Microgreens are a type of young vegetable that is harvested when they are about 1-3 inches tall, typically just a few weeks after germination. They are smaller and more delicate than sprouts, but larger and more developed than baby greens.
Health Benefits of Microgreens
Microgreens are typically grown from the seedlings of vegetables and herbs, and are prized for their high nutrient content and versatility in the kitchen. In fact, studies have shown that microgreens can contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their fully-grown counterparts!
Types of Microgreens
There are many different types of microgreens that can be grown, including common varieties such as:
The flavor and appearance of microgreens can vary widely depending on the type of vegetable or herb that is used. Some microgreens are spicy and pungent, while others are mild and sweet. Some have colorful, ornate leaves, while others are plainer.
This versatility makes microgreens a perfect addition to a wide range of dishes.
How To Eat Microgreens
In addition to their nutritional value, microgreens are prized for their versatility in the kitchen. They can be used as a garnish, added to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies, or used as a flavorful topping for grilled meats and seafood.
Because they are harvested at such a young age, they have a delicate, tender texture and a subtle, yet flavorful taste. This makes them a perfect addition to a wide range of dishes.
Where To Grow Microgreens
Microgreens are also easy to grow at home, even for those with limited space. All you need is a sunny windowsill, some soil, and some seeds, and you can have a steady supply of fresh microgreens year-round.
This not only saves you money, but it also allows you to have complete control over the quality of your food.
Benefits of Growing Microgreens
Finally, microgreens are a sustainable food choice. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, using minimal resources and space. In addition, they have a short growing cycle, making them a quick and easy crop to cultivate. This has made them an attractive choice for those who are looking to reduce their environmental impact through their food choices.
Now that you know all about the benefits of microgreens, you may be wondering how to get started with growing your own. Don't worry, it's super easy! Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Step 1: Pick your seeds
First things first, it's time to choose your seeds. With so many different types of microgreens to choose from, the possibilities are endless!
Go for classic varieties like basil, kale, and arugula, or mix things up with more unique options like radish, mustard, or sorrel.
The choice is yours! Consider your personal taste preferences and the flavor and appearance of the different varieties when making your selection.
When selecting your seeds, be sure to choose high-quality seeds from a reputable source.
Poor-quality seeds may not germinate properly or may produce weak or diseased seedlings. Look for seeds that are specifically labeled for microgreens, as these will be the best choice for this type of growing.
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Keep in mind that different types of microgreens will have different growing requirements.
Some types, like basil and cilantro, prefer warmer temperatures and may not germinate as well in cooler conditions.
Others, like kale and arugula, are more cold-tolerant and can be grown in a wider range of temperatures.
Be sure to check the seed packet for specific temperature and moisture requirements for the varieties you choose.
Finally, consider the amount of space you have available for growing microgreens. If you have limited space, you may want to choose varieties that don't grow too large or that can be grown in smaller containers.
On the other hand, if you have plenty of space, you can experiment with a wider range of varieties and larger containers.
With these factors in mind, you should be well on your way to choosing the perfect seeds for your microgreens adventure!
Step 2: Prep your growing tray
Next, it's time to prep your growing tray or container.
You will need a shallow tray or container with drainage holes, as well as some high-quality soil or seed starting mix.
Fill the tray with soil or seed starting mix and moisten it lightly with a watering can or spray bottle.
Be sure to use a soil or mix that is specifically designed for growing microgreens, as regular potting soil can be too heavy and may not provide the necessary drainage.
There are a few different options for containers that you can use for growing microgreens.
One popular choice is a standard seed tray, which is typically made of plastic and has a series of small cells or compartments for planting seeds.
Seed trays are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, and they work well for small-scale growing.
If you want to grow a larger quantity of microgreens, you may want to consider using a larger container, such as a grow bag or a shallow plastic storage container. These containers can be found at most garden centers or online, and they provide plenty of space for your microgreens to grow.
Regardless of the container you choose, be sure to use a soil or seed starting mix that is specifically designed for microgreens.
These mixes are typically lighter and more porous than regular potting soil, which helps to provide the necessary drainage and aeration for your seedlings.
You can also add a small amount of compost or organic matter to the soil to help enrich it and provide additional nutrients for your microgreens.
Step 3: Add CoCo Coir
When growing microgreens, it's important to choose the right type of soil to ensure healthy plant growth.
One option is to use a soil-less mix, such as a combination of coco coir and perlite. Coco coir is made from coconut husks and provides a good balance of water retention and drainage, while perlite is a lightweight, porous material that improves aeration and drainage.
Another option is to use a soil mix that includes earthworm castings, which are rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms.
When selecting a soil mix, it's important to make sure it is sterile and free of pathogens. This can be achieved by purchasing a pre-made mix from a reputable supplier, or by sterilizing your own soil mix using heat or chemicals.
It's also important to consider the pH level of the soil.
Microgreens prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the pH level is too high or low, it can affect the growth and development of the plants.
When preparing the soil, mix it thoroughly and make sure it is evenly moist.
This will ensure that the microgreens have access to the nutrients and moisture they need to grow.
Finally, make sure to provide adequate light and warmth for the microgreens to grow. They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight or 14-16 hours of light.
In summary, when growing microgreens, it's important to choose a soil mix that is sterile, well-draining, and has the right pH level.
Coco coir and perlite can be a great option, and earthworm castings can be added for extra nutrients. Additionally, make sure the soil is evenly moist and provide enough light for the microgreens to grow.