About Microgreens

I like growing sprouts but I like growing microgreens even more. They are less prone to spoilage. After the initial planting, they are less work. Not that sprouts are that much work. And they are beautiful. Did I mention that they are highly nutritious?

Facts about Microgreens:

  • Are young vegetable and herb seedlings that are usually about 1-4 inches long.
  • Are also called soil sprouts.
  • Are grown on top of soil.
  • Are in-between sprouts and baby greens.
  • Grow easily in on the kitchen counter.
  • Absorb nutrients from the light and soil.
  • Grow quickly; most microgreens are harvested less than 14 days after germination.
  • Boast higher levels of nutrients than mature plants.

How do Microgreens and Sprouts Compare?

  • Sprouts are harvested in 3-7 days. Microgreens are harvested in 7-10 days.
  • Sprouts are grown hydroponically—without soil. Microgreens are usually grown in soil.
  • Sprouts are the seed leaves (cotyledon). Microgreens form true leaves.
  • Sprouts are eaten entirely—seed, root, stem, and leaves. Microgreens are cut off above the soil and only the stem and leaves are eaten.

How to Grow Microgreens 

I’ve adapted this from Peter Burke’s book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less than 10 Days.

  • I highly recommend this book if you want to
  • Choose a 2 cup container that is 2 inches deep. I chose a round clear glass Pyrex storage dish that is 4½ inches across.
  • Soak 2 teaspoons sprouting seeds in water for 6-10 hours. Use 1 tablespoon for large seeds like peas or sunflowers.
  • Place 4 cups organic seedling mix in a bowl, bucket, or resealable gallon bag. Add 1 cup water. Stir to mix well.
  • Fill the container with a scant 2 cups moistened seedling mix. Pat it down so it’s about 1/2 inch below the top of the container.
  • Rinse and drain the seeds in a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Gently press the seeds into the seedling mix.

microgreen seeds

  • Get a full sheet of newspaper wet.
  • Fold the newspaper to fit a little bigger than the top of the container and place on the top. Tuck the newspaper in around the sides to form a bowl shape.
  • Place in a warm, dark place for 3-4 days. Check every day after 2 days. If the paper is dry, wet it again.

microgreens with newspaper on the top

 

  • When the sprouts have pushed the paper up about an inch, usually around day 4 or 5, remove the newspaper and transfer to the kitchen counter, but not in direct sunlight. (The length of time will vary depending on the temperature.)

  • Water once a day with 2-4 tablespoons water. Don’t overwater. The soil should be moist but not soggy.

microgreens

  • You’ll be amazed at how quickly they green up and grow!
  • Let grow until the microgreens start to develop their first true leaves, another 3 to 4 days. Radishes are harvested at the cotyledon (first leaf) stage.

microgreens

 

  • To harvest: cut the desired amount of microgreens with kitchen scissors about ¼-inch above the soil. Rinse gently before serving.

cut microgreens

  • Let the rest of the microgreens grow until the next meal or harvest and refrigerate cut microgreens in a covered container for 3 to 5 days. Discard them if they smell musty or become slimy.

Tips for Growing Microgreens

  • Use more seeds for a larger container, less for a smaller container.
  • Choose organic seeds intended for spouting.
  • Plant one crop per container or use recommended seed blends.
  • Keep any extra moistened seedling mix in a covered container.
  • If desired, pinch out some seedlings at the cotyledon stage for the first harvest and let the rest grown true leaves.
  • Some seeds, such as radish and broccoli, develop white fuzz on their stems, which looks like mold. These root hairs usually mean the microgreens need more water.
  • Microgreens can be grown indoors or outdoors.
  • Add a few drops of food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide in the soaking water to sanitize the seed and reduce issues with mold.
  • Refrigerate seeds to preserve viability and vigor.
  • Compost the soil and roots and start over.

Ways to Eat Microgreens

  • Add to a salad
  • Make a salad out of several varieties of microgreens
  • Serve on top of avocado toast
  • Garnish soup and other dishes
  • Add to smoothies or juices
  • Top pizza
  • Use instead of or in addition to lettuce on a sandwich
  • Add to a stir-fry at the end of cooking

Where to Get Seeds 

microgreens
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How to Grow Microgreens

It' easy to grow nutrient-dense microgreens. This method is adapted from Peter Burke's book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening.
Prep Time10 mins
Growing Time7 d
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Heather Reseck

Equipment

  • fine mesh strainer
  • 2-cup glass storage bowl
  • newspaper

Instructions

  • Choose a container for growing the microgreens in. It should be 2 inches deep and hold about 2 cups. I chose a round clear glass Pyrex storage dish that is 4½ inches across.
  • Soak 2 teaspoons sprouting seeds in water for 6-10 hours. Use 1 tablespoon for large seeds like peas or sunflowers.
  • Place 4 cups organic seedling mix in a bowl, bucket, or resealable gallon bag. Add 1 cup water. Stir to mix well. Keep in a covered container.
  • Fill the container with a scant 2 cups moistened seedling mix. Pat it down so it's about 1/2 inch below the top of the container.
  • Rinse and drain the seeds in a fine mesh strainer.
  • Scrape the seeds with a spoon onto the seedling mix and spread out in a single layer. They will be close together, but don't overlap.
  • Gently press the seeds into the seedling mix.
  • Wet a full sheet of newspaper.
  • Fold the newspaper to fit a little bigger than the top of the container and place on the top. Tuck the newspaper in around the sides to form a bowl shape and press down on the seeds.
  • Place in a warm, dark place for 3-4 days. Check every day after 2 days. If the paper is dry, wet it with 2-3 tablespoons water.
  • When the sprouts have pushed the paper up about an inch, usually around day 5, remove the newspaper and transfer to the kitchen counter, but not in direct sunlight. (The length of time will vary depending on the temperature.)
  • Water once a day with 2-4 tablespoons water. Don’t overwater. The soil should be moist but not soggy.
  • Let grow until the microgreens start to develop their first true leaves, another 3 to 4 days. Radishes are harvested at the cotyledon (first leaf) stage.
  • To harvest: cut the desired amount of microgreens with kitchen scissors about ¼-inch above the soil. Rinse gently. Let the rest of the microgreens grow until the next meal or harvest and refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate cut microgreens in a covered container for 3 to 5 days. Discard them if they smell musty or become slimy.

Notes

Tips for Growing Microgreens:

  • Use more seeds for a larger container, less for a smaller container.
  • Choose organic seeds intended for spouting.
  • Plant one crop per container or use recommended seed blends.
  • Keep any extra moistened seedling mix in a covered container.
  • If desired, pinch out some seedlings at the cotyledon stage for the first harvest and let the rest grown true leaves.
  • Some seeds, such as radish and broccoli, develop white fuzz on their stems, which looks like mold. These root hairs usually mean the microgreens need more water.
  •  Microgreens can be grown indoors or outdoors.
  • Add a few drops of food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide in the soaking water to sanitize the seed and reduce issues with mold.
  • Refrigerate seeds to preserve viability and vigor.
  • After harvesting the microgreens, compost the soil and roots and start over.