Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Microgreens – what are they and how do I grow them?
Microgreens are all the rage, or seem to be. But what are they and how do you grow them? First off, they are not sprouts (germinated seed), they’re edible immature greens, harvested with scissors less than a month after germination, when the plants are up to 2 inches tall. Microveggy.com has a larger comparison chart and more information. Simply said, sprouts grow more like a fungus, microgreens like a plant.
Pretty much any green leafy thing can be a microgreen.
Now how to start… a warm, sunny windowsill, a south-facing window is ideal. You could also use a cheap grow light. You’ll need a small, clean container. Plastic take-out dishes and disposable pie plates work well. Make sure your container has drainage holes.
Cover the bottom of the container with an inch or two (depending on size of container) of moistened potting soil or mix. Flatten and level the soil being sure not to over-compress it. Scatter the seeds evenly and gently press into the soil with your hand or a piece of cardboard. Cover with a thin layer of seed starting mix. Dampen the surface with a mister.
You could also just cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted. Once they’ve poked through, usually about 3 to 7 days, mist once or twice a day to keep the soil moist but not wet. Try to mist more of the soil than the leaves.
There are microgreen flowers, herbs, vegetables, mixes! Here’s a link to Johnny’s Seeds to show you the pages of choices!
The easiest and most often planted are lettuce, kale, spinach, radish, herbs, mustard, beets, cabbage, kohlrabi…. and so on!
Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. You can use a grow light. You’ll have delicious microgreens in 2 to 4 weeks.
Once cut, they do NOT regrow. Just dump the soil and roots into your compost and plants more! You can also grow them outside in the summer. They need light and warmth.