A Guide to Growing Mighty Microgreens
They do say good things come in small packages, and they’re not wrong when it comes to microgreens. What they lack in stature, they more than make up for in taste and nutritional value. These bijou shoots are fresh, packed with vitamins and minerals and, even better, really easy to grow.
So, what are microgreens, exactly?
Microgreens are plants that are harvested somewhere between the sprout and baby green stages of growth – usually when they’re around one to three inches high. At this stage, the delicate young shoots are deliciously tender and rich in polyphenols, plant compounds that are thought to reduce inflammation and have an antioxidant effect within the body. As well as being beneficial for your health, their concentrated flavour is out of this world.
What kinds of microgreens can I grow?
As you’re simply harvesting plants at an earlier stage, you can pretty much grow what you like. However, there are some common favourites. Salad crops and herbs are popular choices for microgreen growers and brassicas, legumes and cereals can also work very well. If you’re not sure where to start, try these 10 microgreens to grow.
What growing conditions do they need?
Microgreens need a lot of light and work best when nurtured under grow lights. We’ve been doing a fair bit of microgreen growing ourselves in the Harvst greenhouses. With the ability to control the environment automatically and give the shoots exactly what they need, we’ve had some great results (not to mention some awesome salads and poke bowls)! We just popped some compost in a tray, sprinkled our seeds on top, misted them well and let the greenhouse to do its thing. Wherever you’re growing them, keep conditions warm, sunny and moist and you won’t go far wrong.
How long do microgreens take to grow?
The good news is hardly any time at all. They’re definitely the perfect crop if you’re an impatient gardener. In one to two weeks, your lovely little shoots will be just begging to be harvested and wolfed down. Just stagger your sowing and you’ll have microgreens aplenty all year round. It’s especially nice to have some fresh tender greens on your plate on a dreary winter day.
Grow your own microgreens at home
So why not have a go? In a fortnight you’ll be reaping the rewards of your first foray into the world of the mighty microgreen – a healthy, tasty addition to all kinds of dishes. Plus, those cute, tiny, colourful shoots that can be harvested in no time are a great starter crop to grow with your children and help encourage them to eat healthily.
Or if you’d like to know how a Harvst system could help you grow microgreens (or anything else), just get in touch (we love a good natter).