Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Want to grow your own microgreens at home? Here are 12 procedures that are sure to help.
What are microgreens, exactly? Many people think they are sprouts, but it's a different product. Others think they are baby lettuce, but that's because they haven't tried microgreens. So what are microgreens and what makes them distinctive from sprouts and baby lettuce? Microgreens are tiny seedling plants of many varieties of vegetables, herbs, lettuces, greens, and flowers, grown 7-21 days from start. These tiny young plants have flavors that range from very mild to totally intense, and people are often surprised by heavenly flavor that they can add to any dish. Specific varieties that can be grown as microgreens are large, and include mustard varieties like ruby streaks, mizuna and tatsoi, herbs like parsley and fennel, vegetables like radish, carrot and celery, even flowers like nasturtiums and marigolds.
Microgreens are grown on a pad made from 100% sustainable plant fibers to hold the seeds in place and keep them from rolling around before they sprout. If you lay the pad in the 10x20 tray dry, they would not lay flat, and the seeds would go rolling off the high spots and end up crowding up the low spots. The pads would also have a hard time becoming evenly moist to begin with. Before placing the pads in the tray PRE-SOAK THEM in a bucket of vegan boost water. This helps them lay flat in trays, which makes planting a lot easier and helps give the seeds a germination boost. Plan to put the pads in a couple hours before you plant.
Planting and Growing Procedures
1. Pre-soak microgreens pad in vegan boost water
2. Weigh out the correct amount of seeds to be planted
3. Place seeds into a season shaker
4. Place the wet pads into the tray
5. Smooth out the pad until completely flat
6. Evenly shake the seeds in each tray, one tray at a time, using a gentle shaking motion
7. Spray each tray, one at a time, spray generously.
8. Spray humidity dome and place dome on the trays
9. Place the trays in a dark area for a couple of days
10. Day 3 take off the humidity dome and place the tray under a grow light
11. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness.
12. Grab scissors and cut the microgreens just above the pad line
Microgreens are quite versatile, and can be used in a numbers of ways. Put them on tacos, pizza, soups, in salads, on sandwiches, anywhere you'd put baby greens or lettuce or cook them in stir fry. Use them as an amazing garnish or ingredient on any dish. They can also be eaten as a salad and added to sushi and wraps.
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