Friday, October 4, 2013

Indoor Gardening: Simple Process for Growing Micro Greens

Now that fall has arrived, it's time to clean up the garden and let it rest until spring. Depending on where you live, you might be able to extend the harvest season through October or even November by growing some cool weather crops. I think most of us call it quits, though.

I know I'm feeling done with gardening season but I want to try growing something fun and easy indoors: micro greens. Micro greens are a variety of lettuces, greens, vegetables, and herbs that you grow and harvest just after the plants grow their first true set of leaves and are about 3 inches tall. Micro greens add a fresh and spicy taste to a variety of dishes and are a quick add-in to salads, appetizers/hors d'ouevres, and even smoothies. They make a great garnish too!

I bought a spicy mix at my local garden center.
seeds from Botanical Interests
To grow micro greens:
Use a wide and shallow pot and fill it with potting soil and water.

Scatter the seeds evenly over the top.

Cover the seeds with more soil, about 1/8" depth.

Water again and place on your kitchen counter. You can place the pot of micro greens anywhere you wish. Since I'll be using them for cooking, I figure the kitchen countertop is best.

Within a few days, the seeds will sprout!

Wait until they grow into plants that are about 3 inches tall. Cut and enjoy.

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I'd love to show you a picture of the happy micro greens I grew but, unfortunately, they didn't make it. The reason for the micro greens fail was because of the conditions for growing the seeds; it was too moist, too warm, and mainly, it was too sunny. Seeds thrive in moist, warm and sunny places but when they get too much of that, they can grow too fast for their own good. My plants were reaching for the light because I left them in the sun all day long and they got too tall (leggy). Their chances for success dwindled because they weren't strong enough to grow healthy.

It's a good thing I can try this easy process all over again! This time around, I'm limiting the watering and the time the seedlings spend in the sun. Making the seeds struggle a bit is good for them. These seeds grow fast and I should have edible micro greens in a couple of weeks! I hope to report back with good news.

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