Growing Microgreens indoors
Today, we go through the topic of growing microgreens indoors at your home. The definition of gardening has changed thanks to several methods that enable as to have our own gardens and even gardening is not only limited to the soil now. The biggest problem in today’s era is to obtain true nutrition in our plates half of the world is facing the demon of malnutrition due to poor food habits and majorly poor availability of nutrient-rich vegetables.
We always aim at waking people about various cultivation processes on their own and we are constantly working to enrich you with the right knowledge about gardening at your own place so that you can have your share of nutrition and healthy veggies in your own space. So let’s decide to quit bargaining and stop stressing you about freshness and price of vegetable at the store, no long queues rather spend time watering your own herbs and vegetables.
So a way different from conventional indoor home gardening, today we will discuss another technique for having a perfect mix of nutrients complete guide on growing microgreens indoors.
What are microgreens?
Well, some of you might be unaware of word microgreen, microgreen as the name implies it is a new, tender shoot of a vegetable plant. Also known as “vegetable confetti,” microgreens are at times confused with sprouts that are germinated seeds which are consumed wholly, root, seed, and shoot. Microgreens, however, include a variety of edible immature greens, harvested with scissors less than a month after germination, when the plants are up to 2 inches tall. The stem, cotyledons (or seed leaves) and the first set of true leaves are all edible. These are the immature greens, harvested following their sprouting stage, typically within 10-15 days when the first two seed leaves, also known as cotyledons, have appeared.
Why grow microgreens?
Microgreens are raised when you let a sprouted seed go a little bit further into growing, but don’t let it completely mature. These greens are tender, sweet, and insanely good for you—they are literally one of the healthiest veggies.
Newly sprouted, tiny microgreens are known to have a high nutrient impact as compared to their mature plant counterparts. Research shows that microgreens have far more nutrient density than mature leaves, although this varies from species to species, and of course depends on the growing conditions, like soil and nutrients.
An experiment assayed about 25 microgreen varieties of different crop and found that red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.), garnet amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus L.) and green daikon radish (Raphanus sativus L.), had the maximum concentrations of biochemicals such as ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols, respectively. Another remarkable experiment specifically observed vitamin and mineral levels of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), which was grown under different color LED lights. They established that vitamin C content was considerably higher when grown under white lights, compared to red or blue lights or in a dark.
Uses of microgreens
Extreme winters and summers make your garden almost barren and left your field with almost null vegetation but our demand for fresh veggies and herbs remains the same. Microgreens can be grown indoors all winter long or even all year long if you don’t have an outdoor space to raise fresh veggies for yourself.
- Microgreens make an amazing winter substitute for lettuce or other cooking greens.
- Microgreen with sprout salads makes a power packed breakfast material.
- You can also use them on sandwiches or in salads.
- Over the past several years, microgreens have been showing up in fine dining restaurants
They traditionally were used as a flavourful edible dress or garnish for a dish, but now it’s not uncommon to find them as the dish.
Which seeds work best for raising microgreen?
You can use almost any vegetable seed to grow microgreens Salad greens, leafy vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers can be grown as microgreens, though some varieties are better suited than the others. Beginners often begin by growing one type of seed, among the easiest-to-grow varieties of microgreens, are Kale, Basil, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, chia, sunflower or buckwheat they can be grown in a single container. You can also easily raise different seeds in several containers, and mix your microgreens after harvesting.
You can also start with seeds for salad mixes and specially selected microgreen mixes available in online stores that combine greens with similar growth rates, compatible flavors and beautiful coloring including reds, purples, and greens. Since they are specially created keeping growth success in mind, they offer a great variety of tastes, textures, and nutrition hence they are the best choice for first-timers.
Growing microgreens indoors at your home
Microgreens are grown on soil based system preferably indoor. If your climate is suitable, microgreens can be also be grown outdoors in the garden, under shade but indoor cultivation of microgreen is more awarding and preferred. Like all fragile seedlings, you will have to guard them against weather extremes and drying winds and all time ready hungry garden pests are the biggest threat when growing outdoors.
Here’s how to grow your own: Always keep in mind that you will need a sunny windowsill for cultivating your microgreens or at least some good LED grow lights.
- two growing trays (preferably one that fits in another) or you can get readymade growing trays or just regular containers
- cardboard (cut to size of growing tray)
- organic potting soil
- microgreen seeds
- spray bottle
Find your container
- You’ll need something to grow microgreens in. Containers work as growing trays or beds for microgreens. You can select a shallow plastic container with drainage holes. Generally, transparent containers are used to keep a keen eye on microgreen growth and any contamination can be checked easily. You can use a regular seed starting trays which are readily available at most garden centers and hardware stores but frankly, you can use pretty much anything. As these greens aren’t going to stay in them for very long, so it doesn’t have to be anything very special.
- For germination seeds require light, air and moisture. There are two ways for providing light to your microgreen seeds the natural way or the artificial way. For the natural way, all you need is a sunny window. Simple! Microgreens require about four hours daily of direct sunlight to flourish. In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of inadequate sunlight. Light needs can also be satisfied by using grow light. You can grow a tray of microgreen under grow out lights for this you don’t need any kind of special light or light bulbs. Just get the cheapest fluorescent light or LED whichever you can find an outfit it with two regular fluorescent lightbulbs. Hang the light about four inches above the table where you are going to set your growing tray.
Steps to grow microgreens indoors:
- Use a growing tray (or another container) and if it doesn’t have holes already in the bottom, then add some drainage holes with a pair of sharp scissors carefully. Stick this growing tray into another growing tray with no holes. This will let the moisture drip through to the container and the second tray will act as a bowl or collector.
- Add around an inch of moistened potting soil to the growing tray. As they won’t develop a very complicated root system, which means you don’t need a whole lot of soil. About two inches worth should be more than enough. After pouring the soil lightly level and flatten this with the help of cardboard.
- Just broadcast your seeds across the surface of the soil. No need to worry about getting it perfectly geometric or spaced out equally. Try to scatter the microgreen seeds as evenly as possible across the top of the soil so that picking those stays easy.
- Next, add soil using a coarse wire-mesh sieve a very fine (⅛-inch) layer of dry potting mix to the top of the seeds. Gently press down again with the help of cardboard taking care not to over-compress the soil.
- Add water, as you don’t want seeds swimming in the water, but you do want them to be very damp. Mist or wet the surface of the soil with your water spray bottle.
- Keep the soil consistently moist. Prevent soggy soil by draining off any excess water that collects in the drip tray after watering.
- Cover the entire growing tray with a humidity dome or just a piece of muslin cloth. You can also just cover the microgreens with another growing tray. In order to sprout plant requires warmth and moisture not necessarily sunlight because that can be replaced with artificial lighting. Check daily and sprinkle water, if it is looking dry.
- Once the seeds have sprouted this usually takes 3-8 days, remove the top of the container and begin spraying water twice daily and make sure that your microgreens are getting between 4-8 hours of sunlight or LED grow lights.
- If you notice some of your microgreens growing in an irregular pattern, try rotating your tray every few days. The seeds closer to the light this is especially in case of growing in a sunny window might grow faster than the ones that are further away.
- You’ll be able to harvest as soon as the first two leaves start forming usually 10-15 but may vary crop to crop or on growing conditions.
- To harvest, you can either clip the microgreens with sharp kitchen scissors or uproot them with hands.
That’s all guys about Microgreens Growing Indoors.