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How to grow microgreens | a step by step guide

Is growing microgreens on your list of winter projects? Do you have a sunny windowsill that’s just ready for a seedling tray or a few small pots? Perfect!

Hannah Reid, aka @gingergrows1 on Instagram is back with another wonderful ‘how to’ video — this time all about growing microgreens.

Hannah takes us through the process, step by step, of planting, growing and harvesting microgreens. She even shares her favourite way to enjoy microgreens at the end of the video, and we couldn’t agree more with her choice, it’s so perfectly autumnal.

Ready to get growing? Watch the video below for an easy-going guide to growing microgreens! Quick note, in the video, Hannah sows radish seeds (variety: red rioja). To learn more about the step by step process of growing microgreens, read on below once you’ve finished watching the video.

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are young seedlings of greens and herbs that are harvested when they are quite young plants — usually when they are 1 to 3 inches tall.

Do I need special seeds to grow microgreens?

Technically, no. You can grow microgreens indoors from any salad green or herb seed. That being said, many seed sellers also sell seed varieties and mixes they define as microgreen seeds specific. Some of the more popular seeds to grow as microgreens are:

  • radish (considered by many growers to be the fastest growing microgreen)
  • mustard
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • peas
  • lettuce (any variety)
  • beet greens

…and the list goes on.

Why grow microgreens?

Great question. Three reasons come to mind:

  1. Microgreens are very easy to grow and harvest. Plus, you can grow them in just a minimal amount of space (like a windowsill).
  2. Microgreens are chock full of nutrients, often more so than full grown plants. They can be expensive to buy at the grocery store, so why not consider growing your own?
  3. Microgreens have great flavour and add fresh goodness to whatever you add them to (soups, sandwiches, salads, or as a side dish all on their own!)

You may have your own reasons to grow microgreens, and we’d love to hear about it in the comments for the video on our YouTube channel!

How to grow microgreens

Step one: Gather your tools

To grow microgreens, you’ll need the following:

  • a seed tray or a few small pots (you’ll need pots that are at least two inches deep)
  • seeds of your choice (Hannah is sowing radish rioja in the video)
  • potting soil or seed starting mix — whichever is your preferred growing medium
  • vermiculite (optional)
  • a label (to keep track of what you’re growing, especially if you decide to grow more than one green at once)

Step two: Prepare your seed tray

Fill your growing tray (or pots) with a good quality soil — potting mix or seed starting mix will do nicely. Leave enough room in the tray or pots to sprinkle a shallow covering of soil or vermiculite after sowing seeds. Mist or gently water the soil to evenly moisten it.

Step three: Sow seeds and cover

Scatter seeds generously atop the soil you’ve placed. No need to be careful as you sow your seeds — just cover the soil evenly with the seed of your choice. Gently tamp the seeds into the soil, pressing with a finger or use the base of a container or pot to press the seeds evenly.

Cover with a thin layer (about 1/8 inch) of vermiculite (as Hannah has done in the video) or with a light coating of soil. Place a label so you can keep track of what you’re growing!

Step four: Water soil and place container in windowsill

Mist with a spray bottle, or carefully water to moisten the soil. Place your container into a windowsill that gets at least four hours of sunlight. In the northern hemisphere, a south-facing window is ideal, and a west-facing window is second best.

If you don’t have a window that gets a lot of sunlight and you still want to grow microgreens, you could consider investing in a grow light. Here’s a great guide from the University of Vermont to buying grow lights that provides a lot of good information.

Step five: When to harvest microgreens

You’ll know it’s time to harvest your microgreens when they develop their first set of true leaves (check the video at 5:38 for a good image of microgreens that are ready to harvest). Hannah reports that her radish greens were ready for harvesting 10 days after sowing them.

Harvest using a sharp pair of scissors, cutting at the best of the greens near the soil level. If you want to grow more microgreens, you use the same soil — just leave the roots (great organic matter) from the previous harvest, scatter news seeds atop the old soil, and cover with a fresh layer of new soil or vermiculite.

And that’s it! If you’ve grown microgreens, or if you decided to grow some after watching the video, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments for the video.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? We post new videos every week, and we’d love to have you join us!

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