Microgreens are so much more than just a trend. They have been used in many cultures for their health benefits and healing properties since ancient times. Not only do microgreens taste great, but they also provide an array of nutrients that can’t be found in any other food source. Now they are readily available at many supermarkets, but nothing beats growing plants at home, and then enjoy your bountiful harvest! So, read on to grow your own indoor garden.
What Exactly are Microgreens?
Microgreens are young plants that have been harvested at the micro stage of their growth cycle. The micro stage doesn’t refer to size, but rather refers to when they were planted in soil and not yet exposed to any light – usually within a week or less than two weeks from being transplanted into soil. At this micro stage, they still retain the green chlorophyll pigment found in mature leaves which is why many people say they taste so good! Most of them are ready for harvest after two to three weeks. However, full-grown vegetables can take up to four months before they develop roots large enough for harvesting.
You can easily grow these plants indoors if the proper light and nutrition requirements are met. They grow in soil or water with nutrients added to them to keep them growing steadily.
Why are Microgreens Healthy to Eat?
Microgreens contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals than mature vegetables. They are also lower in calories because they have not yet developed the seeds that make mature plants calorically dense.
As microgreens grow, light shines on them which causes them to produce chlorophyll (the green pigment found in leaves). This continues as the plant matures from microgreen status into a full-grown vegetable; however, microgreens don’t store any starch so by eating them you can get more of these nutrients without gaining extra calories! That’s an easy way to cut back on your caloric intake and still get all those healthy nutrients with less effort!
One thing you should know about microgreens – they have a short shelf-life! These plants don’t store any starch so, after harvesting them, they start losing chlorophyll immediately. This makes them turn brownish-yellow like other vegetables do over time, but much faster. So, make sure you eat them soon after harvesting!
What Microgreens Can I Grow in an Indoor Garden?
There is an amazing number of microgreens that people have found to grow well in indoor gardens! Here is a list of some popular microgreens and how to grow them:
Lettuce microgreens contain high levels of iron which makes them a good choice in your diet. They also have vitamin A (beta-carotene) which helps maintain healthy eyesight and skin cells while fighting against cancerous cell growths. Lettuce grows quickly and has crisp leaves with mild flavor for salads or sandwiches; Lettuce needs six hours of direct sunlight or artificial light from grow lights each day.
One of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat is Kale. Its high fiber content helps balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol naturally. Kale also contains hefty amounts of calcium for strong teeth and bones. The full-grown version has a bitter and tough texture, so the tender microgreens kale produces work well in salads or as a garnish on other dishes.
Arugula microgreens are a peppery spice that adds flavor to any dish, and arugula taste great in salads as well. It’s also high in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system while fighting against the aging of cells. These microgreens need six hours of direct sunlight or artificial light each day.
Radishes have been used for centuries due to their antibacterial properties which help fight off many bacteria-based issues. Some ailments radish microgreens are said to help with are food poisoning, gastric ulcers, intestinal gas, and more! Radishes and their microgreens also contain anti-inflammatory agents so they can be helpful if you suffer from arthritis. Radishes produce small edible roots with leaves like mustard greens when grown into mature plants. Radish is a great way to add a peppery flavor to any dish, and they’re high in vitamin C for boosted immunity.
Wheatgrass microgreens are a good source of fiber which helps keep the digestive system moving and provides energy. These microgreens contain chlorophyll, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc- all nutrients that can be lacking in people’s diets. These plants need six hours of direct light each day. It takes about two weeks for the wheatgrass microgreen seeds to germinate before they’re ready to harvest.
Collards microgreens contain a high level of oxalates, which are believed to help prevent cancerous cells from growing. Collard also has calcium and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling in the body’s tissues. Like most of these plants, you’ll want to provide them with six hours of direct light per day for collard microgreen seeds if you’re going to grow them indoors.
Peas microgreens are a unique type of microgreen because they provide as much protein as many meat products. Pea also contains high levels of vitamin C which help with the immune system and cell growth. They need six hours of direct light per day but can tolerate cooler temperatures than most plants.
