Would you like to grow your own microgreens but never seem to get around to it because it just feels like it will be too much work? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s really easy, doesn’t take much time, and at the end of it you get your very own home-grown baby greens, bursting with flavour and nutrition – what more could you ask for?
What are microgreens?
I’m glad you asked 🙂 Microgreens are young green leafy plants that have not yet grown to maturity. They are one step up from sprouts. If you can sprout it, then you can grow it into a microgreen. Unlike sprouts however, microgreens need soil and light in order to grow.
Microgreens are an ideal addition to any self-respecting raw foodie’s diet, as the young tender leaves are perfect for eating raw (in fact, cooking is not recommended as they are so delicate) and they won’t contain the anti-nutrients that more mature plants can develop over time. Not only that, research has shown that they contain 4 – 40 times more nutrients than mature plants.
AND they’re so tasty!
How to get started
To begin, you will need a box or tray of some kind. Any size will do, depending on how much you want to grow, and how much space you have. Just use anything that you can put compost in. I usually use these kind of trays, but you could adapt any old crate that you happen to have lying around.
It’s best to use one tray with small holes for drainage, then place it inside another tray without holes to catch the water, especially if you’re planning to grow your microgreens indoors.
Line the tray with a couple of inches of compost, water it lightly (it should be damp, but not too wet), sprinkle the seeds on top, then cover with another thin layer of compost. You don’t need to space the seeds out like you would when growing mature plants; you can scatter them quite thickly. You’re aiming for the seeds quite close together, without them getting too crowded and actually touching.
You can cover the trays with a lid in the first few days, as this helps retain moisture and speed up the germination process. Water them as often as necessary, not too much. After a couple of weeks your microgreens should be ready.
Where should I grow them?
Find a warm bright place such as a sunny windowsill. It also helps to have a good source of ventilation, to avoid mould.
What kind of microgreens should I grow?
Some of my favourite microgreens include:
Snow pea greens
Good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid
Another rawfood classic – have a read of this informative website for a list of benefits
Radish and broccoli
I love these because they’re so hardy and grow so easily – not to mention their super-duper nutrition. They’re a pretty strong and spicy taste.
Adds a tasty curry flavour to your salad
And not forgetting – the mighty wheatgrass! This is a fantastic microgreen to grow so you can enjoy all the benefits of fresh wheatgrass juice.
There are plenty more types of seeds you can try, so have a play about and see what suits your taste buds.
Should I soak the seeds beforehand?
If you’re familiar with sprouting, you might be wondering whether you should soak the seeds in water first. This is optional really; I’ve grown microgreens successfully from soaked and unsoaked seeds. One nice advantage to soaking them first is that you can enrich the soak water with minerals and enhance the nutrition of your plants. A simple way to do this is to add a tiny pinch of sea salt and let it dissolve in the water.
Having problems growing your microgreens?
Check out this website, it lists some great solutions for issues such as mould and slow germination.
Good luck with your microgreens! I hope this article was helpful for you 🙂
Lisa Murphy is a counsellor, hypnotherapist and raw foods advocate who specialises in weight-loss and healthy living. For more details of Lisa's therapies and weight-loss courses please visit www.CherryTherapies.com