Are you living in a tiny house or an apartment and want to grow your own food?
Microgreens makes urban farming easy in those teeny tiny spaces. Have you ever noticed how a sprinkling of colourful and vibrant greens on a dish in a cafe turns something quite ordinary into something gourmet? Microgreens are likely to have been the garnish as they are known for their visual appeal, taste and texture. They may be micro in size but they are HUGE on nutrients! Not to be mistaken for "sprouts" which are just-germinated seeds grown hydroponically (just in water) and harvested when a few days old.
A microgreen is any green herb or vegetable at the growth stage just after it has sprouted from seed, one to five days old, but before the 'baby green' stage of eight to 21 days.
After five to 10 days' growth, a microgreen has fully developed roots and typically two leaves (cotyledon leaves), and first 'true' leaves might just be starting to emerge.
The closer you can get to the sprouting, the more nutrient-dense the greens are by weight. Depending on the variety, and the specific nutrient in question, a microgreen can be anywhere from five to 100 times more nutrient-dense by weight than its adult version.
You often hear of "baby greens" and these are plants with their first true leaves fully developed.
Personally, I only use organic or non-gmo, non chemically treated seeds for this purpose and Greenharvest or The Seed Collection are two of my favourite purveyors of seeds. You will be ingesting these young plants and likely some seed husks as well. Arugula, buckwheat, cilantro, fenugreek, peas, and radishes are all popular seeds.
Well you don't need a yard a deck or a balcony to grow Microgreens. They are the favourite of indoor growers with space challenges who want to grow their own food! Looking attractive and delicious they can be grown in any container with good drainage. A bright (but not direct sun as they are delicate) window ledge is all you need!
What Type Of Containers Can I Use To Grow My Microgreens?
Any shallow dish can be used. I would recommend using small containers with drainage if you are just starting out on your greening adventure. I recommend our range of Root Pouch Succulent grow bags as they are the perfect size and depth, provide excellent drainage and can be washed, dried and put away after use!
Root Pouch Succulent range containers are the minimalist's dream container! Made of recycled PET water bottles they can be used to grow many shallow rooted vegetables such as Lettuces, succulents and of course the full range of microgreens! They are space-saving when growing areas are tight. After use, just wash in the washing machine, air-dry and store away until next time! Learn more about the Root Pouch Succulent Range
Once the seedlings have grown their first set of leaves, you can harvest by gently grasping the plants you want with one hand and trimming the stems just above the soil line. If growing in a soilless medium, you can pull the plants out by their roots and give them a good rinse.
Autumn has arrived and thoughts on the Balcony are turning to planning the Autumn Winter garden. Many would-be gardeners don't realise that living in a certain place actually determines the type of garden you will have and the plants that you will grow. Focussing on what plants grow best where you live wil help you create a healthy and productive container garden.
A common myth is that plants will grow larger if potted in a larger pot, like a buying a pair of school shoes at the start of the school year for a child. This seems logical, but actually most houseplants prefer a snugger fit. Here is a guide to selecting the Root pouch bag size for your plant.