by Ben Bretz, Master Gardener
What are Microgreens? Microgreens are the young sprouts of any edible plant that haven’t reached a point that it bears any flower or fruit. In other words they’re only about 2-3” tall. They’re also SO tender and tasty.
Why Microgreens?? Microgreens can be grown from any seed that you like that will sprout. It's that simple. They grow QÚCKLY! If you plant seeds, you will have Microgreens in 2-3 weeks. As long as you have a window, you can grow them.
This leads us into “How do I do that???” You will need some good potting soil, small containers to accommodate the potting soil, and seeds you want to sprout. The containers you get at the grocery with berries in them, or a rotisserie chicken, or even lettuce and grapes will work. You need good soil, drainage, and some seeds.
Place your potting soil in the container of your choice. Make sure it is good and wet, but not so soggy it is just dripping out of the container. Put the containers in a tray of some sort to help contain some of the moisture. You want to keep your freshly planted seeds moist, but not wet. I like to start with either radish, lettuce or sunflower seeds. You can use lentils, lettuce, and greens such as kale, spinach, collards or really anything that will sprout and taste good. Remember not to eat the leaves or stems of tomato or pepper plants. Scatter the seeds across the top of the damp soil and press them down a little. The general rule is to bury them as deep as they are big. You don’t need to leave a ton of space between the seeds. A quarter inch for bigger seeds, and an eighth for smaller ones. When the sprouts reach 2-3” in height, you can cut them and use them in salads or other dishes, or just eat them as they are. Most Microgreens will not regrow after you have harvested. Since the harvest is before the plant has had time to grow a set of productive leaves, you will need to plant again after you harvest.
We like to plant seeds about a week apart, at the most two weeks. This way we have fresh Microgreens all the time. Once you get started, if you plant every week to two weeks, you will have an almost continuous supply of greens! Yumm!