The Snarky Gardener grew some microgreens this winter so he could get some fresh nutritious greens while the snow fell outside
I read a blog post last summer that made me rethink my winter gardening. Normally I just grow herbs (and sometimes cherry tomatoes and jalapeno peppers) in my AeroGardens while I wait until it’s time (after March 1 here at Snarky Acres) to start my plants for the coming summer garden. For some reason, it never occurred to me to just fill some pots and plant trays with soil and seeds. Using an old AeroGarden and a sun lamp for light, I started with a Container Herb Mix from Burpee (parsley, borage, catgrass, basil, and watercress tangy) as it sounded perfect for indoor growing. The room I started them in is somewhat unheated (averages around 50 degrees F), so the basil never took off, but as you can see by the above pictures, everything else did very well.
A few weeks later I decided to fill a seed starting flat with organic soil (though seed starting mix would probably be better) and spinach seeds. Again, being a cooler room, the spinach sprouted within a week. About a month after that, the baby spinach was ready for dinner, though I ate some during this time as I thinned. The most difficult part of growing these is to remember to water every other day or so. I also used a spray bottle to mist them from time to time. I was hoping they would grow faster but I think the combination of chilly air and irregular watering have slowed them down. Then again, I might just be too impatient.
Microgreens are leafy greens grown just to the first true leaves. According to the USDA, they are several times more nutritionally packed than their full grown versions. So don’t be too worried about the their size (or lack there of). Just add them to your salads for a winter time boost of vitamins and minerals.