HOW TO GROW SPROUTS AND MICROGREENS
Sprouts and Microgreens can be grown at home, and it is guaranteed no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, and it is also a fun to see those plants growing.
Sprouts are germinated seeds and can be produced in a container, the container should have high moisture and humidity levels. The seeds are not actually planted but they are soaked in water and rinsed twice to three times a day. The seeds used to germinate can be Mung Beans, Red Beans, Kale, Cabbage, Cress, Radish, Alfalfa, Celery, Pumpkin, Bok Choy seeds, and other vegetable and herbs seeds.
The seeds, stems, underdeveloped leaves (of which color is pale) or leaf buds, and roots can be consumed after 3-5 days more depends on the variety of the seeds.
Microgreens or Micro Greens are grown by planting the vegetable, herbs seeds or other seeds in a shallow box or container and thinly covered with soil, and they will produce tiny form of young edible greens after a few days or a week, and then they are harvested by cutting the stem just above the soil line. It usually consists of two pairs of leaves – one pair of very small leaves and one pair of fully developed cotyledon leaves at about 1-11/2” in height. This means that they need some sunlight during their growth, and their leaves are greener than the sprouts, and are harvested before they develop into larger plants.
How to grow sprouts
- Prepare a clean wide-mouth glass jar or stainless steel container, and a piece of unbleached plain cloth or non woven cloth which is big enough to cover the top of the jar.
- Put the seeds into the jar, just enough to cover 70% of the bottom of the jar to allow some room for the seeds to sprout, and rinse them with water twice, then cover the jar with the cloth and drain the water.
- Keep the jar covered with the cloth and place it in the room where the temperature is about 75-80 oF.
- Do the rinsing at least twice a day, but if the seeds are in crowded condition on the second day, do the rinsing three times a day.
- Always check if there are dead seeds or spoilage among the seeds, immediately take them out and discard them to prevent it from being rotten that will allow bacteria or fungi to grow.
- Slightly shake the jar after rinsing so that the seeds will not stick to the bottom of the jar and evenly get the water and humid. If there are seeds which stick together, use a toothpick or fork to separate them.
- The sprouted seeds are ready for consumption after 48 ~ 96 hours.
How to grow Microgreens indoor
- First you have to get a box or container of about 2-21/2” deep and as large in diameter as you want with some (organic) soil in it;
- Scatter the seeds so that they are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart and cover thinly with soil (about 1/8 inch) . There are a large variety of seeds available, you can either start with a pre-packaged seed mix, or look for specific Microgreen mixes (see the list of seeds below);
- Place the box or container in a spot where it can get at least four hours of sunlight;
- Water them twice a day, morning and evening;
- When they are sprouting, keep them away from any worms, insects or any harmful pests;
- When they are about 1-11/2” in height, and have at least a set of true leaves, it is harvest time. When harvesting, snip them just above the soil line, and leave the roots behind, those roots can be used as organic fertilizer for the next seeds planting.
Commonly grown varieties of microgreens :
Mesclun or Baby Greens, Lettuce, Basil, Endive, Spinach, Tatsoi, Amaranth, Arugula, Beets, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Chervil, Cilantro, Cress, Fennel, Kale, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, and Sorrel, sunflowers, Mung Beans, Romano beans, Coriander.