How to Grow Microgreens

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his year, don’t let frosts get you down; instead, grow a “micro” garden indoors with microgreens! Microgreens are simple to cultivate, delicious to eat, and highly nutritious. Sandwiches, salads, soups, stir-fries, and platters all feel a whole lot fancier with microgreens. Plus, because of the wide variety of seeds that can be grown for this purpose, it’s easy to switch things up and always have something new to try!

So, what are microgreens exactly? Microgreens are immature vegetable seedlings (and some flower and herb varieties) that are just a tiny bit older than a sprout, but slightly younger than “baby greens”; they include the central stem, cotyledon leaves, and the first true leaves of the plant. Most varieties will typically be harvested at about 1-2” inches tall. But not all microgreens are alike: never grow nightshades as microgreens since the stems and leaves of these can make you ill (nightshades include eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes). Instead, opt for any of the many varieties below or purchase our Microgreens Seeds Set to get started.

*A note about growing corn as microgreens: to keep corn microgreens delightfully sweet, grow them in the dark–exposure to sunlight will just make them bitter.

Each plant variety will contain its own unique balance of nutrients, so that’s another great reason to rotate your crops! Nutrients commonly found in microgreens include Vitamins C, K, or E, among others.

How to Grow and Harvest Microgreens.

1) Seeds with thick, hard coats may benefit from pre-soaking. For these, soak the seeds for about 6-8 hours ahead of sowing.

2) Find a shallow container like a seed-starting tray (recycled takeout containers work too), or, if aesthetics are important to you, grow your greens in the elegant glazed pot included in our Self Watering Microgreens Kit! Your tray need not have drainage as long as you are careful not to overwater your seeds and can provide plenty of good air circulation to discourage fungus. Otherwise, poke holes in plastic containers to allow water to drain out.

3) Add a moistened, fine-textured growing medium like potting mix to a depth of 1-2 inches. Gently compact the soil ahead of sowing, making sure it is level.

4) Time to sow! Evenly sprinkle your seeds over the growing medium. Spacing can be very tight for microgreens since plants won’t need much room to grow and mature. Check your seed instructions for specific information on germination requirements (many seeds prefer to germinate in the dark). Use a mister to dampen the top layer of soil, and wait… most varieties will show signs of sprouting within 3-10 days.

5) Through germination and early signs of growth, regularly mist your microgreens, about once or twice a day, keeping the soil slightly damp–but not wet. Misting won’t be necessary, though, if you’re growing in a self-watering container like this one.

6) Harvest! Once microgreens have produced their first true set of leaves, it's time to get out your scissors or snips and harvest. Snip greens above the growing medium, wash, pat or spin dry, and incorporate into your favorite meals.

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