7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Microgreens
- Microgreens taste great: They give your salads a kick in the pants by adding a little bit of spice but not too much. Raddish microgreens, for example, have a kick, but are not nearly as strong as eating an actual raddish. I would say they have about 1/3 or less of the spice of the actual full grown raddish. The same principle holds true with other plants.
- Microgreens are super easy to grow: Most of my favorite microgreen varieties will sprout from seed in 7 days or less.
- Fun and Easy Project to do with the kids: Since the seeds germinate so quickly, and large quantities of seed are broadcasted over the seed tray, kids will enjoy it. Microgreens are not tedious to plant.
The picture to the left is what full grown arugula looks like. Arugula at this stage is very strong tasting, and sometimes, a little bit too intense in flavor, but if you just eat the little microgreen seedlings, the flavor is subtle, sophisticated, and delicious as a garnish, salad accent, or atop a beautiful panini, burger, or cold cut sandwich!
Arugula seed is really inexpensive, quick to germinate, and very rewarding in terms of flavor when harvested as a microgreen! Click the photo on the right, if you want to get some of your own seed to try.
4. Microgreens are packed with nutrients.
5.Microgreens take very little space to grow.
6.Microgreens take very little supplies to grow.
7.Microgreens can be grown year round in your home.
To the left is a tray of peas sprouting just 3 days after we planted them. The tray to the right is all Arugula about a week after we seeded them. The trays are re-used take out containers from a local restaurant. No drainage is required. I would recommend using a shallow container no more than 2 inches deep to prevent excess moisture and seed rot. We used regular Miracle Grow Seed Starting Soil. We poured some soil in a 2 gallon bucket, brought it to the kitchen sink, and used the sprayer to wet it down. Potting mix takes a while to absorb water, so you get to squirt water on it a lot…bonus for my little guy. Then you get to stir it up with a big spoon until it is just right. Not sopping wet with water standing in it, but wet enough that if you picked up a handful, and squeezed it, you could form a ball. Once the soil was moist, we put it in our cleaned take out trays, pat it down a little bit, and then scratched the surface so it was rough and not totally smooth. Then we took our seeds and scattered them just as if you would be sprinkling salt on a steak. About 1 seed every half centimeter or so. Not precise, just scatter and have fun! After we spread the seeds, we scratched the soil a little bit again gave it a love pat, and covered up the tray with the clear lid. A perfect moist environment to get them going. Once you get them planted, you can put the tray on top of the fridge, so they get some bottom heat, which speeds up sprouting(germination). If you keep the lid on your trays, you should not need to water them until after they have sprouted. I kept a mister on hand, and misted the seeds right after we gave them their love pat, and then left them alone. We checked them daily for signs of life, and after about 3 days, the peas began to sprout. Once they all sprouted, I removed them from above the fridge and place them in a cool, yet sunny window. If you don’t have that, you can also grow them in a cool place with fluorescent lights overhead. Once the lid is removed, it is important to maintain even soil moisture…but not have the sprouts sitting in water. If you think you put too much water in the tray, just gently tip it at an angle to allow the excess water to drain over the edge of the tray. After about a week and a half, we had a crop. I just left them in the container, with the lid off, and snipped as needed to put in my salads or on sandwiches and burgers. The kids actually loved eating the pea shoots. Peas shoots are sweet, tender and delicious. They also make a beautiful garnish if you like things fancy.