What are Microgreens?
Microgreens (also known as Baby Greens or Small Greens) are seedlings that are harvested very young from a small amount of soil, and the roots are left intact in the soil. Sprouts are grown without soil, and roots are eaten with the sprout. Both are wonderfully tasty and nutritionally potent little packages. They are almost 25% protein and contain generous amounts of vitamins A, D, E and B complex as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. In fact, the germination process activates the energy stored in the plant’s seed so there are MORE of these vitamins and minerals in the greens than there are in the dry seed. And because sprouting activates enzymes in the plant, those enzymes make it easier for your body to digest the proteins. So let’s grow some microgreens!
Gather your supplies:
• Microgreen seeds bought at Rolling Green Nursery. We carry a variety of seeds including lettuces, spinach, herbs, peas and combination mixes.
• A clean recycled plastic container with a lid. You can reuse containers from the grocery store like the ones that hold fresh greens or cookies.
• Seed starting / soil-less mix
To grow your Microgreens:
• Fill the plastic container with 2 inches of seed starting mix that is moist.
• Scatter the seeds that have soaked in water 8-12 hours in a thick layer on the soil and press them down firmly into the soil.
• Cover the seeds with a wet paper towel or wet newspaper. Put the plastic cover on the container.
• Don’t do anything to the container for 4 days. Do not keep in a sunny location at this stage.
• On the 4th day, remove the plastic cover and the paper towel or newspaper. Place the container in a sunny location to encourage leaf growth and chlorophyll development.
• Water seeds regularly to make sure the soil stays moist. Since a plastic container will not have drainage, take caution not to make the soil soggy. With some greens, once the plants are a couple of inches tall, you may need to gently brush the tops of the leaves to help the seed hulls fall off the leaves.
You can reap your harvest with scissors once the microgreens have at least two leaves and are about 2-3 inches high. You can let them continue to grow for a week and harvest what you need each day, or store the trimmed shoots in the refrigerator.
Recycle the used soil with the spent roots in your garden or composter.