Tips for grow­ing mi­cro­greens

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Plants With A Purpose - Sep­a­rate mi­cro­greens us­ing a grid.

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.

5. Drainage

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.

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