Among the easiest and fastest-growing crops, microgreens offer a palette of fresh flavors, from mild to spicy, and inspire repeated plantings for an ongoing supply of fresh greens for creative uses. Here's how to grow microgreens indoors, as seen in Country Gardens magazine.
These teeny microgreens seedlings are grown for harvest at a tender stage and are perfect for a windowsill garden. They are ready for harvesting by snipping the stems after only two to three weeks of growing. If left to grow, microgreens become young seedlings and then full-fledged plants.
Unlike sprouts (germinated seeds eaten roots and all), to grow microgreens indoors you will need potting mix and bright light. They may have intense flavors similar to the full-grown plant or taste more subtle.
To grow microgreens indoors, you will need:
To get started growing micorgreens indoors, remoisten the soilless seed-starting mix, a sterile medium that is formulated to promote seed development. Sprinkle warm water onto the mix and blend until it is thoroughly damp.
Fill each container with premoistened seed-starting mix -- no need to pack it into place. Set the container on a watertight drip tray or saucer.
To grow microgreens indoors, sprinkle seeds evenly over the surface of the seed-starting mix, sowing them more thickly than you ordinarily would. Leave 1/4 inch of space between the seeds; even microgreens need room to grow.
Cover the seeds with vermiculite. This mineral-base material absorbs water and releases it slowly, keeping seeds damp but not too wet, helping you to successfully grow microgreens indoors. Follow instructions for planting depth provided on the seed packet. Some seeds should be barely covered; others need thicker covering to germinate (sprout and grow) well. Label plantings.
Water the sown seeds with a gentle shower, soaking the vermiculite without washing away the seeds. Until the seeds germinate and green shoots sprout from them, water lightly as needed to keep the seed-starting mix damp. If the mix is too wet, seeds cannot root and fail to grow.
To encourage the best growth of microgreens indoors, cover the containers with a lightweight sheet of plastic or a doomed lid to maintain humidity and promote germination. Set the drip tray on a heat mat designed for seed starting or on a heating pad.
When the seeds germinate, remove the lid and the heat source. Set the containers on a sunny windowsill to help your microgreens growing indoors. Keep the planting medium damp, and promote healthy growth by watering from the bottom. Pour water into the tray and allow it to be absorbed into the soilless mix.
To harvest the microgreens after growing them indoors, hold a section with one hand and use the other to snip with scissors.