There really is nothing like growing your own food at home! Winter is the perfect time to start seeds indoors as well as grow bountiful microgreens and tasty sprouts.
If you’re not familiar, microgreens and sprouts are trending everywhere. You’ll see them on cooking shows, in recipes, at restaurants and more. These powerful little greens are full of amazing nutrients and health benefits, so it’s no wonder everyone is digging in!
The best part is, you can grow these very inexpensively at home! English Gardens has everything you need to get started.
Microgreens are young, leafy vegetables or herbs that are harvested just above the soil – when the plant is about 1-2 inches tall. Most are ready to harvest in about 1-4 weeks.
They contain a high nutritional value and there are endless options for what you can grow. Some great varieties to begin with include: Baby Greens, Mellow Greens, Arugula and Cilantro.
Getting microgreens started is easy and you’ll just need a few things: a flat growing tray, dome cover, seed starting soil, your chosen seeds, a direct light sources (sunlight or a grow light), and a mister.
Step 1: Place a layer of moistened soil in the tray about 1.5-2 inches deep. Stir this around to aerate it until it is light and fluffy.
Step 2: Sow your seeds according to the packet’s variety, depth and spacing requirements.
Step 3: Place the clear plastic dome over the tray to keep humidity and moisture levels consistent.
- Be sure to keep your tray indoors on a sunny sill or under a grow light. Microgreens prefer a temperature of 65-75 degrees.
- Water the soil with the mister as needed to keep it moist.
- Once you see the sprouts beginning to emerge, you can remove the dome for further growing.
- Your greens will be ready to harvest in 1-4 weeks.
- Be sure to store them in a sealed container to add to your next delicious dish!
Sprouts are essentially young shoots from seeds, beans and grasses that are not grown in any soil. Every part of the sprout can be eaten – the seed, the root and the stem.
These are great because they are ready to enjoy within 2-10 days – we love that almost-instant gratification! Sprouts are full of antioxidants and there are so many varieties to choose from. Plus, they are super easy to grow and require minimal supplies. Some great varieties to begin with include: alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, sandwich mix and salad mix.
One growing technique is to use the Botanical Interest Seed Sprouter Tray, available at English Gardens. It includes everything you need: two stackable growing trays, dividers, a water-diffusing lid and drain base.
The instruction booklet is very helpful – the step-by-step process was easy to follow and provided information about how many of each type of seed to use.
Step 1: Soak your specified seed amount for around 10-12 hours. This helps to prep the seed and allows for faster germination. Use separate bowls for each variety.
Step 2: Be sure all parts of the seed sprouting tray are washed with warm, soapy water beforehand.
Step 3: After soaking and draining excess water, transfer each variety to a section of your tray in a flat layer. This tray has dividers so you can create four different sections.
Step 4: Place your tray in a warm area, ideally 70°F and out of direct sunlight.
- Consistent watering is key for sprouts. Twice a day to be exact!
- The easiest method for watering is to pick up both stacked trays with the diffusing lid and simply hold under the faucet letting approximately six cups of water soak through. Then, return the trays to the drain base.
- Your sprouts will be ready to enjoy in around two to ten days.
- Be sure to give the sprouts a final rinse when they are taken out of the tray and let the excess water drain off.
- Store in an airtight container with a paper towel to ensure maximum freshness. These are the perfect crunchy addition to any salad or sandwich.
Come by any English Gardens location for everything you need to grow your own microgreens and sprouts at home.
Stop into any store to get started today and enjoy all the benefits of having these nutritional and tasty greens right at your fingertips.