Growing these SuperFoods at Home
Microgreens are greens that are miniature and are harvested from vegetables or herbs these greens are loaded with nutrients, microgreens are also used to add flavor and color to your favorite dishes. These superfoods can be purchased or grown from our home gardens. Microgreens are harvested when they are young.
Including microgreens in our diets is a great way to eat healthy keeping our bodies in the best shape ever. Microgreens, however, can be pretty costly but as mentioned earlier we can grow them from our home gardens giving us a year-round supply from the garden to our kitchens. Below we will be discussing how to have success when growing and harvesting these greens.
How to grow microgreens
There are 3 ways to grow microgreens which include
- Your garden
- From Containers
Your home garden
When growing microgreens in your home garden start with these simple yet effective steps.
1. Ensure that the soil you’re using is good garden soil, adding compost or organics to your garden bed will not only add nutrients but will condition the soil to hold the right amount of moisture while allowing proper drainage.
2. The soil should be loosened by cultivating the top few inches, tools such as a pickaxe, spade shovel or spading fork will make this process simple.
3. Once the soil has been tilted or cultivated grade or smooth, the area has a level finish.
4. Next, scatter your seeds on the surface of the soil.
5. Once this is done cover seeds with about 1/8 inches of soil, covering seeds properly will keep them secure from being eaten by birds.
6. Water your seeds thoroughly being very gentle not to wash the topsoil from the seeds. The water should come out of the hose like a gentle flow of water that comes out of a showerhead. There are hose attachments that can be purchased from your garden center that will help you with this.
7. Don’t allow the soil to dry out completely because this is a crucial time for seed germination. Neither water them too heavily which may lead to rot, the soil should be moist, not waterlogged.
8. Keep a watch for weeds that will compete with your seeds for nutrients, sunlight, and water. Remove weeds immediately when spotted.
Growing microgreens from a container
A great way to also grow and harvest microgreens is container gardening.
1. Choose a container or containers that have drain holes.
2. The container(s) size should be large enough to scatter sufficient seeds.
3. The depth should be a least 2 inches.
4. A soil that is rich in organic matter is ideal.
5. Scatter your seed mix on the soil’s surface.
6. Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil.
7. Water thoroughly but gently with a water jug or watering can that has a showerhead attachment.
8. Don’t allow the soil to dry out completely or become waterlogged, the soil should be kept somewhat moist at all times.
9. Place your container(s) in an area that gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight.
Growing microgreens indoors
Don’t let the harsh winter months stop you from doing what you love doing but extend the growing season by growing microgreens indoors from your kitchen countertop.
When growing microgreens from your kitchen countertop it’s best to place them at a south-facing window with plenty of sunlight or install grow lights under your kitchen cabinets. Grow lights are a great investment and will give your microgreens the right amount of light to successfully grow to ensure a good harvest.
1. The use of seed trays or containers is ideal.
2. Fill the seed trays or containers with potting soil leaving a few inches from the top free of soil so the water doesn’t overflow onto the kitchen countertop when giving your seeds a drink.
3. Smooth the soil.
4. Scatter the seed over the soil’s surface.
5. Cover the seeds with a tin layer or 1/8 of the soil.
6. Water the seeds very gently but thoroughly.
7. Mist the seeds a few times each week to keep the soil from drying.
Here are a few microgreens to grow
Preventing molds from forming on your microgreens
And an issue that may arise are molds growing on your microgreens because of moisture and warmth but following these steps will keep your greens mold-free.
1. Ensure that your greens are getting the proper air circulation by not crowding the seeds when sowing.
2. If growing microgreens from your kitchen countertop ensure there is ventilation.
3. The use of a fan will help to reduce mold because of the circulating air. Placing a fan near your greens and allowing the breeze to blow for half an hour several times throughout the day will help to fight mold.
4. High humidity can also influence the growth of mold but installing a dehumidifier will help in adjusting the humidity level discouraging mold growth.
5. Before installing your seeds in containers the containers should be sterilized with bleach and water to prevent the influence of disease.
When should we Harvest Microgreens?
You have followed the steps now you’re anticipating a harvest, the time to harvest your microgreens is determined by the kinds of seeds that were chosen but as a rule, you can harvest your microgreens about two to three weeks after planting. The sign that harvest time is ready is to look for the first set of “true leaves”.
With a scissor that is both sharp and clean remove the top growth of your greens just above the soil line. Your microgreens can now be used for your favorite dishes including salads. However, before using wash thoroughly, Greens which are not used place in a plastic baggie ensuring that there is no trapped air, and store them in your refrigerator.
What do Microgreens help to Combat?
Below are listed just a few benefits that these greens offer.
1. Including microgreens in our diets has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. These greens will stop the buildup of free radicals in our bodies which is not good for our health.
3. Microgreens will reduce the risk of cancer.
4. These superfoods are loaded with antioxidants that are a great benefit to our health.
5. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.
6. Adding microgreens to our diets may help with a good bowel movement.
7. Broccoli which can be grown and harvested as a microgreen will reduce blood sugar levels according to research.
The final word on microgreens
Growing and harvesting microgreens from your home gardens is a great way to get those nutrients that are so beneficial to our health while saving our hard-earned d0llar. The steps that are involved in growing and harvesting microgreens are so simple yet effective, growing these greens is worth the investment. Join the many homeowners that are taking advantage of growing these superfoods that will pay off in big ways. Let’s get started on growing these greens.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.