You don’t need an official garden plot, just a few planting flats and a spot near a sunny window.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener, you can grow micro greens and wheatgrass without getting your hands dirty, I promise.
By growing a flat of wheatgrass every 7 days, aficionados can save money on that daily, $3- to $5 dollar per ounce shot of wheatgrass.
A large packet of wheat grass seeds cost about $3 and has enough seed for a 10″ x 20″-inch planting flat or two.
Micro greens come in small 1.5 ounce plastic containers at upscale markets and at Trader Joes for about $3 dollars.
A large packet of micro green seeds cost $2.5 and yields more tender shoots than the small plastic container from the market.
WHAT IS A MICRO GREEN?
Any single vegetable or leafy green can be grown as a micro green.
A micro green is simply a crop in its early stage of life, and should not be confused with a “sprout.”
Baby radish, arugula, broccoli, peas and sunflowers can all be grown as sprouts and as micro greens.
Sprouts are seeds that have germinated in water for 3 to 5 days.
Micro greens grow into the next stage where the plant opens its first set of leaves, (cotyledons) and are allowed to grow a second set of leaves before harvesting.
Interestingly, test results from a USDA and University of Maryland study, show that micro greens are much more nutrient-dense at the baby stage than if allowed to grow and mature as a crop.
Many people enjoy eating micro greens as a salad or added to their sandwiches, soups and as a gourmet garnish.
If this information influences you to grow some micro greens or wheat grass, keep on reading.
I presented on how to grow micro greens and wheat grass on the Home & Family show recently.
MATERIALS FOR GROWING MICRO GREENS AND WHEAT GRASS
Botanical Interests has a good variety of micro green seeds
Gather the following materials:
-Seed Starting mix
-Plastic flat for planting
-Towels or dark planter cover
OPTIONAL- Seedling heating mat to maintain 75 degrees for optimal seed germination
OPTIONAL- Plant grow lights or LED light with “daylight” bulbs
Savory micro seed blend covers the soil
After seeding the flats and covering with plastic dome, towels keep light out for best germination
- Fill planting flat with sterile seed starting mix and tamp level
- Moisten soil with spray bottle
- Spread the seeds densely over the soil
- Spray with water once more and cover with plastic dome and towels to keep light out so germination can take place in darkness
- Place on top of a warm appliance (clothes dryer) or on top of seedling heating to maintain root temperatures at 70-75 degrees.
Micro-green seeds have sprouted
Day 3: The micro greens and wheatgrass need lots of light to continue growing
- Peak under towels for signs of sprouting and growth
- Check soil moisture and water if needed
- Once the seeds germinate and begin to grow, the foliage will be yellow and next step needs bright sunlight or artificial grow lights for plants
Uncovered flat of wheatgrass in front of bright window continues to grow and green up
Day 5- micro greens and wheatgrass look more green
Day 10- micro greens and wheatgrass are ready to eat and drink!
- Place the UN-covered flat of micro greens or wheatgrass near a bright window with 8+ hours of sunlight or place under grow lights, the longer the better.
- Grow lights are a good investment and will help your micro greens grow and green up fast. $30 at garden center.
- The sunlight and artificial light will enrich the plant with energy to keep greening and growing to the next step.
- Keep watering and harvest when first set or second set of leaves have emerged.
- After harvesting wheatgrass and micro greens, they will stay fresh in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
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