How to Grow and Enjoy Microgreens Year-Round

Microgreens
are among the easiest type of vegetable to grow indoors. If you’re new to
indoor gardening and want to branch out beyond the basic handful of
houseplants, try these tiny and tasty greens. While they are simple to grow
just for your own use, the increasing popularity of these tender leaves in
grocery stores and restaurants means that commercial growers are also getting
into the microgreen game. Here’s what you need to know and the supplies to have
on hand to start your indoor microgreen patch.

What are
Microgreens?

These
tasty greens are simply the young, early growth of vegetables. All kinds of
lettuce, leafy greens (like collards and kale), and even vegetables like beets
and broccoli can be produced as microgreens. The idea is to let the seeds
sprout in soil, and when you have young, tender but true leaves, harvest and
enjoy them. This occurs when the sprouts are about two inches (5 cm.) tall. When
the leaves get a little bigger and more mature, they are harvested as baby
greens.

Enjoying
Microgreens

Microgreens
are increasingly popular because they offer a special flavor and unique texture
that you can’t get from full-grown greens, or even baby greens. They are tiny,
tender, and can be more intense in flavor than the greens on the mature plant.
Microgreens add an attractive garnish as well as a unique taste to a lot of
dishes, especially salads.

Veggies to Grow as
Microgreens

Lettuces
make great baby greens, but they are not so successful as micros. They are
simply too tender and delicate and will quickly wilt and become unusable.
Better are hardier greens and green vegetables. Try these to get your indoor
gardening started:

  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard greens
  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Fennel
  • Herbs

These
are just a few ideas, but there are many others you can try. Also look for
different varieties of these types of veggies and greens to get a range of
colors, textures, and flavors in your microgreen garden.

Indoor Gardening
with Microgreens

Few
things are easier to grow than microgreens. All you need is a shallow growing
tray, soil, water, and a warm spot. A basic organic potting mix is fine for
soil, although you can also use a soilless medium. A shallow plastic tray with
some drainage holes works well for the container.

Press
seeds gently into the soil or medium and keep it moist with a misting spray
bottle. Cover the tray until the seeds germinate. Once they have sprouted,
uncover the tray and put the seedlings in a spot with light. Throughout the
process, the soil should be at least 60 degrees F. (15 C.). Once you have true
leaves on your sprouts, you can harvest them by simply cutting the stems at
soil level.

Microgreens Starter Kit from True Leaf Market

Microgreens Kits
and Supplies

An
easy way to get started growing microgreens is to purchase a kit, like the mini
microgreen kits
offered online at True Leaf Market. The kits come
with seeds, growing medium, a container with cover, and a mister.

This
is also a good resource
for supplies
for your ongoing microgreen gardening and even for
commercial growers. You’ll find seeds for every kind and variety of microgreen
vegetable you can think of, as well as seed mixes, larger growing trays, soil
and non-soil media, and hydroponic supplies.

Indoor
gardening with microgreens is so easy that even beginners can do it. Best of
all, this can be done all year long. Give it a try, but make sure you have all
the right supplies and seeds first.