Before going to answer the question, “What seeds are used for growing microgreens?” it is important for us to know what microgreens are. Microgreens are new germination seeded small plants. You could say that microgreens are baby vegetables. On the other hand, when you say eating microgreens, you’re just eating the first few shoots and the first root of the plant as well.
There are many good reasons why people have started growing microgreens. One reason is that microgreens are so easy to maintain. Microgreens don’t require a lot of watering. They can stay green all year long. In addition, microgreens are not very affected by bad weather or frost. In other words, growing microgreens is a very versatile task for those who have limited space.
However, one disadvantage of microgreens is their inability to sprout true leaves. True leaves of plants comes out after harvesting. Harvesting a plant should only be done when the seed germination has occurred. Otherwise the true leaves will not sprout out and you’ll lose all your hard work.
True leaves usually take about two to fourteen days to sprout. However, if you have two or more plants you can increase the time it takes for them to sprout to about seven to ten days. Some growing varieties can even germinate in less than seven days. It really depends on the variety and the type of climate where you live.
When growing microgreens outdoors, it is best to provide a deep dish of water. This tray can be made from a plastic tub or an old garbage can. Place the tray beneath some shade trees or any place with mildew or fungus. Microgreens can survive up to three weeks in a partially submerged pot. If you are concerned about water, remove the tray after the third week.
The growing light or bulb can come in different wattages. Typically the wattage will be listed on the seed packaging or on the box. The growing light can be fluorescent, standard incandescent or LED grow lights. If using regular incandescent or fluorescent lights, be sure to carefully read the package to avoid wasting your time and money on a lighting unit that won’t produce adequate light for your microgreens. LED grow lights can be more expensive but they tend to last longer than standard incandescents and typically save more money in the long run.
To help keep the microgreens from becoming dry, you can add an extra layer of plastic on top of the tray or container. This should only take two to three days to set up. You can place the growing sprouts inside this plastic sheet during the day or you can cover the tray with an aluminum foil. Whichever method you choose, placing your growing sprouts under an aluminum foil can help to ensure the sprouts will stay moist until harvest time.
When harvesting your microgreens ensure to trim all dead and broken ends off the sprouts. Harvest at around four inches below the surface of the tray. Remove any sprigs or seeds from the sprouts. Use your hands to remove any sprigs or pieces from the greens. Your newly harvested green microgreens will retain a milder flavor until they are placed into your favourite summer meals.
It is important to buy your microgreens from reputable garden centre or seed suppliers. These suppliers will ensure the best quality throughout the growing period. You will be paying more per kilo if you buy your microgreen seeds from internet seed suppliers. This is because it takes time for the seedlings to germinate and grow.
Grow your own microgreens in your own garden and enjoy delicious fresh vegetables and herbs in your own home. You don’t have to produce excellent crops to reap the rewards. All you need to do is to produce healthy plants that produce healthy sprouts. The most efficient way to grow vegetables is to grow plants that grow naturally without much fertilizer and pest control. Some of the best herbs and vegetables to grow are basil, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro, chervil, Rosemary, chives, dill, fennel, tarragon, marjoram and thyme.
If you have never tried growing your own microgreens, I encourage you to do so. Your body will reap the many health benefits including a boost to immune function and a reduction in cancer risk. Microgreens contain high levels of antioxidants, which are proven to fight the free radicals that damage cells and lead to heart disease. They also provide essential vitamins A, B, C, K, E and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve the immune system. Microgreens are also rich in dietary fiber and iron so consuming them on a regular basis will benefit you in several ways including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving bone health.