How to Grow Microgreens
When you live in a climate with cold winters, it’s pretty darned tricky growing veggies year round. If you’ve been following me, you know I grow some very cold-tolerant vegetable crops in a hoop house during the winter months. But this winter, I’m also trying something for the first time: growing microgreens!
You’ve probably heard of folks sprouting seeds, where you put seeds and water into a jar and let them sprout. The problem with sprouting seeds is that you don’t get much to eat, just the root and a minimal amount of greens. Also, because they’re sitting in water, there’s the potential for bacteria to grow which can make you sick.
Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil which virtually eliminates this risk, and you get a lot of greens to eat. The best part of all is that, in a study conducted in 2012, it was determined that microgreens have 4 to 6 times the amount of nutrients than if you’d harvested the leaves from mature plants. Wow!
I’ve just shot a video on how to grow microgreens, so take a look. Then, scroll down below the video for more important information about microgreens, including seeds to use and sources for seeds.
Here are some extra growing tips:
- use untreated seed (preferably organic)
- if possible, use organic potting mix
- soil should be a minimum of 2″ deep
- seeds will need a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight a day to germinate
- plant the seeds thickly, then cover with 1/8″ potting soil; press down for good contact with the seeds
- keep the soil mix lightly moist; water gently or from the bottom (with a water reservoir) to avoid splashing soil mix up on the plants’ stalks and leaves)
- harvest microgreens when the first pair of true leaves develop, typically 10-14 days after planting. Sunflowers are the exception to this rule: since their true leaves are hairy and bitter, they should be harvested before they develop true leaves
- when cutting microgreens, cut just above the soil level
- you can replant right over the top of a previous planting; just leave the old roots there to decay, which will make the soil mix more fertile
This is a list of seeds typically used for growing microgreens:
Basil (slower to germinate but tasty)
Orach, pink or purple
I recently read and reviewed an excellent book on growing microgreens. It’s called Microgreens: How to Grow Nature’s Own Super Food by Fionna Hill. Be sure to check it out in case you’d like more in-depth information.
Last but not least, you might be wondering where you can locate bulk seeds for growing microgreens. I am impressed with the seed selection offered by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. You can also find the seeds at Eden Brothers, High Mowing Seeds, SproutPeople and GrowingMicrogreens.com. Of these five companies, I’ve only had personal experience ordering from Johnny’s, Sprout People and High Mowing Seeds.