The range of plants that can be grown as microgreens is extensive. Lettuce varieties, herbs like basil or cilantro, and edible plants such as radish or sunflower are commonly grown as microgreens. Whether you choose to cultivate a single type or mix and match various species, the possibilities for growing microgreens are limited only by your imagination and personal preferences.
What You'll Learn
Types of Microgreens to Grow
Did you know there are over 40 different types of microgreens that can be grown, from broccoli to sunflower shoots? Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, growing microgreens is easy and fun!
Microgreens are usually harvested 10-14 days after planting and can be harvested several times. Some popular types of microgreens include arugula, chard, kale, mizuna, radish, and spinach.
In addition to these common types of microgreens, there are also some more unusual varieties such as beetroot greens, celery greens, Chinese cabbage greens, corn salad greens and even watercress. Many of these plants grow well together in companion planting schemes which help maximize the yield per square foot.
To ensure that your plants get enough nutrients for optimal growth, it’s important to use appropriate fertilizing techniques when growing your microgreens. For those who like their food with an extra kick of flavor, then you may want to try some spicy varieties such as daikon radish or wasabi mustard. These two varieties offer a powerful punch of flavor while still being mild enough for everyday consumption.
For a sweeter option, why not try growing baby carrots or sugar snap peas? Both offer a sweet crunchy texture which makes them perfect for salads and stir-frys alike.
Microgreens can easily be grown indoors on sunny windowsills or outdoors in garden beds or containers. All they need is soil rich in organic matter and regular watering for optimum growth. It’s important to note that different species have different germination times, so it’s best to do some research before getting started with your project. But once you’ve got the hang of it, then you’ll soon be reaping the rewards!
To get the best results from your microgreens, it’s essential to ensure that your soil is properly prepared. The right mix of nutrients and moisture are essential for healthy development and a bounty of tasty greens. Knowing how to prepare the soil before planting will help you maximize the potential of your microgreen project.
The type of container you select for growing your microgreens can have an effect on soil preparation. Containers with drainage holes allow excess water to escape, while those without them must be monitored more closely during watering sessions. Whichever container you choose, be sure to fill it with a quality potting mix that has been enriched with organic material such as compost or worm castings. This will provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and health of your plants.
It’s also important to consider the pH level of the soil – ideally, this should be between 6 and 7, although some types such as spinach may prefer slightly lower levels than others like kale or buckwheat. If adjustments need to be made, use natural products such as wood ash or lime to raise pH levels or organic materials such as sulfur or peat moss if they need lowering.
Once these steps are taken, water thoroughly before planting any seeds so that they have access to moisture from below when germinating.
Regularly check the moisture content in your containers throughout the growing process; too much water can lead to root rot while too little can stunt growth and cause leaves to yellow prematurely. Additionally, make sure that all containers receive adequate sunlight – at least 4 hours per day – in order for photosynthesis and other plant functions occur normally throughout their lifecycle.
With proper soil nutrition and container selection coupled with regular monitoring, you’ll have no problem achieving success with your next microgreen crop!
Planting and Harvesting
Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching your microgreens sprout and mature before harvesting and cooking them up into delicious meals! Planting and harvesting microgreens is an exciting process that requires some preparation. Here are 6 key steps to help you get started:
- Choose a spot with plenty of sunlight and good ventilation. Make sure your plants have enough light and air.
- Select the seeds you want to plant according to what type of microgreen you prefer. Choose from lettuces, herbs, edible flowers, or other edible plants available in your area.
- Prepare the soil by mixing organic compost into it and moistening it until it feels like a wrung-out sponge. This will help provide nutrients for healthy root growth.
- Timing is important when planting many types of microgreens as they grow quickly. Sow your seeds about 1/8” deep with 1-2 inches between them so they have room to develop their roots without overcrowding each other in the soil bed.
- Water thoroughly after sowing so that all the seeds are wet but not sitting in pools of water. This will help prevent diseases such as root rot or damping off from happening later on in development stages.
- Lastly, make sure you regularly check on your plants’ progress by checking if they need more water or fertilizer during their growth cycle before harvest time arrives!
Harvesting should take place about 7-14 days after sowing depending on what type of crop was planted. Cut just above soil level using scissors for most varieties while pulling weeds away from around them at the same time if necessary due to competing vegetation nearby. Finally, enjoy eating these nutrient-dense greens full of vitamins A & C along with minerals like iron and calcium which can boost overall health benefits when eaten raw or cooked up in various dishes!
Storage and Preservation
Once harvested, preserving your microgreens is a great way to extend their shelf-life and enjoy them for weeks after they’re picked! The key to successful storage and preservation of microgreens is selecting the right container.
When choosing a container, look for one that has an airtight seal so that moisture can be kept in and contaminants kept out. It’s also important to make sure that any containers you use are free from chemicals or other substances that might interfere with the flavor or freshness of your microgreens.
Additionally, it’s best to store microgreens in a cool, dark place such as a refrigerator or root cellar. This will help keep them fresher for longer periods of time. Proper ventilation is also essential when storing microgreens. If too much moisture builds up inside the container then mold can form which will ruin the quality of your crop.
Make sure to choose containers with holes in the lid so air can circulate properly throughout the interior of the container and prevent mold growth. You may also want to consider adding some paper towels to absorb excess moisture if necessary. Storing your greens away from direct sunlight which can cause wilting or discoloration over time is also recommended.
Lastly, if you plan on freezing your harvest for later use make sure it’s been thoroughly washed first and allowed to dry completely before going into storage containers or bags. Frozen greens should be used within four months for optimal flavor and nutrition value, although they may last up to six months if stored correctly at very low temperatures – around 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). Careful selection of containers combined with proper ventilation, light prevention, and temperature control are all essential steps towards extending the shelf life of your microgreen harvest!