microgreens 101

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are small plants that are usually harvested after only 7 to 14 days of growth — just before the two new trues leaves.

At the cotyledon stage, the nutrient concentration is 4 to 6 times higher (sometimes even more¹) than the same full-grown plant.

We consume the part above the soil and their height can vary from 1 ½” to 4” depending on the variety and harvest timing.

They are easy to grow indoors in soil or hydroponically. If you’re a fan of vertical gardening, this is the perfect fit.

Microgreens have a delicate taste and some variety are really colorful and beautiful. For some time now, chefs are using them to decorate plates and salads.

But now, these small greens are the new superfood!

What are the differences between sprouts and microgreens?

Sprouts are one stage before microgreens, seeds like Alfalfa sprout in only 4-5 days and are really easy to grow in a windowsill. I use Mason jar with germination lids or a hydroponic tray with mesh.

So major differences are:

  • We eat the entire sprout (including roots)
  • Sprouts grow in a germinating tray or Mason Jars
  • Must be rinsed twice a day

Most popular microgreens

From my experience, and from many growers, sunflowers and pea shoots are among the favorite tiny greens. Maybe it is for their smooth texture or the subtle taste of young plant!

The most popular microgreens for health benefits are broccoli, red radish, and red cabbage.



¹ Mighty Microgreens – AGNR researchers discover huge health benefit in tiny, immature greens


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