If the term „microgreens” doesn’t ring a bell to you, then don’t worry, you are not the only one. I remember when I first heard of them. I was flicking through one of those old magazines that they give you at a hair salon and I’ve seen that growing microgreens indoors became, somehow, a trend.
Well, if you follow me, you know that I like a bit of innovation and that I’m open to all of the options.
Therefore, I decided to look further into this topic.
I was completely shocked at how amazing these were for health and how easy they were to grow!
I’ve wanted to try it for myself so I’ve gained all of the information available at the time and started growing my micro greens, not knowing really what to expect.
So, if you are as confused as I was, I am here with my knowledge gained over the years and my best advice to help you start growing your microgreens indoors as easily as you would grow any vegetable garden.
For super cheap seeds of microgreens and basically anything you need, you can visit SeedsNOW!
- What Are Microgreens?
- What You Will Need to Grow Microgreens Indoors
- Planting, Growing and Harvesting the Microgreens Indoors
- Health Benefits of Microgreens
- Closing Thoughts
What Are Microgreens?
If you’ve grown any plant from seed before, you probably know how the process goes.
You plant the seeds, then they become seedlings. Well, if you leave a newly sprouted seed to go just a little bit into growing, but not let it grow completely, you will get microgreens.
These are known for their various health benefits.
Did you know that the microgreens’ nutrient impact is about 40 times bigger than the one of fully grown plants or fruit? Can you believe it?
40 times! For example, if you grow microgreens from red cabbage seeds, you will get 40 times more vitamin C in the same portion.
The best thing about them? They are extremely easy to grow!
You may, of course, ask yourself what seeds can you grow into microgreens.
Well, I have found that there are several groups of plants. They are as follows:
- Amaryllidaceae family- onion, garlic, leek
- Asteraceae family- lettuce, chicory, endive, radicchio
- Apiaceae family- carrot, celery, fennel, dill
- Amaranthaceae family- spinach, beet, amaranth
- Brassicaceae family- cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, radish
- Cucurbitaceae family- cucumber, melon, squash
You’ll notice that their taste can vary, depending on the seeds you have grown them from. It can vary from sweet to sour or bitter, also from neutral to spicy.
So, for example, if you’re growing microgreens from arugula seeds, you can expect that they will have that distinct, almost spicy taste.
Most Popular Microgreens & Seeds
Here is the list of some of the most popular microgreens! You can buy seeds cheaply on the links bellow.
- Micro Carrots
- Garlic Chives
- Upland Cress
What You Will Need to Grow Microgreens Indoors
As for specific materials, you will need:
- 8cm deep container or pot
- Seeds of your choice
- Soilless seed-starting mix
- Plastic wrap
As you can probably see, these little plants don’t really need that much.
Now that we’ve established the list of the things you’ll need to grow microgreens successfully, let’s get into the actual process.
Planting, Growing and Harvesting the Microgreens Indoors
There are a couple of steps here, but it really isn’t that complicated. I will guide you through the whole process, from just a packet of seeds to having the microgreens on your plate.
Without further ado, this is the step-by-step guide to growing the microgreens indoors.
1. Dampen the Soil
Now, since we are working with a soilless seed-starting mix here, you’ll notice that that mix is probably a little too dry to plant the seeds in it.
Therefore, you’ll need to bring in the moisture.
To do that, just chuck the quantity you think you’ll need to fill the pots or the containers and sprinkle a bit of lukewarm water and mix until the whole mixture is dampened.
2. Fill in the Containers
After you’ve re-moistened the seed-starting mix, you can start filling the containers with it.
There really isn’t much to say here except that you should avoid packing the soil into the place.
This could cause drainage problems and the sprouts could have more difficulty coming to the surface.
Instead, try tapping the soil lightly just to put it a bit into place.
3. Sprinkle Seeds
Unlike with other plants you want to grow, you don’t have to be too careful here and you can sow them more thickly than usual.
Just sprinkle the seeds evenly over the surface and let’s say that it would be the best if you can leave at least half the centimeter of space between the seeds.
Usually, with other plants, you’d need to leave from 3 to over 20 centimeters.
4. Cover the Seeds with Vermiculite
If you’re not familiar with vermiculite, it is a mineral-base material that is used to cover the seeds.
It absorbs the water and releases it slowly in order to keep the seeds continuously damp, but preventing them from getting too wet.
Depending on the type of seeds you’re covering, you should decide how thick the layer should be.
Usually, there are instructions on the seed pack so make sure to follow those. Some seeds need only a light layer to keep them damp while others require a thick layer.
5. Water the Seeds
You won’t need too much water and be careful not to overdo it here.
If you put too much water, the seeds will fail to root and your work will be for nothing. Instead, try sprinkling the seeds lightly with water.
This way, you’ll soak the vermiculite which will keep the seeds damp, but you won’t wash them away.
Keep watering lightly the starting mix until the seeds germinate and you see the little sprouts.
6. Cover the Seeds
Use the plastic wrap to cover the seeds but make sure not to tighten the wrap too much.
We are looking here to make some sort of little hothouse for your microgreens.
This will help them to keep the humidity and, consequently, promote germination.
7. Care for Plants
After the seeds have germinated, make sure to remove the plastic wrap.
In this stage, it would help your microgreens massively if you put them onto a windowsill.
This way, they can get enough sunlight to promote their growth.
Also, you should avoid watering the soil from the top.
Instead, keep the soil moist by pouring the water onto the tray.
The seeding mix will absorb as much water as the plants need, without getting too wet.
8. How to Harvest Microgreens
The eight and the final step to this adventure is the harvest.
To harvest them, just grab a pair of scissors and cut them off, section by section.
I wash them 3-4 times and leave them to dry on a paper towel.
Make sure to keep them in an airtight container in a cool place until you’re ready to consume them.
Health Benefits of Microgreens
As I’ve already mentioned, these are very nutritious which means they are extremely good for health.
Consuming them on a regular basis can help to prevent many diseases.
I try really hard to get my daily dose of antioxidants from plants, and these help greatly.
Just keep in mind that microgreens shouldn’t be your only source of vitamins and minerals and that you should have a well-balanced diet.
Some of the most familiar diseases microgreens can help you with are:
- Heart diseases – microgreens are packed with polyphenols. Consuming them regularly is linked to a lower risk of gaining heart disease. Also, there are tests that show that these can help lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride.
- Diabetes – these can help lower stress level which can prevent sugar from entering properly the cells. Consuming them regularly can help increase cellular sugar intake, which is good if you are insulin resistant.
- Alzheimer’s disease – high levels of polyphenols are linked to lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
1. What is the best way to consume microgreens?
I like them in my salad, but you can also eat them in your sandwiches or wraps. I have recently seen a recipe for one of those smoothies youngsters have, with kale, celery and even microgreens. It definitely sounds interesting!
2. What are the lighting requirements for growing microgreens indoors?
These require about 12-16 hours of good lighting per day. It doesn’t really matter if it’s ultraviolet lighting or sunlight. As I’ve previously said, once I take the plastic foil off, I like to put my microgreens on windowsill instead of using the ultraviolet lighting.
I hope that my little guide motivated you to start growing microgreens indoors. I have covered all of the steps necessary to grow the microgreens, but if you have any doubts feel free to comment.
Also, if you have any advice for me, let me know! I would like to find more ways to include microgreens in my diet so if you have found a way to use them that I haven’t