By Petra Page-Mann of Fruition Seeds
Microgreens save us each winter, making it easier to get through the darkest months with luscious greens. Often harvested ten days after they’re sown, microgreens may be the closest thing to immediate gratification in our gardens.
So here are six keys to growing microgreens with ease:
#1: The Right Seeds
Anything delicious that sprouts quickly is a great choice for microgreens. Here are a few of our favorites:
– Broccoli, arugula & kale often sprout within 24 hours & are harvested 10 days later, not to mention they are so delicious as well as versatile 🙂
– More colors = more nutrients so revel in rainbow-colored radishes as well as vivid red amaranth!
– Quick-growing microgreen herbs like basil, dill, and cilantro are not as quick as broccoli & other brassicaceous (isn’t that a lovely word?!) microgreens, though they are the most delicious & add so much life to our soups & curries all winter long.
– For the most massive & succulent microgreens, sow sunflower and buckwheat.
#2: The Right Tools
Growing microgreens is delightfully simple! In addition to seeds, you just need shallow trays to grow them in, potting mix to fill the trays, and perhaps counter-intuitively, light.
You’ll find all these tools as well as step-by-step instructions on our website, www.fruitionseeds.com, including our free How to Grow Your Own Microgreens Micro-Course!
#3: Sow Just So
How to sow microgreens? In a word, densely!
First, I love to make the top of the moist potting mix as flat as I can without compacting the soil, so they all can emerge uniformly with ease. I do this by pressing another tray gently atop the soil, making an even seedbed without compressing the potting mix.
Next, I sprinkle seeds, leaving the approximate width of the seed between seeds. For tiny seeds, like brassicas, there is very little space between seeds; for larger seeds, like sunflowers, there is more space, though it’s all relative. If some are closer than others, I leave them. Gardening is not an exercise in perfection for me & neither are microgreens! Feel free to manage and micromanage (pun intended!) as brings you joy, learning and sharing as you go 🙂
#5: Bottom-Watering is Best
Watering your microgreens, especially before germination, can easily displace your soil and seeds, so we do everything we can to avoid watering in the first place. The quick-growing nature of microgreens makes this easier than you might think! After sowing, bottom-watering rather than overhead watering is the key. Hop on our website, www.fruitionseeds.com, for a tutorial of bottom-watering that just might change your life 🙂
#6: Harvest & Enjoy!
How to harvest your microgreens? With scissors! We have a friend who grows thousands of trays each season and they use electric beard trimmers (!) but most sincerely, find yourself a sharp pair of scissors and you’re good to go. Holding the top leaves of your microgreens, simply snip the base of their stems, as close to the soil as you can with ease. From there, toss the microgreens directly on a salad, sandwich or anything else you’re about to enjoy!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
Petra Page-Mann, Finger Lakes native and lifelong gardener, believes each seed — and each of us — are in the world to transform the world. She co-founded Fruition Seeds in 2012 to grow and share the seeds as well as inspiration we need to surround ourselves with abundance in short seasons. Download her planting calendar or join the online Seed Starting Academy for free at www.fruitionseeds.com.