Pea shoots, the young, tender vines of green pea plants, are a popular choice for microgreen enthusiasts.
They offer a multitude of health benefits, packed with several essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and fiber.
Not only are they rich in nutrients, but they also bring a distinctive sweet, fresh pea flavor and crunchy texture to a variety of dishes, making them a favorite for chefs and food lovers alike.
Pea shoots are also renowned for their substantial size compared to other microgreens. They often grow up to 8 inches tall, adding volume to any dish they adorn.
Another quality that sets pea shoots apart is their resilience and ease of cultivation.
Unlike some microgreens, they grow well in less controlled environments, making them a perfect starting point for beginners in the world of microgreens.
Their rapid growth and larger yield make the cultivation process rewarding and gratifying.
In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide on how to grow pea shoot microgreens at home, from gathering the necessary materials to harvesting and storing these delightful greens.
Whether you're new to microgreen gardening or simply looking to expand your indoor garden, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to successfully grow and enjoy fresh, home-grown pea shoots.
How To Grow Pea Shoot Microgreens
Before you start the planting process, you will need to gather a few necessary materials.
Here's a list of what you'll need:
Pea seeds: Make sure to purchase seeds specifically intended for sprouting or growing microgreens. These will be untreated and safe to eat.
Growing trays: You'll need shallow, flat containers with drainage holes for growing your microgreens. The industry standard is a 10x20 inch tray.
Growing medium: A good quality organic potting soil, coco coir, or a specially-formulated microgreen growing mix works best.
Watering can or spray bottle: Watering is crucial for microgreens, so a spray bottle or small watering can that allows for gentle watering is necessary.
Grow lights (optional): If you don’t have access to a sunny window, a simple fluorescent or LED grow light can work well for microgreens.
Heat mat (optional): While not necessary, a heat mat can help speed up germination in cooler environments.
With these tools and materials at your disposal, you'll be well-equipped to start your journey growing pea shoot microgreens.
In the following sections, we'll discuss the step-by-step process for planting, caring for, and harvesting your microgreens.
Step 1. Soak The Seeds ---
Pea seeds need a bit more growing time than some other microgreens. The seeds need to be soaked first, so add the pea seeds to a glass or a container and then add water to soak the seeds for 24 hours.
After 24 hours the seeds are well-hydrated and are ready to be planted.
Step 2. Prepare The Growing Tray ---
This may be different for everyone depending on what growing tray you are using. As some growing trays are "self-watering", and then there are the normal 10 by 20-inch trays.
If you are using a normal 10 by 20 then you will need two of them for one grow. One will be beneath the other filled with water. While the one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens.
This will prevent mold growth and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Do not add water to the one below yet, first grab the tray without drainage holes and fill it with coco coir.
Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
Step 3. Time To Add The Seeds ---
Next, place the seeds on top of the coco coir and spread them with your hands until they are evenly spread. Then add more coco coir on top of the seeds to cover them, then flatten it out with anything smooth like a piece of wood. Then just water one more time.
If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Pea seeds need humidity and dark to thrive. Set your tray in a place where it won’t get too hot, or too cold. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. This begins the germination process. Then spray the seeds about 15 times once every 10-12 hours.
Step 4. Check Daily ---
Your microgreens should have the right balance of water from now till harvest. Now is the time to stop using the spray bottle and start adding water to the second tray below.
This will prevent you from getting the leaves wet and prevent mold from growing.
Once they sprout all you have to do now is just give your pea shoot microgreens at least 12 hours of light every day.
I highly recommend you use LED grow lights. Direct sunlight, and fluorescent, or incandescent lights are also good.
If your microgreens angle for light, be sure to rotate the tray occasionally.
Troubleshooting Common Pea Shoot Microgreens Growing Challenges
While growing pea shoot microgreens can be a straightforward process, you may occasionally encounter a few challenges.
Here are some common problems and solutions to help you ensure a successful harvest.
This can be due to old seeds, insufficient moisture, or inadequate temperature. Soak your pea seeds for 24 hours prior to planting to promote germination and ensure your growing environment is around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your pea shoots are growing tall and spindly, this often indicates a lack of light. To rectify this, ensure your plants are receiving enough light, ideally from a grow light or a south-facing window.
Mold or Fungus:
Overwatering or poor ventilation can lead to the development of mold or fungus. To prevent this, ensure your microgreens are well ventilated, and be careful not to overwater. A fan gently blowing across the surface can aid in circulation.
If the leaves of your microgreens are turning yellow, this could be a sign of overwatering or nutrient deficiency. Ensure you're not overwatering your plants, and consider a nutrient-rich growing medium for your next planting.
If you find small bugs or insects, you could have a pest problem. Prevent this by keeping your growing area clean, not overwatering, and ensuring good air circulation. If you do get pests, a mild solution of water and dish soap can be sprayed on the plants to deter them.
Remember, patience and observation are key to successful microgreen gardening. Each growing cycle provides an opportunity to learn and refine your technique, making the journey as rewarding as the harvest.
How To Harvest Pea Shoot Microgreens
Pea shoot microgreens typically reach their optimal harvest size between 10 and 14 days, once the shoots have grown to about five to six inches tall. Unlike some microgreens, which can be harvested as early as seven days, pea shoots need a bit more time to mature.
To ensure a crisp, fresh harvest, it's advisable to move your trays to a cool, shady place for harvesting. Microgreens tend to wilt quickly when harvested in hot conditions, so it's best to do this during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
For the harvest, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut about four inches from the top of the shoots, making the cut roughly half an inch above the coco coir. And there you have it - you've successfully grown your own pea shoot microgreens!
