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Connecticut Garden Journal: Microgreens

Jan 26, 2017

Unless you have a greenhouse or hoop house, you're probably buying greens this time of year. It's good to support local growers, but you can grow nutritious greens right in your windowsill without an elaborate light system. 

Try growing microgreens.

Microgreens are young plants harvested once their true leaves form. Unlike sprouts, these plants are grown in a soil-like medium, making them less likely to get diseased.

These nutrient dense gourmet favorites are easy to grow. Plus, researchers have found microgreens contain up to 40 times higher levels of nutrients than their mature counterparts.

To set up your microgreen indoor garden, start with a specially-blended microgreen mix or a single crop such as sunflowers.

Some fast-growing microgreens are ready to eat in two weeks, including kale, Asian greens, and radishes. Slower growers ready in three weeks include arugula, beets, carrots, and basil.

You can purchase a microgreen growing system or use a leftover clear, plastic salad container with drainage holes.

Line the bottom of the container with a two-inch deep layer of moistened seed starting mix. Sow your microgreens on top of the soil layer, gently pressing the seeds into the soil.

Cover the seeds with a thin soil layer, and mist. Cover with a clear plastic top, and place in a sunny window with four hours of direct sun a day. Mist the soil daily.

The seeds should germinate within a week.

Remove the top once they germinate, and keep the soil moist.

Once the true, or second set of leaves form, harvest the microgreens by snipping them at the soil line with scissors.

Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about fruit tree pruning. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.