Growing Microgreens Indoors

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Growing Microgreens Indoors

Ever wonder what that fancy little green garnish that comes atop your dish at a nice restaurant was? There’s a good chance it was a microgreen. Microgreens are any greens, lettuces, herbs that are harvested young, when their first true leaves appear. They are invading high-end markets and restaurants as a creative garnish and ingredient, but these tiny delicate greens are not cheap. In fact, they can cost anywhere from $3-5 per ounce. Think of how TINY an ounce is. Luckily, microgreens can be grown (indoors or outdoors) cost-effectively in your own home. Here, we’ll focus on the indoor methods of planting and harvesting microgreens.

How to Start: First, figure out what you’d like to plant. Some delicious, easy microgreens to start off with include kale, endive, arugula, cabbage, basil, and even mustard. Purchase pre-packaged seeds for ease and convenience. If you’re a beginner, focus on one type of seed in a single-container. Then, pick your location. Ideally, a windowsill that gets direct sunlight is the best place to set up. If you don’t have this option, you can use a grow light. You should use any plastic container. Pre-packaged salad boxes or any other plastic containers you have lying around the house work just make sure you poke drainage holes in the bottom. If you’re concerned about improper use of containers, purchase a soil container designed specifically for indoor microgreen gardening. Fill the bottom of the container with 1-2 inches of quality potting mix. Smooth the soil down with your hand or a piece of cardboard to create a flat, even surface. Scatter the seeds over the soil and once again flatten with hand or cardboard. Sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the seeds. Gently water the seeds with a mister or drip tray. Place the container on your windowsill or under the grow light and wait for your seeds to germinate! This usually takes about 3-7 days. Consistently moisten the soil from this point.

Harvesting Micro Greens: Once your microgreens have developed their first set of true leaves (about 10-14 days after planting), it’s time to harvest. Grab a pair of scissors and snip right above the soil line. Because these plants are harvested so young, they won’t generate new growth or additional harvests. But, they’re so easy to plant, so keep on planting and testing out different greens! To enjoy your microgreens, simply wash and pat dry with paper towels. You’ll be amazed at the delicious flavor or accent they add to any salad, soup, or main dish. So if you’re hosting a fancy dinner party or simply want to add some pizzazz to what seems like monotonous meals, try planting some microgreens. Best of all, they store the same as other store-bought vegetables. Simply put in a plastic bag in your refrigerator and enjoy for future use.

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