Farming Base (farmingbase.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
If you do not have a garden or it is far away, and you want to eat something fresh every day, or you want to afford a handful of health every day, then you can start growing microgreens in your home. Do you know that vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and even cabbage can be grown on your window board and will only take a few weeks to grow? Those small vegetables are called microgreens, and in this article, we will show you how to grow microgreens.
You first need to get seeds. Always use shallow pots and fill them with sowing substrate. The substrate must not be thicker than 0.4 inches. The next step in growing microgreens is to cover the pot with seeds. Darkness must be provided so that the seed can germinate. Leave the covered dishes in a warm place for about 6 days.
Of course, you won’t be growing many vegetables, but you will get a plate of health-rich leaves.
Winter is ahead and the gloomy and cold days that follow are unquestionable. These are the months where we can feel bad unless we wake up and take matters into our own hands. There are micro growing vegetables that can make these upcoming days nicer and easier to bear.
Vegetables that are grown in our micro-garden, as well as organic vegetables that we grow in our gardens during the seasons, are incomparably tastier, healthier and more attractive than the food we find in the markets today, no matter how beautiful they look.
How to Grow Microgreens?
Introduction to growing microgreens
The beginning of the cultivation of microgreens began in 1980 in San Francisco, and at that time such plants did not have the popularity they have today. This small and powerful herb gained much prominence in 1998 when it was named microgreen. At that time there were only a few varieties. The first were varieties of broccoli, cabbage, radish, basil … Today we can say that there are about a hundred species.
Microgreens are formed after the seed begins to grow. Such seed is initially considered a germ. But while sometimes microgreens and germs are identified, there are two different concepts. Specifically, a germ that starts to grow is considered a microgreen. There are many differences between germs and microgreens. For example, germs grow in the water while microgreens are grown in the ground. Also, when consuming a germ, there is a greater risk of bacteria than consuming microgreens. In simplest terms, microgreens are actually plants or vegetables.
Microgreen growth has increased tremendously in recent years. Due to its colors and interesting appearance, microgreens are used as decoration for many dishes. In addition to its aesthetic role, it also plays a role in improving human health, as it is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes. These superfoods can be sour, spicy, bitter, but also sweet in taste, and it all depends on the type of plant.
Microgreens have 4 to 40 times more nutrients than classic vegetables and have a major effect on the excretion of poisons (pesticides, heavy metals) from the body and boost immunity. Due to the content of useful substances and fantastic taste, it is becoming increasingly sought after in gastronomy. Only one species or a mixture of microgreens may be grown.
The most common micro-vegetable plants are:
- pak choi
Microgreens can be divided into winter and summer varieties. As with ordinary plants, so do micro, there are plants that are more demanding and more difficult to grow. For example, garden cress belongs to the group of more demanding. Garden cress is a type of salad, and it will germinate for one to two days. For its growth, it is necessary to enable the temperature of 64 °F. Carrots are also one of the more demanding microgreens. Its germination lasts for seven days and corresponds to a temperature of 75 °F. Regardless of their demanding cultivation, carrots are considered to be very tasty microgreens.
If you want slightly easier breeding then choose a micro beet. It does not suffer from direct sunlight and does well where it is semi-shaded.
Wheatgrass is among the more potent microgreens. It has a positive effect on human health, has antibacterial properties, is used to detoxify the body, has a good effect on the skin, rejuvenates… Believe it or not, many athletes use it as an energy drink because it balances blood sugar and does not contain gluten.
Potatoes are not grown as microgreens, and because of the alkaloids they contain as microgreens, neither peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes (family Solanaceae) are grown.
You do not need extensive gardening experience, special tools or equipment to grow microgreens, it is enough to have good seed, water, soil, and little willpower.
Coriander is the best poison and heavy metal cleaner from the organism. Coriandrum sativum is a one-year-old plant from the thyroid family. It originates from the eastern Mediterranean area and was known to the Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans. It is used as a spice in gastronomy since ancient times, but it also has exceptional healing properties.
Wild coriander is found in cereal fields, but as a spice and medicinal plant only cultivated coriander is used. Because of that, it is an excellent plant to use in your microgreen garden.
