Microgreens are the tiny, young seedlings of some of our favorite edible plants such as kale, chard, beets, cabbage, mustard, radish, arugula and more. They are very easy to grow from seed and are rumored to be jam-packed with even more nutrients than their adult forms. They can be mild, sweet, medium or spicy and are perfect for adding a little flare of nutrients to salads, sandwiches and soups.
Larger and more mature than sprouts, microgreens are harvested when they get their first “true” leaves—roughly 7 to 21 days depending on variety and typically when they are under 2 inches tall. They can be grown outdoors year-round in milder climates, or indoors.
If grown outdoors, make sure to plant them in a very sunny location, with soil rich in organic matter, and provide regular watering. You can use a light fertilizer to encourage growth.
If grown indoors, use seeding trays or shallow containers with drainage holes. Fill with a moist, light potting mix (some varieties will benefit from added organic matter such as vermiculite, peat or compost). Usually the potting mix should be 1 to 2 inches deep—this will depend on the variety, so make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet. Sprinkle in the seeds, evenly and close but with some space. Add a thin layer of soil to cover –many suggest sifting the layer over the seeds; others use a piece of cardboard to gently press seeds into the soil. Water lightly, making sure to keep the soil moist and place in a south-facing window, or use a bright growing light.
Depending on the type, microgreens should be ready for harvest within three weeks.
Easy to grow and quick to harvest, they are great edibles perfect for enhancing our favorite recipes with a tiny punch of nutritious flavor.
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Grow your own delicious, affordable and organic edibles from virtually anywhere by reading Gayla Trail’s Grow Great Grub.
In The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible, discover how to reap a bounty of organic food in very small spaces by using containers.
Want great recipe ideas for your home-grown produce? Check out Recipes from a Kitchen Garden and More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden.
Download the Smart Gardening Techniques: Edible Gardening for valuable tips on growing edibles.
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