Tips for growing microgreens
1. Microgreens can be grown at any time of year provided soil temperatures are high enough to germinate seeds and you have good light. 2. They need soil or a soil-like media, good air circulation, water and full-topartial sunlight. 3. They can be grown in containers indoors or out, in the greenhouse, or in cloches or beds outdoors. 4. Choose containers that are shallow, lightweight and portable: plastic food trays, margarine containers, baskets lined with polyethylene or custom-made seed trays all work. Wide, shallow containers which maximise growing surface are best.
if needed. 6. For larger quantities, polystyrene mushroom trays are ideal and wellinsulated. Terracotta requires too much watering unless lined with plastic. 7. If they are inside or on a balcony, choose containers you will enjoy tending to and looking at. 8. For container growing, choose a quality potting mix or seed-raising mix; pumice is very porous and clean for indoor use, but does need liquid feeding as plants develop. 9. All seed should be untreated - watch out for brightly coloured seeds which may have a chemical coating. 10. If you are mixing seed, choose seeds that require similar conditions and germinate in a similar time frame (commercial mixes don’t always do this), eg mixed lettuces, kale, broccoli and red cabbage. 11. If you’re a beginner, go with easy, quickgrowing species like kale, red cabbage, mizuna, rocket, cress, mustard, and radish. 12. Large seeds like peas and corn can be pre-soaked to speed germination. 13. Level out growing media, firming at the corners. A depth of 4cm is sufficient for most seedlings. 14. Firm gently - do not over compact - and either water at this stage to avoid flooding seeds, or after sowing. 15. Sprinkle seeds evenly over the surface (like grinding pepper on a meal) and firm again. If you want a larger ‘true leaf’ stage, sow more sparsely. 16. Cover with a fine layer of sifted soil to the depth of the seed. A coarse sieve works well but a kitchen sieve will do. Larger seeds such as pea and beet do not need sieved soil. 17. Water thoroughly (until water comes through drainage holes) using a fine rose. 18. Cover seeds with wet cloth, paper towels or newsprint to maintain even moisture around the seed. 19. Seal in moisture with clear plastic, glass, or a food cover or shower cap for smaller containers. 20. Place seeds in a warm place out of direct sunlight, eg a hot water cupboard, and check frequently. Once they have germinated, remove coverings and move into the light. 21. Developing seedlings will need water but don’t overwater or leave pots standing in water. 22. As they develop leaves, plants will need nutrients - if they are in a nonsoil media, water with a dilute nutrient solution such as seaweed.