Although it is difficult to decide which cereal is the healthiest and study each individually, the amaranth is certainly worth studying. This cereal is similar to quinoa – both are rich in protein and gluten-free, while the other sides have a really impressive nutritional composition.
Amaranth is a unique cereal because its nutritional richness is located inside the grain, not like other cereals, in the shell.
Because of its nutritional value, the Amaranth is great for all ages, from cradle to old age. It makes infants and developing children resistant to infections. Due to the abundance of calcium and iron, it is recommended for women because it strengthens the bones and prevents anemia. If you are planning a pregnancy, be sure to include this cereal in your diet, which, due to the abundance of folic acid, promotes the health of the reproductive system, protects against miscarriage, and reduces the risk of brain and neural tube damage in newborns by as much as 75 percent.
In addition to its exceptional nutritional value, amaranth is very good food for many meals as it is easy to prepare and suits in various combinations. Those are great reasons to grow these plants in your organic garden.
The well-known radish is a very ancient and prized culture that has been grown for over 3000 years.
One hundred grams of radish contains only 16 calories but is rich in minerals and vitamins.
It is a good source of copper, manganese, potassium, vitamins C, K, and B6. It contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and sodium in smaller quantities.
Radish has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps with respiratory diseases, especially coughs and asthma.
It is extremely valuable for bile and liver problems.
It is an excellent medicine for jaundice as it normalizes the production of bilirubin. Leaves are also useful in treating jaundice, besides the fruit.
It helps to create red blood cells by improving their oxygen supply.
If you plan to lose weight, eat radish because of its low-calorie value, light digestibility, an abundance of fiber and water, which creates a longer feeling of satiety.
Its detoxifying properties, abundant vitamin C, folic acid and anthocyanins all help in the treatment of several cancers, especially the colon, kidney, stomach, and throat.
And there are many more benefits from radish, which is great for growing in your microgreen garden.
Kale is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. It was discovered in Belgium as early as the 18th century.
It is an extremely healthy and low-calorie food rich in vitamins and minerals.
It is very low in calories. Kale is also rich in vitamins K, A and C. Vitamin K is very important for the process of normal blood clotting.
In addition to these vitamins, kale is an excellent source of calcium and other minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.
It is a great choice for microgreens.
Do you know that cabbage is a very effective, inexpensive remedy for many problems?
It contains a big amount of vitamin C. Also, there is vitamin A, folic acid and the minerals magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and sodium.
There are many types of cabbage, the most famous of which are white and red and Savoy cabbages.
Most effective is red, which is up to seven times more healing than white, its color indicates the presence of medicinal anthocyanins.
It may not be the most beautiful vegetable, but it is certainly one of the strongest. Beetroot can be freely called a superfood.
Beets have been used to treat anemia since ancient times. Particularly due to this is the pigment betanin, which increases the ability of hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the cells.
In Antiquity, leaves were prepared, while the root part of the plant was not used. It is similar to mint and spinach, abounding in beta-carotene, chlorophyll, folic acid, potassium, iron and vitamin A. Consuming beetroot leaves, we can act to preserve our eyesight as well as our mood because it contains the amino acid tryptophan involved in building mood-enhancing serotonin.
Apart from the fact that the leaves contain more iron than the aforementioned green vegetables, beetroot increases muscular endurance. Therefore, it is recommended for increased physical exertion, and a great addition to your microgreen garden.
Imagine food that provides everything necessary for the health, rejuvenation, and detoxification of an organization.
With the help of which you can prevent allergies, colds, arthritis, cancer and eye diseases.
A food that provides the necessary energy and vitality, and also helps with weight loss.
Yes, such food does exist.
Broccoli is a wonderful food, and its health benefits are innumerable.
This wonderful herb is simply grown and is great for almost any salad – from the simplest one with beans to some more complicated with pomegranate or oranges. Arugula has leaves that are a bit like oak, and its taste is a bit bitter and fragrant and very specific. It does not resemble chicory or bitter endive, for example.
Apart from being very tasty, arugula is also great for those who are careful about eating because it has a very small amount of calories.
Due to its high content of Vitamin A, it is excellent for skin and maintaining its elasticity.
It is very easy to grow it in your microgreen garden.
They say that the chard can be put into its spinach-based dishes, but that spinach cannot replace the chard. This favorite food of many people is extremely nutritious, and it is a low-calorie foods ideal for maintaining body weight.
