Growing microgreens indoors is the easiest of all indoor food growing. These little sprouted seeds are veggie and herb seedlings and can be harvested within weeks. They offer a multitude of flavours from mild to spicy, with nutty and hot ones as well, and you can grow a good amount in small space. And, bonus, if you harvest them right, microgreens regrow after cutting.
This is one part of indoor vegetable gardening tips to have you growing veggies and herbs even in the smallest space in your home.
Growing Microgreen Indoors
Microgreens: How to Grow Nature's Own Superfood by Fionna Hill provides detailed information on how to grow microgreen indoors—from planting and harvesting—for 35 popular varieties, along with recipes and ideas on how to use them. There are also chapters on troubleshooting, the nutritional value of microgreens, and how to encourage children to grow and enjoy them.
Images courtesy of Firefly Books who also provided a review copy of this book.
Every time I hear a news story annoucing a product recall of sprouts, microgreens, and salad greens (the ones you buy at the supermarket), I wish an ad would pop up encouraging everyone to grow their own at home. The problem is not with the actual crops (healthy, fresh, delicious), it’s with the mass-commericalized growing methods. You can avoid any trouble by simply growing your own at home.
What’s the difference between sprouts and microgreens?
- Sprouts are basically germinated seeds. You eat the seed, root, stem, and underdeveloped leaves, usually grown in dark, moist conditions (water).
- Microgreens are planted and grown in soil (or growing medium). They are the edible seedlings of herbs and vegetables. They are larger than sprouts and smaller than baby salad greens.
Personally, I avoid sprouts because I’m not good at staying on top of their care. I prefer to grow microgreens and baby salad greens (see grow salad green indoors).
If you want a really simple gardening project to do with kids, microgreens are great because they are both very fast-growing and edible. Plus, the delicate taste and actual size of the greens seems to entice the littles.
What types of seeds can I grow as microgreens?
Here’s some options recommended in Microgreens:
- Bok Choy
- Rocket/ Arugula
How long do microgreens take to grow?
Most varieties are ready in a week or so. Some take a few weeks.
Where can I grow microgreens?
Anywhere you have room for a container! Outdoors on a balcony, patio, or terrace, or indoors on a windowsill or under grow lights.
Do microgreens regrow after cutting?
Yes, if you harvest them right, they can regrow. The proper way to do this is to trim the microgreens just above the soil (growing medium), leaving enough of the tiny stems with the roots in tact so that growth can resume.
I do the same thing with all the leafy salad greens I grow: I harvest them with clean, sharp scissors, and the base will regrow leaves, sometimes several times over.
How can I eat microgreens?
Although you could cook them, microgreens are best enjoyed raw.
Related: How to Grow Herbs Indoors
Tips for Growing Microgreens
- Read your seed packets and provide recommended sowing and growing conditions.
- Use shallow, lightweight containers with drainage.
- Sow one type of seed in each container.
- Some seeds benefit from presoaking (peas, corn, wheatgrass).
- Use organic growing medium intended for food crops. Keep soil (growing medium) moist (not dry or dripping wet).
- Microgreens can grow close together but do allow room for each seed to root.
- Keep warm and covered until sprouted/germinated.
- Once germinated, provide light, air circulation, and maintain moisture.
- Avoid harsh light or heat or they will dry out, wither and die.