Germinating microgreens is a great way to get started. For starters, let’s talk about how they work. They’re actually microorganisms that form tiny matting structures when placed in an enclosed greenhouse. That’s right, the tiny plants you sometimes see growing in flower pots are germinating.
Why are germinating microgreens a good idea? Because they don’t need to go through the rigors of full growth. Just like seeds in traditional growing techniques, they simply reproduce themselves. What happens is the microorganism’s DNA is inserted into a culture plate containing living seeds. You let the culture develop for several days, monitoring the growth using a thermometer. When the time is up, remove the plates and you have living plants.
To encourage germination, place the germinating microgreens on trays just as you would a seed pod. Line the tray with some water and plant a clove or two. As the microorganism reproduces, it takes up space and eventually begins to starve. As it dies, it releases tiny spores that will find their way into the greenhouse. Placing a spray bottle over the growing medium is important, though.
One of the easiest ways to encourage microgreens to grow is through temperature. Microgreens do best in slightly cooler environments, such as a room with a heating pad or a heating ducted into a home. These temperatures allow the microorganisms to reproduce at a much faster rate. Place one of these trays in the kitchen. Cut a hole in the middle and drop a couple of wooden boards into the hole.
This will give your plants a good start, since they will be able to absorb light at this low of a temperature. Try using a regular bulb for two weeks before turning to a high intensity light bulb. This will not only give your plants the best of both worlds-high light for healthy growth and lower light for seedlings needing more calories to grow.
If you are making your own garden, consider adding a seeding tray for your seeds. Place two medium growing mediums, such as wheatgerm or straw, on top of a mixing tray. When the microgreens begin to grow, place a tiny piece of soil on the top. Over the next two weeks, feed your seeds once each day. Once the plants have sprouted, remove them from the growing medium and place them on the seed tray.
Germinating microgreens are ideal for starting seedlings, novices, or for those that are growing for the first time. They are also great for sowing alfalfa, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, or any other types of green vegetables and even tomatoes. Many varieties of seeds can be sown in this manner. Your yield will depend on the variety of germination you use and the size of your seeds.
You can also try growing microgreens in your indoor vegetable garden. Some varieties of these plants can grow well indoors because they prefer moist soil with lots of nutrients. You will need to make sure the area has plenty of light, so keep it well lit even during the night. If you are growing the microgreen in a pot, it will benefit you to add some sand to the bottom to provide moisture for the plant. The more the soil is moist, the more the plant will flourish.
Microgreens are excellent for eating right off the vine. They taste good and have a crisp flavor. They are often used as a salad ingredient, either by themselves or mixed with other ingredients for maximum freshness. Try growing them indoors with other hardy plants to give you several options for what you can grow. They are an excellent choice for growing in pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, and other containers that can get messy.
You can also grow these in the ground if you would like to save space. As they grow, the microgreens will change color from green to purple. This is a natural result of germination and is often desired by consumers. You can then pick and eat these purple microgreens that come from your harvest. The flavor varies by variety but can be tasty with a hint of spice or lemon.
The method for germinating microgreens is the same as for other types of seeds. However, it’s important to be aware that they may not germinate on smooth wooden boards. In this case, it’s better to use something porous to help germinate the seeds. A tray works well for germinating most varieties of seeds. This helps the seeds stay damp but prevents them from clumping together.