If you’re thinking of planting microgreens, here are some things you might want to know before you do. These are not ordinary garden plants; they’re not even easy to grow. Microgreens are intended to be harvested just after the first new cotylingons appear.
You can’t use regular seeds for growing microgreens, because these are “immature”. If you let them develop, they’re not micromeres. So, no matter why you’d want to grow them as plants, that’s not why you should use regular seeds. Microgrees are meant only to be grown from the first cotylingon that appear. If you allow them to grow further, they’re no longer microgreens, no matter what the marketers claim. And no matter what you feed them, they won’t eat it.
To get your microgreen plant started, collect a handful of spaded or rained microgreens from late spring or early summer, and place about two inches of soil in a small plastic basket. Fill the basket with about half water. Sprinkle any brown sugar you have in your vegetable garden with your micro green sprouts. Cover the soil with a thin film of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, to keep the sprouts moist and prevent weeds from growing. Allow the sprouts to thrive for two weeks, covering the soil with more plastic wrap or foil as needed during that time.
When you want them to come out, remove them carefully and cut off all but about two-thirds of an inch of each leaf. Pick the green tops and leave the rest on the dirt. Grow the sprouts to about three inches high and place them in a large pot filled with well-rotted garden soil. After they sprout, water them just enough to moisten them but not moist enough to drown them. Water them again after each harvest, allowing them to drain completely.
Because microgreens lack chlorophyll (the pigment in plants that produces food), they rely on nutrients found in the leaves of red cabbage and kale to provide them with the vital vitamins they need to grow. These nutrients are found in the outer skin of these greens, called the phytochemicals. The phytochemicals are thought to stimulate the production of growth hormone, which helps to promote strong roots and stems.
Feeding your microgreen sprouts will also help them to get those essential vitamins and minerals. Feed red cabbage and kale seeds as directed by your fertilizer manufacturer or follow the instructions on your seed packet. Microgreens do not require fertilizers like most other vegetables do. As long as you avoid overfertilization, providing your plants with a balanced plant nutrition diet, you’ll be fine.
Care for microgreens and young plants in general is much easier than caring for plants that have already come to life. For instance, unlike mature plants, microgreens do not need any special temperatures or humidification treatments. If your microgreen plant starts out in a small pot and then spreads out into a larger container, it will not take very long before your plant has filled out the new container’s surface. Just keep an eye on it to watch for sudden growth or a bit of leaf dropping. That will tell you when it’s time to repot your young plants.
Once your microgreen tray is filled up with new soil, remove it from the heat source and place it in a shallow dish with a little water. Over the next couple of weeks, you can lightly mist your young plants with a solution of water and vinegar to encourage new root growth. After about a month of this, remove the tray from the dish and gently dig your way around the growing tray, removing any browned or discolored roots. Once your plants are well established, you should see them spreading out fairly quickly towards the borders of your containers.