What exactly are microgreens? In the case of many people they may not be too familiar with the term, which in turn can result in them trying to get it wrong.
Microgreens are the very tiny and minute leaves of an annual or biennial plant. They are generally seeds, sometimes referred to as rhizomes, but most often plants that are slightly smaller than the size of a human hair. The name is derived from their size.
But why do we care about nutritional content when you talk about growing microgreens? Of course there is the obvious fact that you want to eat something with healthy nutritional values. But you also want to grow them in ways that will maximize the quality of your food and produce a product that has very little or no use in the market.
The first thing you need to look at is soil quality. You want to choose the types of plants that are going to have the most disease and insect resistance. You want to look for plants that are vigorous and produce a lot of new leaves for you to harvest. Some of the more nutritious varieties are red salad microgreens and red leaf lettuce, which are excellent for health food stores.
Other nutrients you might want to look for are iron, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. These are all great for promoting healthy and sound growth and development of the plant. The leaves are easy to collect and the greens are quite easy to prepare and cook.
But why do we care about pest control? I remember seeing a list of diseases and pests that grow in this type of plant and several of them were particularly bad. The best way to keep them away is to grow them in areas where they can’t thrive and where the environment is a bit less hospitable to them.
This would include natural or man-made barriers that keep different insects and other pests from getting into the plant and damaging it. In other words, the pest control is needed to control the insects that do get into the plant so you don’t have to worry about them getting in the plants and ruining them. Microgreens like kale, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and Swiss chard have more natural defenses against pests than the red leaf lettuce does.
So we know what we need to do to grow these kinds of vegetables, but why should we care about how they are grown? We all want to be healthier, but it also adds value to the food we sell.