Microgreens are not sprouts or simply young vegetables but grown from plant seeds such as beets, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, mustards, or radishes, then harvested when less than two inches tall.
How to Grow Microgreens
Microgreens can be planted outside in mild climates all year. In colder regions, these seeds can grow outdoors, except during winter. Soil should be well amended with organic matter. Raised beds are a good idea to use when planting, especially in climates where soil slowly warms. Plant seeds in full sun with soil that is kept moist and well draining, fertilize lightly.
Indoors, microgreen plants should be placed in bright light. The container size should be wider than deep and filled with a loose planting medium such as vermiculite or perilite
In both situations, sow seeds approximately 1/8 inch deep and keep soil moist. For sequential harvesting, sow seeds every seven days.
Soon after sprouting, from 6 – 10 days old, plants can be harvested with a small cutter. Grab small clusters of the crop and cut just above the soil line. Some seed instructions suggest harvesting before the true leaves develop; follow specific seed packet instructions for each type of microgreen crop.
Cooking with Microgreens
Nutrient packed microgreens can be used in a variety ways when cooking. This plant can be mixed with salad greens, put on a sandwich, roasted with other vegetables or cooked in meat dishes.
Each type of microgreen plant has a different flavor and appearance. For example, broccoli has a spicy hot taste. Amarynth has a mild flavor with a red color that stands out in salads. Greek cress has curly leaves with a peppery taste.
Storing microgreens is easy, simply enclose in sealed plastic bags and place in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Microgreens have been popular for several years with upscale restaurants. But gardeners can provide this leafy vegetable by growing it in home gardens. It is an easy to grow vegetable, no matter where the garden is located.
A native of Wisconsin, Chris now makes her home in zone 5 of central Ohio. She is a member of Garden Writers Association and Perennial Plant Association. More of Chris' garden musings may be seen at http://flowergardens.suite101.com and visit her profile on the Mulch.