Last Updated on January 25, 2022
If you’re growing food for better health and nutrition, you’ve probably come across the advantages of eating more greens. The majority of the time, we think about big leafy greens. They are the mature counterparts to our friends, microgreens.
However, with many people growing food in limited spaces or for little money, fresh microgreens are becoming increasingly popular. They are tiny herbs or vegetables that are harvested in their early stages of growth when they are just germinated seedlings. They’re great for garnishes and add a ton of flavor to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more!
The tastiest microgreens can be grown indoors or outdoors. They require very little space and most often they don’t even need direct sunlight! If you want to increase your nutrition at a low cost and low maintenance, nutritious microgreens should be considered.
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Here’s What You Need to Grow Microgreens
Fluorescent or other grow light. Some people have used natural sunlight with success as well.
One of the advantages of using artificial lights is that they can be left on for as long as necessary. When using sunlight, it’s possible that the light source will need to be moved periodically to maintain an appropriate level of brightness and heat.
You can use old baking sheets, wooden planks, or anything else you can think of. Trays should be at least 1.5 inches deep.
You will need to figure out what kind of growing time is required for the seeds you’ve chosen. Common microgreens seeds that are found in grocery stores are radish, kale, mustard, and cress.
Organic potting soil
You can find this at your local store, or you can make your own. Just add some nutrient-rich compost and your favorite fertilizer.
Spray bottle & containers to catch drainage
When growing indoors, you will need a spray bottle for misting and keeping your plants moist, as well as something to catch the water that is used as a natural fertilizing agent for your plants. This can be as elaborate as an old sink or as simple as a big bucket with holes in it and some cheesecloth over top!
Organic pest control (if needed)
One of the best products available is neem oil. You can find it at any organic gardening store or online.
What are the Tastiest Microgreens to Grow?
These taste like broccoli and are dark green in color. They can be harvested after around two weeks of growth, when the leaves reach about 2 inches in height.
Broccoli microgreens are easy to grow and taste great in salads or on sandwiches. They are also a good source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, so they’re great for overall health! If you use them right away after harvesting, you will have the best flavor from these microgreens.
Sunflowers can produce beautiful yellow flowers, but did you know that you can grow them as microgreens? Their leaves are large enough to be cut for salads and sandwiches. They’re a great source of protein, which is important in vegetarian diets.
Sunflower sprouts taste like the grassy parts of sunflowers and have a firm texture. They can be harvested very quickly compared to most other microgreens, after around 7-10 days of growth.
Radish microgreens look like the full-grown radishes that we know; they are small and round with a light green color. These taste like spicy radishes and can be harvested after growing for two weeks.
They are a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Radish greens can be used in salads or sandwiches for some extra color and crunch! They are also great as garnishes on pizzas or veggie burgers.
Kale microgreens are dark green, pointy, and have a firm texture. They taste like nutty full-grown kale leaves that you find in the grocery store. Again, because of their size they can be harvested for use in salads or sandwiches after around 2 weeks of growth.
Kale is one of the best sources of calcium, vitamin K, and other micronutrients. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a great idea to include kale greens in your diet because of their health benefits!
Mustard greens are bright green in color with a pointy shape. They have a tangy taste that is similar to the full-grown mustard leaves that you find at grocery stores. These can be harvested after around two weeks of growth, and should be used in salads or sandwiches for their extra crunch.
Like kale, mustard greens are anti-inflammatory and have strong antioxidant properties. These make them another great ingredient to add to your meals!
Pea Shoots Microgreens
The pea plant produces beautiful blooms with bright yellow flowers, but did you know that the shoots of the flower are also edible? These have all of the flavor of fresh peas and can be harvested after around two weeks of growth. Pea shoots are delicious in salads or on sandwiches!
Pea microgreens are a good source of iron and folic acid. They also provide a quick boost of energy and can be enjoyed by young and old alike!
Beets are a root vegetable with colorful leaves and stems. When you grow beet microgreens, these roots will look similar to the fresh roots that you can buy at grocery stores. They have a sweet taste and dark green color.
Beet greens can be harvested after around two weeks of growth and should be used in salads or sandwiches. They are a great source of antioxidants, which can help to prevent cancer and heart disease!
This herb has an unmistakable flavor that can be enjoyed in many different types of dishes. When you grow basil microgreens, they will have the same spiky shape as full-grown basil leaves. They are a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, making them another great addition to your diet!
To use fresh basil, you only need to wait a few days after the first leaves appear. In salads or sandwiches, these greens have a unique and fresh taste!
Carrot microgreens look like their full-grown counterparts, but are smaller in size. They can be harvested after around two weeks of growth and should be used in salads or sandwiches for their crunch.
The carrots themselves are a great source of vitamin A, which is important for healthy eyesight and skin! Carrots also contain many other vitamins and minerals. Another great reason to include them in your diet!
Garden Cress Microgreens
Garden cress microgreens have a bright green color and have a spicy flavor. They can be harvested after around two weeks of growth and are great on salads or sandwiches.
They contain many vitamins, including vitamin A, C, K, B6, E, and niacin! Also present in these greens is iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. They have many health benefits to help keep your body going!
Now It’s Time to Start Growing!
- Start by pre-soaking your seeds overnight. This will help them sprout nicely as well as make the tiny seedlings easier to handle.
- Set up your grow station. You can use anything from a large tub under a fluorescent light in your basement to a little tray under a plant bulb on your kitchen table.
- Fill your trays with either organic potting soil, or whatever you’re using for the drainage containers. Be sure that they are nice and moist! Then, carefully pick up each seedling by its stem (don’t worry if it looks like nothing is there…it will!) and place it in the soil/container. You can use tweezers or a small spoon to help with this step if you need to.
- Use your spray bottle to lightly mist the seedlings, making sure that they are nice and moist at all times. They should be watered every 1-2 days.
- Now that you have your seedlings planted, it’s time to set up the lights! Keep them around 2 inches above the plants at all times. If they are too close, they will burn! And if you leave them too far away, the plants won’t get enough light.
- Depending on how high quality of a grower you are, you can set the timer up to turn on and off at different intervals. The most common time frame is 17 hours on and 6 hours off. This might vary depending on what plants you are raising. Some plants require longer or shorter periods of light. Do your research before planting!
And that’s it! Just keep an eye on them and make sure they are always nice and moist. Make sure to spray the leaves with water every day or so as well.
After about 2-3 weeks, your plants will be big enough for harvest! Pick all of the leaves off of each plant (be careful not to damage the roots), and you’re done!
When to Harvest Microgreens?
After 14 days or so of growth, your microgreens will be ready to harvest! Remove them from the tray and place them in a bowl. Rinse the microgreens with cool water until all of their little dirt clods are removed. Then, you can either eat or store your microgreens immediately.
How to Store Your Microgreens
To keep your full-grown microgreens for an extended period of time, you will need to create conditions that are cold and moist. A glass jar with a lid is great for use as a storage container. Pack your microgreens into the jar tightly so there is little space between them. Then, cover them with a damp paper towel before sealing the lid.
Growing microgreens is a great way to get access to the healthiest part of many different plants. Whether you want a crunchy addition to your dishes, an extra source of antioxidants, or some greens in your sandwiches and salads, growing microgreens in your home is an easy and fun way to add some additional nutrients in your diet!
Congratulations! You have now successfully grown microgreens from seeds! Now you can take these little bundles of joy and sprinkle them on top of salads, sandwiches, or soups. I hope you enjoy these tastiest microgreens often!