If you are ready to jump on the bandwagon of growing microgreens, you are in for a healthy, crunchy, brightly colored addition to your salads and other culinary creations. There is one common question that plagues new microgreen gardeners. How do I find and plant microgreen seeds? Well, the truth is, microgreens are often just grown from regular seeds, however the grow time and harvesting methods are quite different. Almost any vegetable you enjoy can be grown and harvested as a microgreen.
Attributes of Regular Seeds
Most regular seeds can be planted as microgreens, especially if they are untreated or organic. Microgreens are just the regular plant (such as kale, arugula, or basil) that is harvested just before the first leaves start to unfurl. In this infant state, microgreens are delicate shoots of your favorite vegetables with a very dense helping of nutrients.
The problem with using regular seeds comes when “regular seeds” are treated with fungicides or pesticides. Because the grow time of microgreens is so short, and they are so delicate and fragile by nature, pesticides or fungicides on seeds could alter the taste of the plants when they are harvested as quickly as microgreens need to be.
Are Microgreen Seeds Any Different?
Microgreen seeds are any seeds that you deem healthy, clean, and free of chemicals or insecticides. If you want to grow microgreens, choosing organic or untreated seeds is in your best interest. They might be slightly more expensive, but they will offer you a superior taste along with packing a punch of nutrients. The high quality of organic seeds ensures that they were grown without pesticides.
Why are Seeds Important?
A microgreen will only be as good as the seed it originated from. Therefore, planting healthy seeds is imperative for harvesting healthy microgreens. Choose a reputable garden center, buy healthy seeds, and make sure to store them properly. Different seeds offer different germination rates. Along with buying healthy seeds from a great source, make sure the rate of germination will give you the microgreens you are looking for.
How do I Decide on Which Seeds To Grow?
Deciding on which microgreens to plant is a very important decision. There really is no “one size fits all” answer, but microgreens vary by taste and germination time. There are a few key considerations:
- Choose high-quality seeds. Organic and untreated seeds are the best. Because microgreens have such a short growing time, choosing flawless seeds is even more important for microgreens than when you are growing regular plants.
- Choose seeds that are clean. Fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizers can all make their way into your seeds, and these will therefore affect the quality of your harvested microgreens.
- Choose seeds that match your palate. Microgreens come in a variety of flavors, and the microgreen version of your favorite vegetables is bound to be a more intense flavor. Choose veggies you like and you will have microgreens that please your taste buds.
- Choose seeds for their vibrant colors. From the bright red of amaranth to the yellow of corn shoots, choosing special colors will add a rainbow to your plate.
- Choose seeds that are easy to grow. The payoff will be greater if you don’t have to work too hard for your microgreens, especially if this is your first time gardening, Choosing favorites like radishes, arugula, beets broccoli, and herbs like cilantro and basil will give you a big payoff in a short amount of time.
Seed Storage Rules
Once you have the proper seeds, it is important to store them correctly. You need to keep them clean and free from chemicals. You also need to keep them from growing prematurely. The following are the key points of seed storage:
- Store your seeds in a cold place. You can refrigerate or freeze them if there is no place in your house that is cold enough. The best temperature for seeds is 50 degrees or below.
- Darkness is imperative for keeping seeds healthy.
- Humidity will hurt the seeds, and the moisture could cause premature growth. Keep the humidity below 27%.
- Store your seeds in an airtight container to maintain their integrity.
As long as the seeds are healthy and free from pesticides, you can plant most anything and harvest it early as a microgreen. With the right seeds, you will be well on your way to gardening microgreens and enjoying the crunchy, antioxidant-rich.