Chard is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, is rich in carbohydrates, proteins and vegetable oils. All that amount of carbohydrates in these vegetables will take care of your brain, and it is recommended to consume it during periods of nervousness and the need for higher concentration.
Of course, it is ideal for your micro garden.
Peas are an annual herbaceous plant from the legume family, are of great nutritional value and are considered to be a group of grain legumes as a vegetable crop.
It is a plant that is very economical because it gives relatively high yields and can be easily preserved and that is why it is used throughout the year.
They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B1, niacin, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Also, peas can be eaten either cooked or raw.
Corn is rich in dietary fibers that lower elevated cholesterol levels, folic acid, which keeps the circulatory system safe, vitamin B1 important for good brain function, and carbohydrates that give us fast energy.
Corn is an icon of American culture already known by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Corn is thought to originate in Mexico or Central America, and the evidence of cornmeal preparation is more than 9000 years old. It was used by the Indians in a “101” way, except for food it served as a shelter, decoration and even as fuel.
It can easily be grown in a microgreens garden.
Pak choi, also known as Chinese cabbage (Lat. Brassica chinensis or Brassica pekinensis) is a green leafy vegetable, incredibly rich in many important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, etc.
The juicy green leaves of Chinese cabbage taste great and are ideal for preparing salads and soups. In addition to its excellent taste, Pak choi is known for its beneficial health effects.
Chinese cabbage is a rich source of many important vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, good vision, bone, and tooth growth, while Vitamin K plays an important role in the blood coagulation process.
It a great, attractive and exotic addition to your microgreen garden.
More intense flavor
You need to get used to the taste of microgreens because it is much more intense compared to “adult” vegetables, but it is certainly a very healthy addition that makes many dishes more attractive and aromatic at the same time. Microgreens are not a new concept, but it has become popular in the 1980s since it was grown and included in its dishes by all the better restaurants in San Francisco, California, and today, thanks to the aforementioned qualities, microgreens are penetrating our local cuisine and it is increasingly present on kitchen windows.
To help you welcome the spring and abundance of fresh young vegetables, you can choose to grow your own microgreens today. Choose the types you want to consume with your favorite foods that will become even healthier. Most nutrients contain microgreens of intense color.
Imagine broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, radish, pea shoots, baby arugula, basil, wheatgrass, sunflower …. and many others that only need a week before they grow. It’s freshness at your fingertips. The seed must be organic or not treated with protective coatings.
Of the originally available mini versions of arugula, basil, beets, and kale, this number has now grown to more than 25 varieties. Take for example a mini purple radish, which will be ready to harvest in just six days and will taste as intense as a spicy radish!
To grow microgreens you need very little space, but it is essential that the place where you plan the mini vegetable garden is exposed to light. A great location may be a window sill or some space near the window, but there should not be any heating devices nearby. Take shallow planting pots and fill them with a substrate that holds moisture well. You should moisten the soil well with water before sowing the seeds so that when growing microgreens, the addition of water should not be excessive as young plants draw in nutrients from the seeds.
Easy to grow
Microgreens are grown in a very simple way and can also be grown on a windowsill, the most suitable are windows on the south side that have enough light. For good growth of microgreens, it is necessary to provide enough light during the growth period, up to 12 hours of daylight. If the days are shorter, it is advisable to provide additional illumination.
Various salads, garden cress, watercress, basil, cabbage, beetroot, coriander, wheat, frosting, peas, amaranth, onion, arugula, spinach, chicory, garden nasturtium, and other species are commonly grown as microgreens. Cabbages are the most delicious, and red-colored micro-vegetables are especially popular with chefs who use it for decorating dishes. The quality of the grown microgreens depends on the quality of the seed.
Due to its short vegetative process, microgreens do not have enough time to break down heavy metals, chemical mineral fertilizers, pesticides and the like. Given this situation, you will need to pay great attention to the selection of quality seed when growing. Finding a good seed may be the hardest step in the whole process. It is best to use organic seed that you can find in health food stores. There you will find much larger packages than those offered at the garden center. Careful with the choice, because the seeds that are intended for the cultivation of germs are not also intended for the cultivation of microgreens. In addition to seeds, quality substrate and filtered water are important.
