How To Grow
General Tips on Growing Microgreens
Microgreens are the tiny forms of a full-blown plant. Sometimes confused with sprouts, microgreens grow in soil and don’t require immediate germination, which makes the way they are planted similar to vegetable seeds and other herbs with longer germination requirements. Popular microgreens include carrots, basil, spinach, and other edible greens. Learning how to plant, grow and care for microgreens is important. You can have great success growing these indoors with a Smart Grower Appliance, especially during winter, and be able to have a good source of fresh and nutritious vegetables all year round.
Season and Zone
Microgreens can survive and be grown in any season and throughout the year as long as you can provide them enough light.
It is relatively easy to plant, grow, harvest, and care for microgreens. Whether you’re just starting to grow your own plants and vegetables or you’re already an experienced gardener, handling microgreens should be a piece of cake.
The time it takes for microgreens to grow depends on each individual plant. For example, Cress microgreens grow so fast that you can harvest them few days after sowing. Carrots, on the other hand, germinate for about 2 to 3 weeks.
How to Start
The steps in sowing and planting microgreens depend on the type of seeds you will use. While there may be some similarities and common steps, you still have to follow specific instructions for the exact plant you are trying to produce to make sure that you are doing it right.
There are some seeds that can be sown on the soil surface, and there are some that needs to be covered. It is important to know how your particular microgreen will thrive throughout their germination period.
Place sterilized seed starting soil in trays that have enough drainage holes at the bottom. The soil should have a depth of just a few inches, spread evenly in the tray. Remember, you will be harvesting your plants while they are still tiny seedlings, so you don’t have to provide a lot of soil to grow roots. Although not necessary, the warmth at the bottom of the tray can help speed up the plants’ germination.
When sowing microgreen seeds, make sure to do it fairly densely. However, for larger seeds like the Swiss chard or sunflowers, sow them a little less densely. Once planted, mist your soil evenly. Keep it moist like a wrung-out sponge and remember not to over-water.
How to Grow
If you’re using a cover for your tray, remove it as soon as you see the first sprout above the soil.
Provide enough light, whether natural or artificial, as bright light helps microgreens thrive, keeping them short and stout. You’ll know that you’re not giving them enough light if they grow long and spindly.
How to Harvest
To harvest, simply pull your microgreens from the soil and rinse them to remove all soil particles. While they can be consumed entirely with the roots, you can also trim them with scissors to dispose any remaining soil on the plants.
You will know that it’s time to harvest your microgreens when you see the first leaf pair, also known as the “seed leaf” or “cotyledon”, fully open and turn green. This is the stage where your plants are carrying the highest amount of nutrients, so be sure to time it properly.
Alternatively, you can let your plants grow further and harvest them when necessary. Be aware, however, that when you leave them to grow, their roots will also develop deeper in the soil.