Microgreens: Tiny Edible Houseplants

Microgreens are edible houseplants that are germinated to the first leaf stage and harvested.

They are tiny forms of young greens and flowers produced from vegetables and herbs.

They are smaller than baby greens, ranging in size from one to one and a half inches long, including the stem.

The Benefits of Microgreens

Flavorful.  These tiny leaves are full of intense flavor. The basic varieties are Arugula, Basil, Beets, Kale, Cilantro and a mixture called Rainbow Mix. Some other flavorful greens are broccoli, radishes, chives, and pea shoots which taste like fresh garden peas. You can serve them on salads, sandwiches, blend them in green smoothies, or use as garnishes for meats.

Easy to Grow. They are a great choice for indoor gardening when you lack the space and time for outdoor gardening. They are easy to grow indoors year-round and can be grown anywhere you have some indirect sunlight. You can supplement with artificial light; however, plants that are grown in sunlight and good ventilation have more color and flavor.

Wholesome and Nutritious. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzyme, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene. These nutrients are vitally important for skin, eyes, and fighting cancer.

The seeds are planted and grown in potting soil or a soil substitute such as peat moss, or other fibrous materials. There are kits available with a great combo of hydroponic and soil based seeds. You don’t need  much soil when growing these small scale plants. You can do so in just about an inch of soil. Most varieties take from 1 to 2 weeks and some may take from 4 to 6 weeks to develop.

How to Grow Microgreens

Step 1: Fill a small tray without holes in the bottom with 1 inch of slightly moist soil.

Step 2: Evenly sprinkle seeds on top of soil. This is necessary to prevent seeds from growing in clumps.

Step 3:  Cover seeds with a thin layer of soil and lightly tamp it down.

Step 4:  Mist gently with water to moisturize the seeds and cover with plastic cover.

Step 5:  Place tray in a warm location, but not direct sun, and spray soil every other day to keep seeds moist. Remove cover when seeds germination and sprout.

Step 6:  Move to a sunny location and water with regular watering can, being careful not to over water.

Step 7:  Harvest when one or two sets of leaves form.  Use sharp scissors  to  cut plants about 1/2 inch just above the soil line.

Wash the greens and dry them on a towel.  Use immediately for best flavor and texture, or store them in a resealable bag in the refrigerator.