Are you familiar with growing sprouts? Did you know that it has a close cousin called- microgreens?
This robust superfood is grown or purchased for its nutritional benefits, used for garnishing food; hence, presenting it visually appealing, and it perfectly blends with the flavor making the cuisine stand out with enhanced delicacy. Microgreens for farmers act as their hack tool as it costs less while fetching them high profits comfortably!
This article will serve as your Indoor grower’s guide, walkthrough, and present the cheats for growing your microgreen garden!
Commonly known as “Vegetable confetti”
Microgreens are typically confused as sprouts. They include quite a lot of immature greens and fall between sprouts and baby greens. Microgreens are the first true leaves formed a bit later after the cotyledons(serves to supply plants with nutrients and are responsible for their initial growth) emerge from the soil as a plant germinates. Seedling of vegetables and herbs yield microgreens. Microgreens are typically ready for harvest after 9-14 days, and by then, the plants are about 2 inches tall.
Enthusiasts have DIY microgreen set up at their homes. It can be grown anywhere(be it indoors, or at your balcony) and at all conditions(even in the absence of proper active sunlight, for it can be produced even under grow lights) and maintained without much effort as well as time. Are you finding it hard because of a lack of time and place for your garden? Worry not! As a micro garden setting might just be your tailor-made garden.
Growing microgreens from scratch.
We shall be surfacing how your nutritious and delicious “fit to eat” microgreens can be grown at home!
The initial step involves making sure that you have undertaken the steps ready for instigating its growth. Arrange a pot or a seed tray, 3-5 inches tall, with drain holes at the bottom. The holes allow excess water to seep out of the seed tray(else accumulation of water will cause the soil to retain its wetness, affecting the plant).
Fill the seed tray with the prepared soil, and level the soil surface to remove air gaps. Moisturize the soil after flattening its surface.
Pro-tip #1: “Cover holes that appear to be big with small stones for proper effective drainage.”
Scatter the seeds evenly on the soil. Leveraging seeds to the soil will ensure proper seed to soil contact, which allows them to absorb moisture, facilitating the seeds in its growth process.
Pro-tip #2: “Separate overlapping seeds as they need good contact to germinate.”
Pro-tip #3: “For growing microgreens to their full size, adequate spacing should be given, depending on their type- slow-growing/fast-growing microgreen. The soil requirements are changed accordingly, as well.”
Microgreens need 3-4 hours of direct or partial sunlight every day. You can raise the microgreens on a sunny balcony, or rooftop garden, or even indoors by a sunny window or under grow lights.
While watering, one must ensure that it doesn’t dislodge and redistribute the seeds.
Pro-tip #4: “Keep the seeds moist and not wet. Once they have sprouted, experts recommend spraying once or twice a day.”
Use scissors to trim the greens just above the soil surface. This stage is the harvest stage.
Caution: Leggy pale green plants r signs of not enough sunlight.
Benefits of microgreens!
- Microgreens come with nutrients, and most of the varieties carry potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc.
2. They provide several health benefits, such as:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Boosts immune system.
- Eyesight enhancer!
- Reduces constipation and also helps to avoid chronic constipation and digestive illness as well.
- Reduces cholesterol.
- Fights and lowers the risk of cancer.
3. It contains rich sources of plant compounds like antioxidants(polyphenols). There is a possibility that polyphenols reassure a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidant-containing microgreens are also necessary for diabetic patients.
4. Microgreens also provide vitamins and minerals.
5. Microgreens can be grown almost everywhere, at any time of the year without much effort!
6. Microgreens act as a lifeline for small farmers and urban growers as it is one of the most profitable crops that one can grow at ease!