How to Get Micro Greens Growing
Micro greens are a great way to start growing your own produce. They’re super simple to grow and don’t require a lot of space. The best part is that you can get fresh microgreens in the fridge for a couple of days after harvesting.
DIY Microgreens Tray
To start growing your own microgreens, you’ll need a shallow tray with drainage holes and potting soil or coconut coir. Soil is ideal as it provides nutrients to the microgreen seeds and helps them to germinate. However, if you don’t have access to soil, a potting compost or coir would also work fine.
Once you have the tray prepared, scatter your microgreens seeds over the surface of the soil. It’s important to spread them evenly and ensure they have good contact with the soil as this will help to increase your germination rate. You can hand sprinkle them, or use a small spray bottle to moisten the surface of the soil.
Light and moisture
Once the seedlings have sprouted, they need to be kept in the right amount of light. You can use a grow lamp for this, or put them in front of a sunny windowsill (not direct sun as this can burn the delicate seedlings). Keep an eye on your microgreens to ensure they are getting enough light and watering if required.
The best way to force the roots into the soil is to stack several trays on top of each other, with an empty tray on the bottom of the pile. This is especially effective for larger seeds like sunflowers that develop fuzz on their hulls. This makes the soil more compact, promotes even germination and growth and helps to prevent rot in the soil.
If you do not wish to stack, simply cover each tray with clear or black-out plastic or a lid or dome and check at least once a day for water.
When the seeds have started to sprout, remove the plastic and place them in your grow lights for about 9-10 days. Make sure the lights are on for 12-16 hours a day, but do not let them become overly hot or they can damage the delicate microgreens.
After the microgreens have reached the desired size, they will be ready to harvest. Depending on the type of microgreen, this will vary between 7-14 days.
To cut your microgreens, you will need sharp scissors or kitchen shears to snip them off at the base of their stems. You don’t need to pull them out of the soil as this will disturb their roots and stop them from thriving.
Microgreens are a fantastic addition to salads, atop pizza or as an afternoon snack. They are also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also provide a great source of protein and fibre. Add them to your diet for a boost of energy and to give you that extra punch of flavour.
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