in the mood for a crisp dinner garnish? microgreens are easy to grow on the kitchen windowsill and both enhance the taste of soups, sandwiches and salads and also provide a good portion of vital substances! the best thing is: you don't need a garden or a balcony for a fresh harvest from your windowsill, because microgreens can be grown in your kitchen all year round. in this article we explain which seeds are suitable for growing the little vitamin bombs and what you need to bear in mind.
difference to sprouts
what are microgreens?
in principle, microgreens are nothing more than small seedlings that have formed their first one or two leaflets. unlike sprouts, however, microgreens are grown in soil and you don't end up eating the swollen seeds with the sprout on them either, but cut off the already green mini plantlet just above the soil surface. the seed therefore remains in the soil and in the best case even sprouts a second time, so you can harvest your microgreens several times.
when do i grow microgreens?
on a bright, warm windowsill, the little seedlings don't care if it's summer or winter. on purchased trays, sown in small seed trays or an old coffee cup, microgreens grow all year round without any problems.
what seeds are suitable for microgreens?
cress, radishes, and beets are probably the three best-known varieties of microgreens. but did you know that you can grow the seedlings from almost any herb and vegetable seed?
growing works with these varieties
suitable seeds for microgreens
microgreens cultivation seed at a glance
alfalfa sprouts, amaranth, anise, arugula, basil, cauliflower, broccoli, buckwheat, dill, peas, carrots, chervil, coriander, cress, chard, kale, mint, pak choi, parsley, radish, beet, red cabbage, rocket, mustard and wheat
eggplant, chili, goji berries, potato, bell pepper, rhubarb and tomato.
step by step guide
how to grow microgreens?
microgreens can be grown and harvested at any time of year. at the site should be bright, but not too sunny, otherwise the fine germs will burn. therefore, in summer, trays with seedlings can be placed a few meters from the window, while in winter they prefer a place on a bright south windowsill. the optimal temperature to grow microgreens is between 18 and 22 °c.
at a glance, the cultivation of microgreens hardly differs from normal herb and vegetable crops, with one exception - because the plantlets only grow a few centimeters tall and you want to harvest as many of them as possible, you need to sow the seeds for the cultivation of microgreens much more densely and need a correspondingly large amount of them. sowing is done in normal growing soil. this is particularly low in nutrients, which means that the seedlings develop slowly and become particularly aromatic. for growing, you can either buy special trays or simply use normal plant pots with drainage holes. whimsical vessels such as coffee cups or an old casserole dish can also be used for growing microgreens.
the biggest challenge in growing microgreens is maintaining the appropriate soil moisture. it is true that the seedlings must always have sufficient moisture available in order to develop well. especially in winter, when light incidence and temperatures drop, the moist soil can become mold quickly. depending on the situation, it may be helpful to place the pots near a heater where the humidity is lower. if the air in the room is too dry, however, the tender greens can also not develop well. in this scenario it makes sense to use a cultivation cover made of cling film, which must be aired daily. so depending on the room climate, some sensitivity is therefore required.
depending on the seed, microgeens are ready for harvesting three to four weeks after sowing. as soon as the individual seedlings have formed 1-2 leaflets, you may cut them off just above the soil and process them fresh. if you do not cut off everything at once, chances are good that new shoots will grow again and you will be able to harvest even longer from one sowing.
why are microgreens so healthy?
the small vegetable or herb seedlings already contain everything a plant needs for its development. that's why microgreens are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins and secondary plant compounds, and additionally have plenty of flavor and color. depending on which seeds you grow microgreens from, their taste ranges from spicy to sweet, and are fiery red, green or purple in color.