The sowing of microgreens is done densely, but care should be taken not to make it too dense. When choosing substrates, choose those of exceptional quality. It is best to use a substrate intended for transplants grown organically. The substrate layer is placed from 1.5 to 2.5 inches, it all depends on how big the seed is. You can use a three-inch deep pot with drainage holes to plant the micro-vegetable. We will fill the same container with a substrate.
For example, sowing chia seeds takes place by spreading chia seeds on the surface of the soil and then covering them with more soil. Cover the container in which you have sown the seed with thin foil. With foil, we will retain moisture in the seed, but also encourage better growth. Remove the foil after the plant starts sprouting.
The formula for the success of microgreens is very simple. Like other plants, microgreens requires the right conditions. The best place to grow is a room in the house where light, temperature, and other necessary conditions can be most easily controlled. Microgreens are most commonly grown on the south side.
For good breeding, 12 hours of daylight is ideal. If the microgreens grow over short periods of time then they need to be allowed extra light. Due to the lack of light, microgreens can become elongated. Also, such plants are more likely to be susceptible to disease.
We will not water the sown seeds but will spray them. Watering may result in the thin coating of the substrate by which the seeds are coated. There is also the possibility of pushing the seeds aside with water, which is also not desirable. After the microgreens sprout, feel free to water them with filtered water several times a day, but be careful not to overdo it, as mold may occur.
After three weeks, the microgreens will be ready to harvest. When it reaches a size of 2 inches we can pick it. In the ready-to-harvest stage, microgreens draw energy to grow from the germ. Such herbs have many more vitamins but also a more intense taste than adult plants. Microgreens from the day of picking can last from three to seven days.
You can buy microgreens growing kits at any specialty vegetable shop, and you only need a tray for sowing and a pad of volcanic rock or rock wool. Usually, with that, you get seeds, but make sure they are not treated with any protection.
You can also reduce the cost somewhat by using makeshift bowls, such as plastic yogurt cups or other pots, plastic food storage bowls that you have to pierce at the bottom, and flower pots that you have in stock. If you choose plastic food containers, you can use their lid as a base for the pots.
When planting, keep an eye on cleanliness and do all work with clean hands or use gloves. It should be sown so that the seeds are firmly laid on the base or on the substrate, and it is desirable, but not necessary, to soak them in water for several hours before planting.
If you are sowing vegetables directly on the base, the seeds should be gently pressed into the seedbed and then sprayed or watered, which should be done twice a day for germination, which lasts from three to seven days, depending on the type of vegetable.
If we sow in the ground, pour about three inches of soil into the pan, then spread the seeds, which we cover with an additional layer of earth about 0.2 inches thick. Finally, we flatten the substrate and spray it with water. The container can be covered with food foil, as this ensures that the water in the substrate is maintained and optimum germination conditions are achieved.
Microgreens will first develop tiny germs with leaves, and when we see the first real leaves, we can cut them with clean scissors just above the roots, rinse with water and add raw to different dishes. After the final harvest, we just replace the pads with new ones and repeat the process until growing our own microgreens tuns into a habit because every two weeks we can afford a new harvest.
The use of microgreens
There are many vitamins, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, glucose, fructose, manganese and many other healthy substances in the microgreens. Also, microgreens have low-calorie value and are rich in enzymes that are great for people who have digestive problems. Due to all the above mentioned in the culinary arts, micro plants are used not only for decoration but also for their values and for the taste they give. They can be used in many dishes, most commonly used in soups, salads, eggs, meat, fish, smoothies and shakes. Wherever you use it, never treat it thermally.
Microgreens have not always been as easily accessible as are now, it was once used only as a specialty in luxury restaurants.
For winter days – the healthiest are microgreens
It is great for growing in winter times when there are fewer vegetables in shops, and those that are there are mostly not organic, bad in taste and pretty expensive. Then this is a great time to grow your own microgreens.
They can easily be grown in your house, garden or apartment. The most suitable windows to put them are on the south side, which has enough light throughout the day that young plants need for normal growth (up to 12 hours of daylight). In the absence of daylight, supplementary artificial lighting may be used to prevent young plants from elongating and become susceptible to disease and to achieve the highest possible quality.