Gardening TipsWhat you Need to Know When You Don't Have a Green Thumb
A good way to keep your green thumb busy and to enjoy growing and eating your own food, even over the winter months is by growing micro-greens. Micro-greens are similar to sprouts but are grown in soil. They are micro sized greens eaten as young seedlings, when the plants first pair of leaves open. Fresh, crunchy and full of nutrients micro-greens can be added to salads, sandwiches, smoothies etc.
Micro-greens are easy to grow and do not require a lot of space or time. They are ready to eat in 2-3 weeks depending on type and variety. They can be grown indoors on a window ledge and over the summer months they can also be grown outdoors. They do not have a lot of growing requirements. When growing them indoors, you will need a shallow container (5cm) with drainage holes, filled with a few centimetres of moistened, indoor potting soil. Evenly sprinkle smaller seeds on the soil surface and larger seeds such as sunflower and beets should be inserted into the soil. Seeds should be spread densely. After the seeds are sown cover them with a thin layer of growing medium. Water from above with a mister or soak from below, using warm water, allowing excess water to drain away. A plastic dome can be placed on top of the container to keep soil moist. Place the container in a warm window sill or in an other area where it will receive lots of light. Light is important in growing good micro-greens. As soon as the seeds begin to sprout, remove the plastic dome.
.A plastic dome can be placed on top of the container to keep soil moist. Place the container in a warm window sill or in an other area where it will receive lots of light. Light is important in growing good micro-greens. As soon as the seeds begin to sprout, remove the plastic dome. The greens are ready to harvest when the plants are 3-5 cm tall or after the first pair of leaves open. They can be harvested by either clipping the young plants with scissors at soil level or by pulling up the entire seedling, and rinsing them off with water to remove soil from the roots. Under normal growing conditions micro-greens are harvestable for the next 3-4 days before they go into the next stage of growth. If you are growing them outdoors a few seedlings can be left to continue to grow into baby greens or you can use them as transplants. After all the micro-greens have been harvested he growing medium can be re-used for a second sowing. By sowing seeds every 5-7 days you will be able to continuously enjoy micro greens throughout the year.
There are different micro-green seeds now available at the garden centre, to suit everyones taste. From nutty flavoured Amaranth, protein packed Arugula, Beets which can be used as baby spinach, Chard, Kale, Pac Choi, Sunflower or try the ‘Micro-green blend’ which is a combination of different vegetables.
Anyone can grow micro-greens, as space is not an issue. Its a great way to be able to eat home-grown fresh produce that is packed with nutrition. Its also a nice way to add some flair to meals and impress your family and friends when you tell them you grew it yourself!