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Cultivating Good Health: Growing Your Own Microgreen

In the ever-evolving landscape of culinary experiences and health-conscious living, a tiny yet mighty trend has taken root – microgreens. No longer relegated to mere plate garnishes, these young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs are making their mark as both visually appealing and nutritionally potent additions to meals. From their nutritional benefits to the joy of cultivating them at home, join us as we enter the fascinating world of microgreens.

What Are Microgreens?

Definition and Characteristics

Microgreens are not to be confused with sprouts; they are the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs that have been sown from seeds and allowed to germinate. Unlike sprouts, which germinate in water for a few days, microgreens grow in soil and sunlight, taking at least a week to produce leaves. The magic happens when these tiny plants reach two sets of seed leaves, also known as cotyledons or one set of tree leaves. At this point, they are ready to be harvested and consumed.

Microgreens are typically grown hydroponically or in a germination mix using pots or sowing trays. The key to successfully cultivating microgreens is good lighting, regular watering and growing them in succession to ensure a steady and sustainable supply of micro delights.

Nutritional Benefits and Culinary Uses

When you cut and harvest microgreens for salads or snacks, you’re essentially preventing them from reaching their adult form. This practice allows for a continuous harvest, not only making them fascinating but also a cost-effective addition to your culinary repertoire.

Despite their small size, microgreens pack a punch in terms of flavour and health benefits. Studies suggest that they can be over thirty times more potent in phytochemicals than larger vegetables and herbs. Phytochemicals are biological compounds that reduce the chances of viruses and bacteria growing in your body. Among the microgreens assessed, red cabbage, coriander, amaranth, and radishes stand out for their high concentrations of vitamin C, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols.

Getting Started: Essential Supplies and Setup

Germination Mix

The journey into microgreen cultivation begins with a good germination mix. The Garden Master Germination Mix is composed of palm peat, perlite, and bark which provides the lightness necessary for the optimal growth of microgreens, and according to gardening guru Tanya Visser, it’s the lightness that does the trick. Combining this with the right moisture level ensures successful germination.

Selecting The Right Seeds

Though microgreens come in various flavours, the real allure lies in their nutritional density. Radish, broccoli, beetroot and mustard seeds are best to use due to their intensely pungent taste and nutritional value. To discover our range of seeds, click here.

Sowing and Watering

Microgreens are best grown in sowing trays, but can also be grown in pots. If using trays, Tanya suggests placing them on another tray to catch excess water, as microgreens require frequent watering. Fill the containers with the germination mix, leaving about three centimetres of space at the top.

Using a pressurised sprayer, wet the germination mix before sowing the seeds. This gives the seeds a helping hand in getting started.

Sow the seeds thicker than general instructions suggest for intensive growing. Cover the seeds by a few millimetres with a thin layer of germination mix, then water thoroughly with the pressurised sprayer. Once the seeds are sowed, place your trays in a greenhouse for optimal growth.

Repeat watering at least twice a day. Adequate water and good light are the secrets to growing healthy microgreens. Germination usually occurs within ten to fourteen days. Wait until they reach the correct height before harvesting.

For a steady and sustainable supply of microgreens, seeds can be sown in succession every two weeks. This ensures a constant harvest for your culinary endeavours.

Watch the video below and let Tania guide you to growing your own microgreens:

The Microgreen Revolution

Microgreens offer a delightful journey into the world of freshness and flavour. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice gardener, anyone can cultivate microgreens at home. It’s a rewarding experience that can add a burst of health and vibrancy to your meals.

Ready to join the microgreen revolution? Then follow us on FacebookInstagram and TikTok for more. Head to your nearest MakroGame or Builder’s Warehouse for the essential supplies you need to headstart your microgreen journey. Happy growing!