Washing and Drying Pea Shoot Microgreens
After harvesting, rinse your pea shoot microgreens thoroughly under cold water using a colander. To dry them, spread them out on paper towels and allow them to air dry.
If you're in a hurry, you can speed up the drying process by using a fan on a low setting. Keep in mind that freshly cut microgreens are best enjoyed immediately after drying.
Storing Pea Shoot Microgreens
If you don't plan on consuming your entire harvest in one sitting, you'll need to store the leftover microgreens to prevent them from spoiling.
Simply place the microgreens loosely in a bowl or container and refrigerate them. Be sure not to refrigerate any microgreens that aren't completely dry, as this can lead to spoilage.
Using Pea Shoot Microgreens
Pea shoot microgreens are a versatile addition to many dishes. They're a delightful ingredient in salads, soups, sandwiches, and even baked goods. For a nutrient-rich drink, consider juicing them or adding them to wheatgrass shots or smoothies.
Having just explored the fascinating world of growing pea shoot microgreens, you might be wondering, 'What more can I learn and grow in the world of microgreens?'
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6 Pea Shoot Microgreens Recipe Ideas
Pea shoot microgreens offer a fresh, sweet flavor that can elevate your meals in surprising and delightful ways.
Here are some inventive recipe ideas that showcase the unique taste and texture of these nutritious greens.
Pea Shoot Pesto: Replace the traditional basil with pea shoot microgreens in your pesto recipe. Blend together the pea shoots, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil for a uniquely flavored pesto. This can be used as a sauce for pasta, a spread for sandwiches, or a dip for vegetables and bread.
Pea Shoot Stir Fry: Add a burst of freshness to your stir fry dishes with pea shoots. Just toss them in at the last minute to wilt slightly, preserving their delicate taste and texture. They pair wonderfully with a variety of ingredients, from tofu and chicken to bell peppers and mushrooms.
Microgreen Smoothie: For a nutrient-packed breakfast or snack, blend pea shoot microgreens with your choice of fruits like bananas, berries, and apples. Add a little honey or agave nectar for sweetness, and almond milk or yogurt for a creamy texture.
Pea Shoot Salad: Make a refreshing salad by tossing pea shoot microgreens with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and thinly sliced radishes. For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Microgreen Omelette: Elevate your morning omelette by folding in some pea shoot microgreens just before it's fully set. The gentle heat will slightly wilt the greens while retaining their sweet flavor.
Pea Shoot Garnish: Finally, remember that pea shoot microgreens make a beautiful garnish for a range of dishes, from grilled fish to creamy soups. Their vibrant green color and elegant shape add a gourmet touch to any meal.
These are just a few ways you can incorporate pea shoot microgreens into your culinary creations. Let these ideas inspire you to explore the versatility of these delicious greens further.
5 Health Benefits of Pea Shoot Microgreens
Due to their nutritional content, they provide many antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and cancer-preventing benefits.
Pea shoots have an outstanding nutrient-to-calorie ratio and offer a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps control body weight and regulate metabolism.
1. Prevents Iron Deficiency
Being deficient in iron can make you feel tired and weak without you even knowing why. luckily, pea shoot microgreens contain significant amounts of iron. Iron is essential to the body and is present in all cells. It is used to transport oxygen to your body tissues and contributes to your overall wellness.
2. High In Protein
Not getting enough protein in your diet can lead to many health issues. For example, tissue can break down and lead to muscle loss. Therefore you must add protein to your diet for your overall health. As you can see from the chart above, pea shoot microgreens are a great source of natural protein!
3. Prevent Diseases
Pea shoot microgreens are also an excellent source of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for maintaining good health. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, and free radicals are molecules that live short but are unstable and can damage nearby cells which can lead to oxidative stress. Which can then cause many diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, cancer, degenerative diseases, ischemia, and anemia. (2)
4. Reduce High Blood Pressure
Vitamin C has also been found in one study to relax the blood vessels that transport blood from the heart, which helped reduce blood pressure levels in those with and without high blood pressure. (1)
5. Fight Cancer
There are many studies on Vitamin C and its protective effects against cancer and harmful diseases. The antioxidants in Vitamin C inhibit free radicals from inducing oxidative stress and oxidative stress is a driving factor in the development of cancer. (2)
Pea Shoot Microgreens Nutritional Chart
Minerals per 100g of (FW)
Vitamins per 100g of (FW)
Lutein + zeaxanthin
Growing pea shoot microgreens is a rewarding endeavor, but it often raises a few questions. Let's address some of the most common queries:
How long does it take for Pea Shoot microgreens to grow?
Pea shoot microgreens typically take about 10 to 14 days to grow from seed to harvest. However, the exact time can vary depending on growing conditions such as temperature, light, and moisture levels.
What can I use Pea Shoot microgreens for?
Pea shoot microgreens are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes including salads, stir-fries, smoothies, and sandwiches, or as garnishes on soups and other dishes.
Final Thoughts on Growing Pea Shoot Microgreens
Embracing the art of growing your own pea shoot microgreens at home not only provides you with a fresh, nutritious ingredient to enhance your meals but also adds a touch of greenery to your living space.
Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, the process of nurturing these delicate greens from seed to harvest is incredibly satisfying.
Remember, patience and persistence are key in gardening.
Don't be discouraged if your first few attempts don't go as planned.
With each try, you'll gain more knowledge and understanding, and soon, you'll be reaping the rewards of your green thumb.
So why wait?
Gather your supplies, roll up your sleeves, and start your microgreen journey today!
Your meals and your health will thank you.
If you're interested in learning more about microgreens check out our comprehensive Microgreen eBook.
This step-by-step eBook will teach you everything you need to know about growing microgreens, including which varieties are easiest to grow and how to care for them.