Microgreens Why and How

Microgreens
What are microgreens? Micro greens are greens that have been harvested early, usually less than 21 days. 
What are Microgreens Benefits? Micro greens are full of flavor and have nutrient levels much higher than that of the larger plant. Research has shown that Microgreens have up to 40% more vital nutrients than full grown greens. They taste great and they are good for you!
Types of Microgreens
Types of Microgreens
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Lettuce (all types)
  • Chia
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Dill
  • Flax
  • Kale (all kinds)
  • Mustard
  • Sunflower
  • Turnip
  • and many more...

Just about any vegetable harvested after 2 to 3 weeks will work. 

Happy Frog Potting Soil

Growing Microgreens

Micro greens, very nutritious, easy to grow, and can be grown on a small budget. Most micro greens take 1-3 weeks until harvest. Micro greens can be grown in a very small area, this equates to a high yield to space harvest. Micro greens are great for the urban gardener. It takes very little cost, time, and effort to grow micro greens. Basically all you have to do is keep them watered. 

Growing Mediums
Soil: Soil works great for growing microgreens. Happy Frog Soil from Fox Farm is a great choice. Happy Frog contains mycorrhizae and humic acid, beneficial bacteria for your greens. Happy frog can be used over several harvests so it is economical as well providing essential nutrients to the roots.
Coco Coir: Coco Coir is another medium that works very well for micro greens. Coco is harvested from the inner shells from the coco nut. Unlike soil, coco coir has no nutrients so you will need to add some organic nutrients to coco. Here are a few of the benefits of coco coir:
  • High water holding capacity
  • Acceptable pH & EC
  • Excellent wettability, superior to peat
  • Ability to retain nutrients against leaching and to buffer supply
  • Unique water holding capacity
  • Good drainage / aeration
  • Less shrinkage
  • Retains physical properties longer
  • Light weight
  • No pests, weeds, or diseases
  • Odorless and pleasant to handle
  • Natural and renewable resource
  • Uniform in composition
  • 100% Organic
  • Promotes strong root growth and plant vigor.
  • Absorbs water readily and re-wets easily, thus reducing the need for wetting agents.
  • Reduces watering frequency without plant stress, thereby reducing labor costs and minimizing plant loss
  • Increases shelf life of plants
  • Slow breakdown of material means product will not shrink during your growing cycle
  • High water holding capacity while still maintaining excellent drainage and aeration

Planting the Seeds 

Spread about 3/4 of an inch of soil in the bottom of a tray and put down a uniform layer of seeds. The more seeds you use the bigger your harvest will be. Cover the seeds with approximately 1/4 inch of soil. Use a sprayer to mist water on the soil or just cover with a plastic humidity dome

While waiting for the greens to sprout (usually 5-7 days) mist once or twice a day to keep the soil moist but not wet. If you are using a humidity dome this may not be necessary. 

Once the seeds have sprouted you can remove the dome or cover and continue to keep the soil moist by misting. 

T5 Florescent Fixture

Microgreens will need around 4 to 5 hours of sunlight per day. Maybe a little more in winter. If you don't have a great place to get sun, then artificial light is a great option. Flourescent lighting will provide the microgreens with all the light they will ever need and they are very affordable. 

Harvesting 

After 2 to 3 weeks you should be ready to harvest. Just look for the first real leaves to come out and that is your signal they are ready to harvest. Get your scissors out and clip the stems near the soil and then clean in a salad spinner and enjoy! 

Microgreens Recipes Microgreens, Macro Flavor! 

Micro greens are so versatile. Just think of anything you could put a vegetable in or on and you can do it with microgreens. Burgers, Pizza, Salad, Tacos, Fajitas, and the list goes on and on. Here is a link to some really great microgreens recipes. Enjoy!

 

      

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