Remember the last time you ordered a salad at a fancy restaurant? Do you recall the tiny vegetable leaves that sat atop your salad? Those are called microgreens, which are grown and harvested in a process called micro-gardening or cut-and-come-again gardening. Those greens include the immature leaves and stems from broccoli, celery, kale, spinach, and many more.
Grown and harvested correctly, microgreens can add nutrients to your salads and flavor to almost any meal. Today, Linda Woolsey, Coastal’s own gardening expert, and Certified Professional Horticulturist is going to give us some insights into micro-gardening and how it can supplement your traditional garden.
Start with the Seeds
Linda explains that micro-gardening starts with the right seeds. When picking out what you want to plant, look for seeds labeled for micro-gardening. You can use other seeds as well, but your results may vary. Just be sure the veggies you choose are entirely edible from the roots to the leaves.
Some of the most popular varieties of micro-garden seeds include:
Arugula, Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Buckwheat, Cabbage, Celery, Cilantro, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, Spinach and Watercress
Because microgreens are not mature plants, your growing time can be as little as two weeks. To start your seeds, use organic soil in seed start trays and place those in your windowsill or greenhouse.
Temperature and Water are Important
Be sure to keep your plants in a sunny, warm environment and ensure the soil is always moist. If your soil becomes dry or the plants get burned from heat, you may need to start over with new seeds.
When and How to Harvest
Once your microgreen’s true leaves are visible, it’s time to harvest. Simply grab a pair of scissors and trim the stem close to the soil. The bits you leave behind will grow back in just a few weeks – ready for another harvest.
While your leaves will be small and they won’t have any of the usual veggies you’re used to harvesting, such as broccoli or celery, they will pack a lot of flavor and nutrients.
Coastal tip: It’s not necessary to harvest all of your microgreens at once. Leaving behind some of the stems and leaves can help encourage new growth and give you something to harvest on a regular basis.
Start Your Micro-garden at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has all of the gardening and outdoor supplies you need for your traditional as well as micro-garden. You’ll find soil, fertilizer, trays, greenhouses, and a huge variety of seeds at your nearby location. Stop by, check things out, and go home with everything you need to add nutrition and variety to your harvest.