Microgreens are important sources of nutrition and one of the basic ingredients of consumption for us as human beings. They contain all the important nourishing elements – potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and copper to name a few – that go into making a proper diet. They even contain antioxidants that help you stay fresh and brimming with energy throughout your day.
If these reasons are not enough to convince you to grow them in your garden, we’ll have you know that microgreens also help bring down bad cholesterol levels in the body, resulting in reduced risk of heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even certain cancers
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can grow your very own microgreens in your gardens. But first, we need to find out exactly which plants qualify as microgreens. And the first thing that comes to mind is Sprouts!
Sprouts vs Microgreens – Are They The Same Thing
Regardless of what they may project themselves to be, sprouts are not microgreens. And there’s a good reason for that. Sprouts are considered as the babies of the plant world. They are fully germinated seeds that tend to burst open with the shoot on the first roots. Sprouts germinate when they are soaked in water. Microgreens are different. These tiny plants not more than 1-3 inches tall grow inside the soil.
As the germination process takes place, microgreen seeds make their way out of the soil first. Then, after the process of initial photosynthesis, proper food is provided to the plants, and this lays the foundation for the healthy growth of the microgreens.
Knowing what separates microgreens from substances such as sprouts is important because this will help us understand what benefits we gain from consuming microgreens.
Benefits of Growing Microgreens
Microgreens can be harvested within one to three weeks of planting. This period, however, varies with the type of microgreen you choose to harvest, but it usually takes 3 weeks.
You can produce any number of plants in a small area. The yield-to-space ratio is quite high, as you can plant around 20 plants without having to worry about your garden’s size.
To get high yields, you don’t need to spend a lot of time and effort. The process is really quick and simple (we’ll show you how in just a bit).
All you need to get high yield is to place these plants in warm sunlight, in shallow containers having water.
You can harvest these at any time of the year, no matter the season or the weather condition.
Your garden does not necessarily have to be an outdoor garden to support microgreens. If you’ve got enough sunlight coming in, you can place them inside your homes as well, creating a small indoor garden.
As discussed in the very beginning, microgreens are rich in nutrients and minerals and are a high source of good food for everyone without exception to age, weight or medical conditions. They make for great salad and sandwich ingredients as well.
Before we dive into how to grow these delicious supplements for yourself, let us first understand what plants/herbs exactly count as microgreens. We know for on that sprouts are nowhere related to microgreens, so let’s go find out which seeds are.
What Seeds Count As Microgreen?
Make sure you get the best and certified seeds because the commercial seeds often tend to have chemicals inside them which are either pesticides or some sort of drug to increase the growth of the grain. Although they produce marvelous short term results, they tend to lessen your soil’s natural ability in the long run.
How To Grow Your Microgreens
Now that you’ve got almost everything ready – from knowing which seeds count as microgreens and which do not, what seeds to plant, and how to choose them – let’s actually get into the process of planting a healthy batch for yourself. As we mentioned earlier, the process is really simple, and it does no take a lot of time, but if you have any queries, write to us at Elitech Drip, and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
The first thing we need to do is make sure the seeds germinate properly. So take a handful of your chosen microgreen seeds and soak them in water. Let them be for a few hours, or even overnight. This will really help build a good foundation for their growth.
Note: You do not need to do this for smaller seeds. This is because, naturally, the water requirements for larger seeds is high.
If you want to use a tray to grow your plants, use a moist paper towel at the bottom of the tray, to prevent the seeds from falling through. Cover about three-fourth of the try with moist growing medium up to 1 inch in depth. Cocopeat is a great growing medium for microgreens.
Sprinkle your seeds over the moist medium. If you have small seeds you can put them in the form of a thin layer, sort of creating a seed compost.
Now pour water in low contents. You can use a spray bottle for this because it prevents you from dislodging the seeds.
The drainage tray should be kept on a warm spot. Water these plants regularly and see to it that the soil’s moist. You can dab your fingers on it to check the moisture.
Make sure the seeds never dry out and also never overwater your seeds as it can drown them.
By covering the seeds with a punnet(a small basket), the lid can increase germination and also create a warm environment.
Once the germination process is complete, you can add seaweed solution, which will improve the flavour and also the nutrition of the plant. The solution is added because the plants have already used up all of their internal energy to get to this stage. Seaweed solution gives them a boost in strength. But you can grow without seaweed if you don’t have it lying around.
And that’s it! When the seedlings grow to a height of about 10 cm tall use your scissors to cut the stems, make sure not to cut the portion which is in the soil. The plant is ready to be served and can be taken directly because you have used no chemicals whatsoever to grow them. Use it in your salads or sandwiches and enjoy your power-packed meal.