Gardening with Children

School Zone

Join the latest food trend and grow your own Microgreens

Date Posted: 01 March 2015

It is still cold and wet and not really suitable weather for sowing vegetables outside, but you can sow, grow and harvest some indoors on your windowsill.
 
Microgreens are the seedlings of young herbs, vegetables, and salad leaves that are picked when their first true leaves appear, they are ready to eat in 7-14 days and are delicious, tender and packed with flavour, they are widely used in our top restaurants.
 

What types of Microgreens can I grow?

Nearly every vegetable can be grown as a Microgreen, with the exception of Parsnips which are poisonous at the seedling stage, why not try growing:
 

Basil, Coriander, Fenugreek, Rocket, Sorrel, Alfalfa, Curly Cress, Radish, Red Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Leeks, Onions, Fennel, Red Beet, Celery, Corn Salad, Spinach, Oriental Leaves, Mustard, Lettuce, Watercress, Swiss Chard, Lettuce

What you will need

  • Small Shallow containers/Seed Trays
  • Seed Compost
  • Seeds
  • Fine spray watering can
  • Scissors

How to grow your Microgreens

  1. Fill your containers to a depth of approx. 4cm with compost and level the surface, water lightly before sowing.
  2. Sprinkle your seeds thickly on the compost, so that they do not touch each other, small seeds can be sown closer together than larger seeds, they do not have to be exact.
  3. Lightly cover the seeds with compost to about the same depth as the seeds.
  4. If you wish you can cover the seeds with a plastic bag or a clear lid to retain moisture although this is not necessary.
  5. Place your trays on a bright, warm, sunny windowsill, water regularly to keep the compost moist but not soggy and watch them grow.

Harvesting

Your Microgreens are ready to harvest when their first true leaves appear (the first ones are seed leaves, and don't look anything like the actual leaves of the plant) which is generally in about 7 to 14 days. To harvest, simply cut the microgreens just above soil level, rinse and enjoy, they can be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few days.

What are the advantages of growing Microgreens?

-   Growing Microgreens is a great way to experiment with sowing seeds and a fast way to taste a large variety of vegetables without having to wait until they are fully grown.

-   Microgreens can be grown on a windowsill making them perfect if space is limited or if you haven’t got an outdoor growing area.

-   Children love quick results, Microgreens are fast they will be able to watch their crops grow daily.

-   Growing Microgreens is a great classroom activity, the fast growing crops enable a wide variety of vegetables to be grown and harvested during each half term.

-   It is a great way to use up part packets of seeds and packets that are nearing their sow by date.

 

Why not have a go at growing delicious fresh ‘vegetables’ on your windowsill which can be sown, grown and ready to eat in less than two weeks?

 

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