Growing Microgreens from Sowing to Harvest

Reader Contribution by Benedict Vanheems
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Photo by Pixabay/JillWellington

Microgreens are incredibly speedy, reaching harvesting size just five to 25 days after sowing. The crops most commonly grown as microgreens are leafy herbs, salads and brassicas such as radishes and turnips.

To grow microgreens indoors in winter, you need some grow lights. If you’re purchasing a new set it’s worth considering LED grow lights, which are more energy efficient than fluorescent lights. You’ll also need seed flats, seeds and a finely-sieved potting mix.

Sowing and Growing Microgreens 

Fill the trays to within half an inch of the rim with your potting mix. Tamp it all down with something flat-bottomed such as a block of wood. Broadcast your seeds across the potting mix surface, aiming for an even spread and avoiding clumps.

Broadcast sow your seeds, crisscrossing back and forth across the surface of the potting mix. Try to avoid any clumps. Gently tamp the seeds down so they are in good contact with the potting mix. Use a mister or spray bottle to water your seeds.

Move the trays to somewhere warm and stack the trays two or three deep, then place an empty tray on top and weigh it down. Applying gentle pressure like this helps produce thicker stems and stronger growth.  As soon as your seeds germinate, transfer the seed flats to under your grow lights.

Keep your grow lights on for between 12 and 16 hours per day. Check the potting mix daily, and mist with fresh water if dry.

Harvesting Microgreens 

Harvest your microgreens when they’re around one to three inches tall, and have produced their first adult leaves. Snip them off close to the bottom of the stem using scissors.

Microgreens are most nutritious when eaten immediately, but they can be kept in plastic bags in the salad compartment of your refrigerator for up to five days. Serve them in salads or use them as a gourmet garnish.

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