Micro-greens are a new type of organic greens that have been the rage in restaurants and fine dining for a while. These are a new rage, because of their high concentrations of nutrients and vitamins. They make amazing salad mixes and beautiful garnishes for your favourite dishes. Growing micro-greens is easy, inexpensive and it only takes a few days from start to finish.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the first two leaves of any edible plant. After you sow a cabbage seed, in a few days you will see it sprout and give two leaves. That is a cabbage microgreen.
Why are Microgreens healthy?
We often hear microgreens have more nutrients and vitamins, let us understand why.
Seeds are filled with a nutrient pack for the plant. As we all know, leaves are the kitchen of a plant, but until they show up, how is the plant surviving?
The nutrients packed in the seed help the plant to produce its first few leaves.
Micro-greens are plants harvested after the first two leaves grow. So all the nutrition of the seeds is packed in those teeny tiny microgreens. Some microgreens have proven to be more nutritious than their mature counterparts.
Are Micro-greens different from regular vegetable plants?
Not really. The seeds are exactly the same, only the planting method is different. Micro-greens are planted very densely, in a shallow container.
Shallow containers because we harvest them at an early stage so the roots are not very deep.
Dense because they are tiny and hence do not require a lot of space to grow.
Why and how to grow them yourself?
Let us start with why?
Micro-greens available in the market are very expensive, mostly because the commercial setup cost is high.
If you grow them at home, it's easy, quick, fresh and sustainable.
Greens are best when consumed fresh as their nutritional value decreases with every passing minute after harvest. It's a step closer to growing your own food.
You can start with seeds in your kitchen cabinet: like Mustard, Methi, Rajma, etc. We request you to reuse as many things as possible to grow your microgreens. Please DO NOT buy new containers or special containers for these.
You can simply reuse the plastic food containers(ice cream tubs, food delivery containers, etc.) at home and make holes at the bottom (or not).
Fill your container with a soil mix (Cocopeat + soil + compost) about 1.5 inches deep and spread the seeds like stars in the sky.
Remember that this is different than regular planting.
First two days, until the seeds sprout we do not need any sunlight. You can keep the container covered and in a shaded place.
Why no sunlight?
Sunlight is required for making food, by the leaves.
Until the leaves grow, the seed needs warmth to sprout, which they get as you are keeping the container covered.
When the seeds are kept in dark, they stretch out more for the sunlight, which makes them slender and long. Once they are exposed to sunlight, photosynthesis starts and they become much healthier and thicker.
And if this seems to be a trouble, then you can get our all-in-one DIY Microgreen Seeds Kit, to start off immediately.
Common Problems with Microgreens
- Leggy: This is due to lack of sunlight. Once exposed to the sun, if the sunlight is not direct or sufficient, they continue to stretch out for sun and become leggy
- Watering: Soil should be moist, neither too wet nor too dry or the greens rot/die. A convenient method is to just check the soil by putting one finger in, if the soil is wet, let it be, else you can water lightly.
- Regrow: Usually, most microgreens do not regrow from the same seeds, some do for example the pea variety. But often people mistake the later grown greens for regrown microgreens. Since they are so densely planted, some of the seeds grow after the first harvest, when they receive ample sunlight.
Micro-greens are easy to grow and nutrient-dense thanks to their tiny size.
Why grow something that doesn't give your body what it needs?
If you want to grow your own micro-greens, Green & Brown’s ‘Grow Your Own Greens’ Kit gets you started without a fuss! Click here to buy the kit & get growing!
This Blog has been co-created by Brown Living with Green & Brown. Watch our Instagram Live from the beautiful biodiverse garden created by Varshita & Vedant from Green & Brown here: