Let’s face it, based upon what we’ve seen and heard, many plant parents have experienced frustration with their plant babies, which is not fun. One of our goals here at Stand with Nature is to help plant parents with the fun factor.
This is why we suggest you give growing micro-greens a shot. They’re easy, quick, tasty, nutritious, fun, inexpensive and are a great value. Meaning they’re not only great for kids, but for those among us whom may not have quite the green thumbs as we might hope to have. With micro-greens, you can bring out your inner plant parent. You can let your plant flag fly.
On top of all that, you can save a lot of money. We’re all about value here at stand with nature, so believe it or not, we’re going to show you how to grow premium micro-green crops, while spending minimum money. We don’t know about you, but we get excited about saving money. So, we suggest you pull up a chair, stay awhile, and have fun.
WHAT ARE MICRO-GREENS?
Micro-greens are fully developed seed sprouts, plus a leaf or two, they are bigger than sprouts, but smaller than baby greens.
The kicker, of course, is they are flavorful and contain up to 40 times the nutrients of the plant’s mature leaves. Which is why they’re perfect for kids and nutritious minded people.
WHAT MICRO-GREEN VARIETIES SHOULD I START WITH?
We want you to be successful right away. This Is why we suggest you start with one of the following seeds:
WHAT GEAR WILL I NEED TO GROW MY MICRO-GREENS?
Of course, most important thing you’ll need are the seeds. Please see above for the micro-green seeds we recommend.
We suggest you start low cost; you will need a seedling tray or a nursery tray. You can use an egg tray, or a plastic sushi container. A tupper-ware type container or recycle any round shape plastic container. You’ll feel much better reusing these plastic containers than putting them in your recycling bin or you can use nursery trays with draw age holes, with terms that fit underneath.
You need something to keep the moisture in your seeding tray. You can go low-tech and use paper tissues. Or you can use the top of the egg carton or fit another plastic top to your container.
We recommend a spray bottle for watering. But this isn’t mandatory.
Planting soil or a soil seed starting mix
We recommend a fan, because thick micro-greens can start to have fungal growth. If you don’t have a fan, we suggest trying less seeds per square inch.
If you don’t have a sunny south facing window, we recommend you consider using a grow light, which you can find (with a stand) fairly inexpensively on amazon, the internet, or other indoor garden locations.
Step by Step Instructions for Growing Tasty Micro-greens Indoors
There is no one size fits all for growing any plants. This is because of the different micro-climates presented by each location and/or homes. This is true with any plants, including micro-greens. Because of this, we suggest you experiment as to what works for you. The good thing about micro-greens is they grow very fast.
In a matter of weeks, you should be able to figure out what works best for you. In the meantime, here are some of our suggestions:
- Location, location, location
Just like with real estate, the location where you place your micro-greens trays is very important. You’re either going to need a lot of sunshine – a south facing window or a grow light. Try to avoid putting your trays next to a heater or a drafty window.
- Prepping the soil
We suggest you moisten your soil in either a plastic bag, tub, or bowl. Mix the soil evenly distribute the water. When you squeeze a handful, it shows its shape, without excess water dripping out. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.
- Placing the soil in the tray
Lightly compact about an inch of soil in your trays. You don’t need much soil because you’re growing micro-greens, not full plants.
- Sowing your micro-green seeds (Planting)
Put between 8 to 12 seeds per square inch. If you use a fan and a grow camp, you can usually put more seeds per square inch. Use your fingers to lightly press the seeds into the soil.
lightly water the seeds with a mister or spray bottle. Or use little water and spread the water with your fingers.
- Cover the tray
Cover your tray with your “germination dome “or a damp paper towel. Mist it (or lightly water it) daily, so it stays moist during germination.
As soon as the seeds germinate (start to grow), remove the germination dome/paper towel and place your plants under full sunlight or grow light for 15-16 hours a day.
You should keep the soil moist but not soaked. Overwatering will usually result in mold (fungus).
Using a fan set on low will promote air flow and will help you to avoid mold.
Harvest your micro-greens when the first one or two “true leaves” appear these are the leaves that resemble the mature leaf. This is usually when the plant is
1-2 inches tall. However, if your plants are not getting enough light, they will become “leggy”. Meaning, they will grow long stems due to trying to reach sunlight/light. Use scissors to harvest plants.
- Crop succession
Every one to two weeks you may want to plant successive crops in order to assure continually harvesting micro-greens. This will also help you experiment and will help to keep your kids involved.
Why Micro-greens are Perfect for Kids and New Plant Parents
Micro-greens are perfect for kids and newbie plant parents because they are so easy. They are also relatively quick from sowing (planting) to harvesting/eating.
Kids often have a short attention span. With micro-greens, we’re usually working at weeks from planting to harvesting as opposed to months or more for plants. In addition, if things don’t go as well as planned, it’s easy to get a “do-over.”
If your plants don’t go as well as you hope, we suggest using a grow light, fan and/or different soil.