How to Grow Microgreens Indoors - The Perfect Winter Crop
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How to Grow and harvest Microgreens Indoors

how to grow microgreens indoors

How to grow microgreens indoors?

You may have noticed microgreens finding their way onto dinner tables and restaurant menus more often these days.  The good news is they’re not just reserved for commercial growers and expensive restaurants. Microgreens are the perfect thing to grow during winter because microgreens can be grown indoors quickly and easily.

Related: Cool Season Crops: Their Difference From Warm Season Plants

What are Microgreens?

People sometimes confuse microgreens with sprouts, but they’re very different. Sprouts are germinated seeds that grow in water, whereas microgreens are an immature version of greens that grow in soil. Microgreens are harvested at the stage in which the cotyledon has formed and 1-2 layers of true leaves have grown. There are many varieties of greens you can grow – sunflower, beet, arugula, basil, broccoli, sorrel, pea, and many, many more. The taste of each green is similar to its mature counterpart and each offers different health benefits and nutrition. Microgreens generally have higher concentrations of healthful vitamins and carotenoids than their mature counterparts.

How to Grow Microgreens Indoors

Microgreens are easy to grow and are packed with flavor and nutrition. I’ve grown microgreens outdoors as well as indoors and have found they can withstand the rain and wind to some degree, but do even better indoors.

  1. Add 1-3 inches of potting soil or seed starting mix to a shallow container with drainage. This is a great opportunity to reuse or upcycle take-out  containers, old pie tins, etc. I use seed-starting trays or shallow wine boxes with holes drilled in the bottom to grow mine.
  2. Spread seeds generously across the soil. Although you can grow microgreens from many vegetable seeds (and just cutting them in their earlier stage before becoming seedlings), there are now a great variety of specific microgreen seeds. Check your favorite seed catalogs for a good variety.TIP: Follow the instructions on your seed packet as some recommend soaking the seeds prior to planting.
  3. Add a thin layer of soil across the top, over the seeds.
  4. Water using a mister to water the greens – it’s easy to do and keeps you from soaking them too much. Keep the soil moist, but don’t drown the plants.
  5. Place the container near a window that gets full sun or place under a grow light for about 6-8 hours/day. I prefer grow lights because of the level of control it provides, but they should do well getting full daylight from a window. Keep an eye out for signs they’re not getting enough light (e.g., “leggy” plants) and relocate them to other areas that get more light, or if using grow lights, move them slightly closer to the plants.
Related: Growing Vegetables Indoors: Tips and Tricks

Harvesting Microgreens

Microgreens will grow about 1-3 inches and be ready to harvest within about 3-4 weeks from planting. Keep a steady growth of greens by starting different kinds in different trays once/week. To harvest, you can either pull the entire plant from the soil and rinse the dirt off or simply take out the scissors and cut what you need. When you cut them, take the stems and the leaves. Microgreens are tasty additions to salads, sandwiches or pasta dishes. Give them a try!

Now that you know how to grow microgreens indoors, give it a try soon!


Featured image from @smagront

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