Space is not a big problem for gardening, if you do some research, you come to know that there are many vegetables which you can grow indoors and very fast. Microgreens are one of them and you can easily grow them by following some steps and getting tasty nutritious food.
Microgreens are green herbs and you can harvest microgreens when they are quite young, you can say that after the development of tiny roots and first true leaves. You can save your money by growing them at home because their price is high.
Little maintenance is required for their growth and the outcome is very productive. They are the main ingredients of many dishes like salad and sandwiches, they give color, crunch, and taste to your dishes.
Which Microgreens You Can Grow?
The common varieties you can easily grow indoors are beets, basil, broccoli, cabbage, coriander, lettuce, mustard, peas, parsley, radish, spinach, and sorrel. A lot of options for you, so you can easily decide according to your desire.
What Types of Microgreens are not safe to grow?
It is important to tell you that some plants are not safe to eat as a microgreen. The plants which are included in this list are tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. If you grow these plants as microgreen form they will make you all because they contain some harmful elements in their stems which are not beneficial for you.
The Best way of Growing Microgreens
You can grow them indoors easily in a container on a windowsill so the light is easily available for their growth.
Things you need
You can buy seed starting trays from hardware stores or they are easily available at garden centers. You can also use instead of this tray a berry container or an egg carton. But remember one thing: poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage. If you decide to grow your microgreens in a container then you need a shallow container of at least 2 inches deep.
Sterilized Potting Soil
Without potting soil, it is not possible for you to get healthy plants although microgreens do not need fertilized soil it doesn’t mean that you use ordinary garden soil. You can get high-quality potting mix soil from most stores.
There is an option to grow the microgreens without soil but after doing this experiment you will observe that their taste will be different from those which are grown in the soil. My advice is that don’t compromise on the taste.
These seeds are easily available from stores but some companies offer a special type of seed mixes through which you can get unique taste plus high nutrition. If you don’t want to grow these mixed seeds then don’t worry, a lot of options are there for you like spinach, beets, basil, radishes, kale, and cilantro.
Hose Sprayer or Water Can
For watering, of course, it is recommended to use a hose spray or water can instead of a spray bottle.
- Firstly, in case of tray lay a moistened paper towel on the bottom. It will help to stop the mix from falling through. Now take a container/tray and fill it with soil. If you are using a container then fill it about ¾.
- The next step is to sprinkle the seeds of microgreens on the surface of the soil.
- Thirdly, cover a light layer of additional soil.
- If you want to prevent your plant from additional diseases, sprinkle the cinnamon powder.
- Now it is time to provide them with water. You can use a spray bottle later for this purpose. At this time you can use a hose sprayer or watering can but it doesn’t mean drowning them but just damp them.
- The next step is to place your container or pot in a sunny place. Sunlight is very important as they are fast-growing plants so it is important to [place them under light immediately.
Read More: 15 Indoor Herb Container Garden Ideas
Important Factors For Better Growth
Many factors are necessary for the health of your plants whether you are growing them in your home. We will discuss them one by one.
The plants like 70 degrees Fahrenheit for germination. The growth of the plant depends on the type of microgreen. Room temperature is best for the growth of some greens. But the temperature should not be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or not above the 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If there is a low temperature in your house you can use a heat mat especially in winter. You can also use a heating pad and place it under the tray. When you buy the seeds the requirement of temperature for that particular seed is mentioned on the packet. If it is not mentioned you can ask the supplier.
Water is necessary for the survival and growth rate of any plant. Try to water regularly so your seedlings will not remain thirsty. You can check the moisture of the soil by touching with your fingers. Your soil should be always moist but not soggy.
Generally, you will have to give water your greens daily. But in case of a tray, you find that plants can live without water for several days. Take care of the needs of your plant and inspect it every day. Plants need your proper attention just like human beings, your love and attention will make them happy.
The most simple requirement for the growth of greens is access to good light, a tray or shallow container, suitable temperature, water, and a growing medium. If you are growing them in a tray then try to rotate your tray every few days because some microgreens like to grow in an irregular pattern.
By changing the sides your tray or container will get an equal amount of light. If you do not rotate your tray the plants which are growing in the sunlight will grow fast as compared to those which are not receiving full sunlight.
Don’t let your soil dry out. Keep watering properly as every plant needs an adequate amount of water. Remove any weeds because they become a sharing partner of nutrients and water of your plants. Microgreens do not need to be fertilized because you are going to harvest them very soon. There is no need to prevent microgreens from pests and diseases because their growing period is very short.
How Long Does It Take to Grow?
You will be surprised when you come to know that hardly 10 days are needed to harvest microgreens. The time for some seeds is a little longer to germinate and grow but commonly, you will be able to harvest them within 10 to 12 days. The seeds will start to germinate in three days by popping up two little leaves.
These leaves are cotyledon which reserve food for seeds to germinate. After a whole week, you will get a tray full of beautiful microgreens. The taste which they add to your food is more than your effort. Once you grow it, you will always want to grow it and get the benefit of homegrown microgreens.
Read More: How to Grow Radishes From Scraps?
Many varieties of microgreens easily regrow and produce numerous harvests. When the height of your greens is about 2 inches, you can harvest them. There are two options to harvest them. The first one is to let the soil dry, so you should not water the plants for a few days. Now shake off the soil and pull the greens from the soil.
The other way is to harvest the greens by using sharp scissors. In this way, you prevent yourself from soil-removing headaches. Try to harvest your microgreens just before serving because this will maximize the nutrients. After washing three to four times dry them on a paper towel and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.