Microgreens – mouthfuls of fresh veggies in a matter of days!
Quick easy and super tasty, microgreens are crops that the whole family can grow and enjoy without even leaving the comfort of indoors.
Microgreens are geminated seeds, that are harvested when they are very small generally between 3 and 5cm.
A number of veggies are grown as microgreens, if left to develop the plants form normal size vegetable plants, they are not dwarf or miniature varieties
These fast growing tasty tiny tender leaves are harvested within a matter of days of the seeds germinating. The trick to successive crops is to keep sowing seed every few weeks to ensure a continuous supply. Use in salads, as garnish or cooked.
How to sow and grow
Fill a seedling tray or old punnet with Tui Seed Raising Mix or Tui Vegetable Mix, water and leave to drain for a few minutes. Ice-cream containers, tomato pottles with the closable lid or polystyrene boxes bananas come in from the supermarket are ideal too. Most containers will do as long as they have good drainage and are at least 10cm deep for the soil and the roots to grow.
Sprinkle seeds evenly on the top of the seed raising mix – don’t be tempted to sow to thickly as good ventilation is vital to a successful crop, over crowding can cause mildew and rot problems. Cover seed lightly with more seed raising mix or vegetable mix, water lightly and leave in a sunny warm position. A window sill or spot on the outdoor table is ideal.
Seedlings emerge within a matter of weeks and are ready to harvest as soon as you can cut them.
If you are clever and can cut above the first two sets of leaves its likely you will get a second crop, if you cut the shoots off at ground level the plant cant re-grow.
Choose the seed:
Seeds are available from garden centres and through online seed catalogues, come outlets list specific seed blends for microgreens. A packet of seed goes a long way, sow only what you need, then sow another batch in a few weeks.
Salad crops – Lettuce – all types, Rocket, Mizuna, Corn Salad, Celery and Beetroot are all quick to establish, the smaller the leaves the sweeter the taste.
Herbs – Basil, all types are suitable, mix with coriander, chives, chervil and dill for a gourmet blend.
Asian Greens – Mizuna, Kale, Misome, Bok Choy, Lambs Ear and Mustard are quick mini crops to grow that can be enjoyed both fresh or quickly cooked.
By Rachel Vogan