The trendy microgreen is gaining popularity due to its high nutrient content.
If you want to know how to grow microgreens in your kitchen then don’t be afraid – you won’t need gardening skills.
If you want the quickest description on what a microgreen is then think of cress – the only real staple microgreen we have in the shops in the UK. Microgreens are a fantastic way to grow fresh, organic greens in your home during winter. If you don’t have a garden then this is an exciting way to get growing in your home. They are easier to control than garden produce (harder to forget as they are next to your tea bags) and less susceptible to pests. Their nutrient density is impressive and they are fun to grow, especially for little green fingers (more likely to get them to try them if they grew them too!)
What is a microgreen?
Similar to sprouts when they start out, microgreens are kept growing for up to a month. Instead of eating the whole sprout you harvest the top 2 inches of growth. These tiny little plants are still growing with all their strength so their nutrient density is greater than fully grown plants.
‘Among the 25 microgreens tested, red cabbage, coriander, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K, and vitamin E, respectively. In general, microgreens contained considerably higher levels of vitamins and carotenoids—about five times greater—than their mature plant counterparts, an indication that microgreens may be worth the trouble of delivering them fresh during their short lives’ (1)
How to grow microgreens.
There are a few techniques for growing microgreens, we prefer the soil free method as it is less mess and just as effective. If you like the idea of having a proper little garden you can use soil.
- Get a seed growing tray with drainage and a base tray so you can water your greens from below . You can also re-use empty fruit punnets – just make sure you add some extra holes in the base for absorption and drainage.
- Line the seed tray with kitchen roll (about 4 sheets deep) and saturate it with water.
- Apply an even layer of your favourite seeds, don’t worry if they clump together in places, they will manage their space – survival of the fittest!
- Water the tray from below once a day and watch your little seeds grow quickly into sprouts and then greens.
- Wait until they are 2 inches long and then trim them with scissors to add a nutritious garnish to salads and soups.
We put together this make-shift microgreen tray out of a glass oven dish, an old raspberry punnet, kitchen roll and some lovely organic brocolli seeds.
Within a week they were about an inch long and can be grown for up to a month and still considered a microgreen!
What can you use to grow microgreens?
You can use almost anything that sprouts to make microgreens.
A few of the most popular are: