Microgreens are a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal, and growing them at home can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Microgreens are the young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs that are harvested when they are just a few inches tall, making them packed with flavor and nutrients. They can be grown year-round, indoors or outdoors, and require minimal space and equipment.
If you’re new to growing microgreens, there are plenty of examples of seeds to choose from, including alfalfa, arugula, basil, beet, broccoli, buckwheat, chia, green peas, radish, spinach, watercress, mustard, and sunflower. Each seed has its own unique flavor and texture, and experimenting with different combinations can lead to some delicious results. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can start growing your own microgreens in no time.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tiny edible plants that are harvested just after their first leaves have grown. They are packed with flavor, nutrients, and color, making them a popular addition to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Microgreens are also easy to grow at home, making them a great option for anyone who wants to add fresh, healthy greens to their diet.
Microgreens are typically grown from the seeds of vegetables, herbs, and other plants, and they can be harvested in as little as two weeks. They are often confused with sprouts, which are grown in water and harvested before the first leaves appear. Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil or another growing medium and are harvested after the first leaves have grown.
One of the great things about microgreens is that they come in a wide variety of flavors and colors. Some microgreens are spicy, while others are sweet or bitter. The flavor of a microgreen can depend on the variety of plant it comes from, as well as the growing conditions.
Microgreens are also packed with nutrients. They are often more nutritious than their fully-grown counterparts, as they contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals. For example, microgreens were reported 2–3.5 times more nutrient dense their counterparts.
If you’re interested in growing your own microgreens, there are many different varieties to choose from. Some popular options include arugula, radish, and pea microgreens.
Why Grow Microgreens?
Microgreens are a great way to add fresh, nutritious greens to your diet. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider growing microgreens:
- Easy to grow: Microgreens are easy to grow and require minimal space and equipment. They can be grown indoors or outdoors and are a great way to start gardening if you’re a beginner.
- Nutritious: Microgreens are packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a great way to add fresh greens to your diet, especially if you don’t have access to a garden or fresh produce.
- Quick to harvest: Microgreens are ready to harvest in just a few weeks, which means you can enjoy fresh greens all year round.
- Cost-effective: Growing your own microgreens is a cost-effective way to add fresh greens to your diet. You can grow a variety of microgreens for a fraction of the cost of buying them at the grocery store.
If you’re just starting out with microgreen gardening, there are many helpful projects you can try. Here are a few ideas.
DIY Microgardening Projects for Beginners
- Microgreens Starter Kits For Beginners: These kits includes everything you need to get started, including seeds, soil, and a sprayer. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to grow microgreens indoors.
- Grow A Microgreens Garden in Recycled Containers on your Windowsill: Just get yourself some sprouting seeds, and start growing in dirt on your windowsill. With containers you already have in your recycle bin.
- DIY Microgreens Setup: If you want to grow a lot of microgreens at once, you can try setting up a vertical farming system. This project involves using a metal storage rack to hold multiple trays of microgreens.
These are just a few examples of the many DIY microgardening projects that are available. With a little bit of effort and some basic supplies, you can start growing your own microgreens in no time.
Other Helpful Projects for Micro-gardeners
If you’re just starting out, it’s helpful to learn from others who have already had success growing microgreens. Here are a few DIY micro-gardening projects that can help:
- Microgreens Guide: Gathering the Materials | Epic Gardening: This guide provides a quick rundown of the materials you’ll need to get started with growing microgreens.
- A Step-By-Step Guide for Growing Microgreens at Home – Penn State Extension: This step-by-step guide provides detailed instructions on how to grow microgreens at home.
- The Only Supplies You Really Need to Grow Microgreens at Home: This article provides a list of the essential supplies needed to grow microgreens at home.
- DIY Microgreens – How to Plant and Grow your own Microgreens: This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide on how to plant and grow microgreens in an apartment setting.
- Microgreens Farm Setup: What’s Needed?! – DonnyGreens: This article provides a detailed list of the supplies needed to set up a microgreens farm.
Choosing the right seeds is crucial for growing healthy and flavorful microgreens. Here are some tips to help you choose the best seeds for your microgreen garden:
1. Seed Quality
Make sure to choose high-quality seeds that are free from any diseases or pests. Look for reputable seed companies that specialize in microgreens seeds. Certified organic sprouting seeds are a good place to get started.
