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How to Grow Awesome Microgreens Without a Garden

How To Grow Amazing Microgreens Without a Garden
Don’t have room for a garden?  Well you are in luck because you don’t have to have a plot of land to grow some of your own foods.  Some of my very favorite greens to eat are microgreens, and you can grow them in a corner of your house with very few supplies, and only a little time.  It’s perfect for you if you don’t have a yard, live in an apartment, or have mobility issues that make a traditional garden not possible.  If you buy baby greens from the store you can now grow your own!
I had attempted growing my own micogreens back when I was just barely learning how to garden and they never really sprouted. Since then I’ve learned from my mistakes and have had several awesome and delicious batches of microgreens.  I was inspired to try growing microgreens again after seeing a Facebook post by Attainable Sustainable  and that day I pulled out a empty salad container, some leftover popping corn, and a bit of potting soil and gave it a try.  It was an all out success!  They were quite delicious, and they DO have a slight taste of corn.  It’s pretty fun.

Which Plants Can I Grow As Microgreens?

Technically you could harvest any plant as a baby and call it a mircogreen, but there are some that are tastier and easier to grow as others.  Here’s a list of common garden plants to try growing as microgreens:

  • Arugula
  • Mustard
  • Beets
  • Cress
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Popcorn
  • Pea shoots
  • Sunflower shoots

How To Grow Microgreens

  1.  Get a tray or box.  Shallow trays are best, but my personal favorite are those clear plastic salad tubs with lids.  It’s a little harder to trim, and you may not get ideal airflow, but the lids are nice for keeping the seeds moist while they germinate.
  2. Spread 2 inches of potting soil in your container.   Pre-moisten your potting mix and don’t pack it down.  Keep the soil nice and fluffy when you add it in.
  3. Sprinkle your seeds over the top of the soil.  Don’t worry about spacing!  You will be harvesting so soon that a nice little carpet is what you’re going for.  You don’t need to put a second layer of soil over the seeds, although some people do.  Other people say it decreases germination rate.  This is something you may want to test personally and see what works best for you.
  4. Water lightly and cover your container.  Covering helps keep in moisture, and the darkness helps the seeds germinate.  You can use another tray, a light dishtowel, the lid to a salad box.  It’s all good.
  5. Remove cover after the seeds sprout.  After a few days your seeds should have sprouted.  Remove the cover and put them near a light source.  I don’t have good south facing windows, so mine go on top of the microwave to take advantage of the under the counter grow lights.
  6. Carefully water your baby plants.  The best option is to bottom water, which is setting your tray or box (with drainage holes!) in a sink of water and letting the plants soak it up.  If you top water, be careful not to flatten the tiny plants.
  7.  Cut your microgreens with scissors.  Most are yummiest after they develop their second set of leaves, and are about 2 inches tall.  You can let them go longer, especially the larger seeds such as popcorn and pea shoots.  Don’t leave your seeds too long or they aren’t as delicious.
  8. Keep the soil moist after harvesting.  Sometimes you can get a second crop from seeds that didn’t germinate the first time!  Always give it some time and see if you get a round two.
  9. Eat your microgreens!  You can eat them on sandwiches, in stir fry, on pizza, in green smoothies, in salads, or as a garnish.  They are best fresh, but if you must you can store them in a glass jar in the fridge for a few days.

Just Try It!

Go out and start some amazing microgreens!  Just do it, they are so easy and delicious and anyone with a bit of counter space can make it happen!

If you are curious about other edible plants you can grow indoors you may want to check out Indoor Kitchen Gardening.  It has chapters on growing microgreens indoors as well as sprouts, herbs, mushrooms, and even tomatoes and peppers!

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