I’ll just start by saying that I have a little more, or let’s be real, a lot more patience than Lisa does. And growing is very much about being patient. Some yield from a trickier and slower growing plants will be more exciting to someone like me, whereas some quicker-to-pop-up plants (like radishes) keep Lisa’s excitement – and attention span – better. In this post, I want to give you some awesome growing ideas for beginners with little to no patience. Plus you don’t even need a garden for this!
Micro greens are seedlings of herbs, greens, and vegetables that you can harvest before they are full size adult plants. They are a fantastic source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Since you pick them at such an early stage, they actually contain more nutrients than when they are fully grown.
Step 1. Start by purchasing a variety of seeds, such as radishes, kale, Swiss chard, beets, basil, and dill. I really like to get my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. If your confidence level is low, you can even get pre-mixed micro green packets (that’s how we started). You can basically do this with any type of salad sprout as well, such a spinach, arugula etc. So feel free to get creative here. Personally, we love the sprouts from radishes and different kinds of salads. The radish seedlings have an amazing peppery, and almost nutty flavour that works really well on top of any sandwich, omelet or salad.
Step 2. Get a shallow tray, no more than 2 inches deep with some drainage holes. These are often called a seedling tray. You can find really inexpensive ones for only a few bucks. We plant our micro veggies in a large plastic, shallow container that doesn’t have a drainage hole so… really do whatever is most convenient. These little guys aren’t picky.
Step 3. Fill the tray to the top with potting mix and moisten the soil with water. The soil should be damp but not wet. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the whole tray. Press the seeds in a little (It’s ok if you can still see them! The seeds will still do their thing. You can also sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top of the seeds but it’s not necessary. Next, moisten through with a spray bottle. Place in a sunny spot.* In a few days, the seeds will start popping up! When they do, remember to keep the soil moist, but not flooded with water. Again, a spray bottle is the best tool for this as a stream of water will likely knock down your precious green babies.
Step 4. Harvest-fest! After about 10 days to 3 weeks, the seedlings have reached a height of 1.5-2 inches. Now is that sweet time when you can start enjoying your produce. You can pull the whole plants out or old them at the stem and use a pair of scissors to cut just above the dirt for less washing. Enjoy the micro greens right away!
We love these healthy, simple and fast-growing micro greens. They can be a constant supply of home grown green for us, even in the winter months when grown inside. We plant new seeds every two to three weeks to keep a steady flow of the tiny veg coming. For a more extensive list of easy things to grow inside – check out this post!
*To speed germination, cover with plastic wrap. Then remove as soon as seedlings start to sprout.