2. Seed Variety
There are many different types of seeds that can be used for microgreens. Some popular options include alfalfa, arugula, basil, broccoli, mustard, and radish. Consider the taste and texture of the microgreens you want to grow and choose seeds that will give you the desired result. Have fun experiencing each type. Play around and find your favourites!
3. Seed Treatment
Microgreens seeds should be untreated and free from any chemicals or pesticides. Avoid using seeds that have been treated with fungicides or other chemicals, as they can be harmful to both you and the environment.
4. Seed Quantity
When planting microgreens, it’s important to use the right amount of seeds to ensure even growth. Use measuring cups or spoons to measure the right amount of seeds per tray.
5. Seed Storage
Proper seed storage is essential for maintaining seed quality and viability. Store your seeds in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Consider using airtight containers or resealable bags to keep your seeds fresh.
By following these tips, you can choose the best seeds for your microgreen garden and set yourself up for success.
Harvesting microgreens is a simple process that requires a sharp pair of scissors and a steady hand. When the microgreens have reached the desired height, which is usually around 2-3 inches, it’s time to harvest them. To do this, hold the stem of the microgreen between your fingers and use the scissors to cut it about 2/3rds of an inch above the growing medium.
It’s important to harvest the microgreens at the right time to ensure that they are at their peak flavor and nutrition. If you wait too long to harvest them, they may become tough and bitter. On the other hand, if you harvest them too early, they may not have developed their full flavor and nutritional profile.
When harvesting microgreens, it’s also important to be gentle with them. Avoid pulling or tugging on the stems, as this can damage the delicate leaves. Instead, use a clean pair of scissors to make a clean cut.
After harvesting the microgreens, it’s important to store them properly to ensure that they stay fresh and flavorful. Place them in a plastic bag or container and store them in the refrigerator. They should last for several days if stored properly.
Here are some helpful tips for harvesting microgreens:
- Harvest the microgreens in the morning when they are at their freshest.
- Avoid harvesting microgreens when they are wet, as this can lead to mold and spoilage.
- Harvest only the amount of microgreens that you need, as they are best when eaten fresh.
- If you are growing microgreens for profit, consider investing in a harvesting tool such as a microgreen harvester to speed up the process.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your microgreens are harvested at the right time and are at their peak flavor and nutrition.
Examples of Microgreens to Grow
Starting out with microgreens can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to choosing which types to grow. Here are some popular options that are easy to grow and taste great:
|Arugula||Spicy and peppery||Easy|
|Radish||Peppery and crunchy||Easy|
|Broccoli||Mild and nutty||Easy|
|Pea Shoots||Sweet and crunchy||Easy|
|Mustard||Peppery and tangy||Intermediate|
|Cilantro||Fresh and citrusy||Intermediate|
|Wheatgrass||Earthy and sweet||Intermediate|
|Beet||Sweet and earthy||Intermediate|
When starting out, it’s best to choose a few types of microgreens that are easy to grow and have a taste you enjoy. As you gain more experience, you can branch out and try more challenging varieties.
Here are some more helpful projects for micro-gardeners to learn from:
- DIY Microgreen Growing Rack – This reddit user shows you how to build a simple and affordable microgreen growing rack using trays and shelving.
- How to Grow Microgreens Indoors – This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of growing microgreens indoors using soil and seed trays.
- How to Grow Microgreens from home – This project shows you how to grow a lot of nutritious microgreens at home. A full class on growing microgreens from start to finish from Kevin over at Epic Gardening.
By starting with easy-to-grow microgreens and learning from helpful projects, beginners can successfully grow their own microgreens at home.
Congratulations on taking the first step towards growing your own microgreens! With limited time, space, and gardening skills, microgreens are the perfect solution for healthy and delicious ‘fast food’.
If you are just starting out, there are many helpful resources available online to guide you through the process of growing microgreens. The Easy Guide to Growing Microgreens is a great place to start. This guide provides step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for growing a variety of microgreens.
Once you have a basic understanding of how to grow microgreens, there are many DIY microgardening projects that can help you take your skills to the next level. The Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Microgreens at Home provides a list of tools and materials needed to start cultivation of microgreens at home.
If you want to turn your microgreens into a profitable business, the Microgreens Business: How To Grow Microgreens For Profit article is a great resource. This article provides tips on how to grow microgreens for profit and turn your hobby into a successful business.
Remember, growing microgreens is a journey, not a destination. With patience, practice, and a willingness to learn, you can become a successful microgardener in no time. Happy growing!