How to Grow Your Own Microgreens: A DIY Guide

Growing microgreens

There's nothing quite as satisfying as growing something yourself from seed. Studies show that since the pandemic's start, more people are turning to gardening as a stress-relieving hobby than ever before!

However, there is one challenge that comes with gardening; patience. It can take a long time to come to fruition when starting from seeds. That's why many hobbyists and professional farmers are turning to microgreens.

Let's talk about microgreens and how to use a grow your own microgreens kit today!

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens is an umbrella term for young vegetable greens that are typically only 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) tall. They are often used for added color and nutritional value for everyday dishes like salads, sandwiches, and even for gourmet meals in high-end restaurants.

Using these plants before they fully mature can offer a different nutritional profile, texture, and appearance than their adult counterparts, which is one reason why they are so popular.

Benefits of Microgreens

While there are too many types of microgreens to discuss their exact nutritional profiles, all microgreens come packed with plenty of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. In addition, most contain iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and calcium, which are difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities with plant foods.

Microgreens are highly sought-after in the culinary world for their versatility in hundreds of dishes. They are excellent garnishes for salads, soups, sandwiches, and so much more. Due to the high demand from restaurants, some growers choose to sell them for as much as $80 per pound.

Also, the most significant benefit of microgreens for growing yourself is how quick the returns are. In many cases, you can go from seed to salad in under two weeks and in the comfort of your home!

Harvesting microgreens

How to Grow Your Own Microgreens

Now that you see why microgreens are so popular, you probably want to grow some yourself. Fortunately, microgreens are arguably the easiest plants to grow relative to the nutrition they offer. So, once you have your microgreens grow kit, here's how to get started!

1. Find a Safe Space

One of the best things about growing microgreens is how forgiving they are. You don't need to raise them to maturity, which means that they are nearly effortless to get right, as long as you have a suitable space for them. Typically, direct sunlight is best.

For small-scale operations, a windowsill with access to direct sunlight in the morning and afternoon is best. However, if you have an outdoor space with unobstructed sunlight, then this is even better! Otherwise, you may need to purchase a grow light separately. From there, lay down your growing mat in your growing location.

2. Soak Your Seeds

Soak your seeds for 6 to 8 hours, or however long is recommended on the package. We recommend using purified water if possible. After soaking them, spread your seeds out on your growing mat and soak the mat with water.

3. Cover Your Seeds

Cover your seeds with a clear cover such as plastic or glass. From there, place your grow mat near a window or in your growing location until the seeds begin to sprout. Once sprouted, you can remove the lid.

4. Water Daily

Your sprouts are in their most delicate stage, as they can quickly dry up in direct sunlight. Therefore, water them daily with a spray bottle and monitor them for dryness, especially in hot weather conditions. Once you begin to see bright leaves blooming, continue watering daily until your greens have reached your desired length and they are ready to harvest!

5. Harvest Your Microgreens

Once they have grown to your desired length, grab a harvesting knife and sharpen it as much as you can. The duller the blade, the longer this process will take, and the more you risk damaging your crops.

With one hand, push the greens gently to one side to expose their stems. With your other hand, carefully cut through your stems as close to the mat as possible for the longest cuts, or further away to reduce the stem weight. Hold the tops of the leaves gently with your hand and move them into a plastic bag or bucket after cutting the stems.

6. Wash Your Microgreens

You have successfully cultivated and harvested your own microgreens! Now, it's time to wash them for safe consumption.

Place your harvested microgreens into a large enough tub and fill it with enough cold water. You want the water level to be high enough to allow you to push your greens down to easily remove any floating seeds or stems from the top of the water.

From there, place them in a large enough salad spinner to dry them off and place them on a drying rack. After that, they should be ready for consumption!

Micro-greens close up

Enjoy Some Fresh Greens Today

Now that you know how to use a grow your own microgreens kit, put these steps to good use and start your own microgreens garden or farm today! They can be highly profitable, delicious, and nutritious, so this is a great potential side hustle, business venture, or hobby to take on!

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