium for growing microgreens in containers. Some people even grow them in coconut coir or peat.
In addition to that, you can mix a small amount of manure or compost or time-based fertilizer to that but make sure there was no fertilizer added already.
Water from the bottom carefully so as not to disturb or uproot the tender plants. To maintain the moisture, water regularly. You can use a sprayer or mist water using your hands lightly.
You don’t need a fertilizer for growing microgreens. However, if you like you can sprinkle some compost if your greens are not doing well.
Pests and Diseases
As microgreens grow for such a short period, they usually don’t suffer from pests and diseases.
Harvest and Use
Microgreens usually get ready between 1 – 3 weeks, depending on the seed type. Harvest as soon as the set of actual, true leaves appear and they are about 1 – 3 inches tall. Pick a scissor and snip the greens just above the soil line. Don’t assume that new growth will appear from the very bottom. Reuse the containers to start new seeds.
Wash and clean homegrown microgreens and use them right away in sandwiches, soups, salads, with sprouts or in other dishes to enjoy the fresh flavor.
Source: Balcony Garden Web