You’ve probably eaten cucumbers before without realizing that in addition to being refreshingly juicy, these veggies have many health benefits! The same is true of cucumber microgreens. These microgreens contain Vitamin A and D along with folate, so you get plenty of nutrients while still enjoying the refreshing taste of cucumbers microgreens. These plants grow well indoors when provided with six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Carrot microgreens are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy eyesight and skin cells while fighting against cancerous cell growths. They’re also high in fiber content and can be used as part of any diet to maintain balanced blood sugar levels naturally. Carrot need six hours of light per day for best results, but they can grow with less light if your space isn’t ideal.
Beet microgreens have high levels of iron, potassium, and magnesium which can help maintain healthy blood pressure and heart function. Beets also contain folate along with vitamin C for boosted immunity. It seeds take about two weeks to germinate before they’re ready to harvest.
If you love cruciferous vegetables like broccoli but don’t want to wait 90 days or more for the plant to grow, broccoli microgreens are for you. Broccoli microgreens contain natural substances that work together to make it easier for food waste to pass through the body. Broccoli can grow with as little as four hours of light per day but will require six hours for optimal results.
Celery microgreens are a good choice if you’re looking to add an extra zing to your dish. They contain many vitamins that promote healthy skin cells and combat harmful bacteria. Celery need six hours of direct sunlight each day for best results, but these plants are easy to care for indoors when given this much sun exposure.
Cabbage microgreens are low in calories and high in Vitamin A. They also contain folate which is important for maintaining healthy cells. Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C as well and will help you stay energized while also supporting your immune system. They’re easy to grow, needing just six hours of sunlight per day for best growth results.
Kohlrabi contain a high level of vitamin C and are an excellent source of dietary fiber. These microgreens also provide potassium which is important for regulating blood pressure levels naturally. You’ll want to give these plants six hours of direct sunlight per day for best results, but they can grow indoors with as little light as four hours each day.
Grow an Indoor Microgreens Garden – The Wrap-up
The microgreens listed in this article are just a few of the many microgreen varieties you can grow indoors. If you’ve never tried microgreens before, they’re an excellent way to add nutrients and flavor to your diet! It’s easy to grow these plants when provided plenty of sunlight. But if you don’t have access to as much natural light artificial grow lights work great too. Again, be sure not to overwater plants because microgreens will rot easily when kept too wet. Happy growing!
FAQs for Indoor Microgreens Garden
The most common microgreens to grow at home are amaranth, beet, broccoli, carrot, cilantro/coriander, dill, fennel, kale, and pea shoots. Other popular varieties include arugula sprouts and Japanese mustard green.
Grow times vary depending on how many plants you have growing at once, how often you water them and how much light they’re getting. A typical batch should be ready in just a few days. Microgreens that are grown for longer periods take two to three times as long.
No, most microgreens are very easy to grow. The only difficult part is deciding how many microgreens to grow because each plant will give such a small harvest. Most microgreens are harvested when they’re in the seedling stage. They like a moist but not soggy environment. Additionally, most microgreen seeds are tiny, so plant them in very shallow rows – only about 1/16 inch deep.
People grow microgreens at home for several reasons. First, it’s a fun, easy way to exercise your green thumb. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to grow your own food and save money by avoiding supermarket produce. It’s good for the environment to grow at home too. Most grocery store produce has been shipped hundreds or thousands of miles. Lastly, microgreens are super healthy, and by growing them at home, you know they’re organic.
In short, no. Regular potting soil will not work – it’s too heavy and drains poorly, which is a major problem as you don’t want the roots sitting in water. Use a soilless mix instead like Pro-Mix, Sunshine Mix #4, or similar quality organic seed starter mixes sold at garden centers. A standard mixture contains perlite or vermiculite (lightweight volcanic material that holds plenty of oxygen for plant roots), composted forest product (carbon-rich material to add nutrition), and peat moss.