You don’t need a garden, a pot or even an outdoor space to grow delicate, flavorful greens. You can grow and harvest microgreens on your kitchen counter or windowsill in an aluminum foil pie pan, if you want.
Microgreens are defined as the tiny edible greens of vegetables like peas, leeks, kale, radish, cabbage and even carrots. Greens are harvested less than a month after seeds germinate — when cotyledon (seed leaves) or the first set of true leaves appear. A few snips with a sharp pair of scissors, and you’ve got microgreens
Sometimes described as “vegetable confetti,” microgreens dress salads, soups, sandwiches and other dishes in farm-to-table, organic and upscale restaurants. Microgreens can be sweet, nutty, spicy, mild, herbal and surprisingly intense.
Starting microgreens is no more difficult than any other indoor seed starting project. You need a sunny place and a container. It should be small and clean with drainage holes. You’ll need to provide four hours of sunlight daily or a grow light.
Use a soilless seed starting mix or potting soil. Moisten with warm water, and then place about two inches mix in the container and level. Sprinkle seeds on soil and press in lightly. Cover with an inch more soil. Cover container with plastic wrap to retain moisture. Remove plastic wrap when seeds sprout. Mist seedlings daily or water from the bottom.
Some varieties to consider include radish “Confetti Mix,” a blend of purple and green radish leaves with red, purple and pink stems. The flavor is described as mildly spicy and vibrant and a “visually stunning, flavorful mix for ultimate plate appeal,” according to the National Garden Bureau. This microgreen is easy to grow and fast with harvest 10 to 15 days after sowing seeds.
Radish “Sango” seeds produce bright red radish sprouts in about one week. Like “Confetti Mix,” the flavor is described as mild and spicy. This radish is grown specifically for microgreens or sprouts. NGB noted that is not designed or bred for garden performance but for “kitchen performance.
“Speckled Peas” are organic peas that can be harvested right after their first or second set of true leaves form in 12 to 16 days. The shoots are crunchy, and the flavor is sweet and green like fresh peas. “Detroit Mix” beet seeds are a mix of “Detroit” dark red and “Golden Detroit” beet seeds. The flavor is sweet and similar to Swiss chard. Harvest is 11 to 21 days after sowing seeds.
“Red Acre” cabbage microgreens are ready to snip between 6 and 14 days. It’s a lovely microgreen with red and purple stems and green leaves. Flavor is similar to broccoli. “American Flag Leeks” produces stems ready to harvest in 12 to 15 days. Use sparingly because these onion-flavored microgreens can be intense.