Microgreens are easy to grow, care for, and eat! Microgreens’ popularity started in high-end chef cooking for fancy dining but has since grown into a commonplace flavor component in homes across the globe.
In addition, several different microgreens can be quickly grown and harvested. Typically between a couple of days and a few weeks. Growing microgreens adds joy to your gardening and cooking experiences.
What are Microgreens?
A microgreen is a young seedling of edible herbs and vegetables used to add texture and flavor to meals, garnish for visual enhancement, and as a nutrition supplement. Unlike waiting for sprouts to fully mature, you harvest microgreens when they grow to two-to-three inches tall.
Are Sprouts and Microgreens the Same?
No. Unlike sprouts, microgreens require soil for growth. In contrast, sprouts can be grown in a water bowl on your counter. The embryonic stage of seeds is called a sprout. Sprouts and germination are synonymous.
Sprouts must be consumed immediately after germination for their nutritional content and to avoid molding. Sprouts cultivated in soil develop a root network and leaves (cotyledons) that become microgreens if collected at this point.
What are the Benefits of Microgreens?
Microgreens are a superfood filled with nutritional value with significantly higher nutrient densities than mature plants, carrying tremendous health benefits.
For example, after a team of USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists analyzed the vital nutrients in 25 different vegetable microgreens, they determined microgreens contain at least five times higher levels of carotenoids and vitamins than mature vegetable plants.
Additionally, cilantro, red cabbage, green daikon radish, and garnet amaranth microgreens contain even greater carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K concentrations.
Types of Microgreens to Grow
There are over 80 types of delicious microgreens you can grow. Some have different requirements, such as ideal growing temperatures and germination rates, but they’re reasonably easy to grow and make a fantastic first indoor gardening project for beginners.
- Mustard Greens
- Oregano Microgreens
- Parsley Microgreens
- Purple Cabbage
- Thyme Microgreens
Are all Microgreens Edible?
Not all microgreens are edible. Due to a higher risk of producing toxic compounds that make you sick, Nightshades should not be grown as microgreens. Nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and hot peppers such as jalapeno, ghost, poblano, banana, and habanero.
How Do I Grow Microgreens?
Growing microgreens requires minimal effort, knowledge, money, or time. You need essentials for growing microgreens, including trays, soil, seeds, towels, water, and an ideal climate.
Here is an easy and quick ten-step process for delving into growing your microgreens indoor garden, from sowing the seeds to harvesting your crops.
Common Microgreens Growing Problems
Some common problems with growing microgreens include seeds not germinating, stunting, yellowing, molding, and rotting. However, do not become discouraged. These are common problems with simple solutions.
Microgreens are an excellent nutrition source packed with higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than mature plants. In addition, they add texture, flavor, and aesthetics to your food. There are over 80 different microgreens to grow as an indoor gardening project.