Although microgreens have quickly become a popular vegetable in our homes, we still have a lot of questions about growing microgreens. The lack of research on the effects of microgreens on our health is troubling.
Microgreens are a hybrid of spinach and chard, which are known as members of the family (or, genus) Brassica oleracea. Brassica is the scientific name for an entire group of plants. The plant family includes more than 300 genera of plants.
Microgreens are relatively low in protein content, so they should be enjoyed sparingly or ideally eaten only as part of a nutritious diet. The theory is that microgreens are good for your health because they have fewer calories and more fiber than most other vegetables.
A dietary guideline for consuming microgreens would be to consume no more than a quarter-cup per day. You can eat as much as you want but be careful because microgreens are low in nutritional value.
Chard is a leafy green plant with edible leaves and stems. It comes from the oak family, which is the same family as potatoes. Like potatoes, chard is tuberous in nature and grows in well-drained soil. It makes an ideal green because it has many valuable vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and phosphorus.
Growing microgreens in a home garden requires approximately a quarter-foot of space per plant. Plant them three to four feet apart on well-drained sandy soil. Microgreens need lots of sunlight to grow well.
They also do better in petite space than in large pots because of their smaller size. A medium-sized container is fine but try to keep the spacing fairly even. When planting, try to have the pots at least three inches apart.
Once the microgreens are planted, it’s time to transplant them to a position where they get a supply of light and air. As the seeds begin to develop, they will develop into new plants in the coming weeks.
Plant the plants to the right of the containers you just transplanted and let them slowly spread out. Water the plants every couple of days as they recover from being transplanted. While they are recovering, you can water the plants and enjoy them as you normally would.
Once they are almost fully grown, you can easily harvest the leaves and stems. Once the plants become full-grown, it will take about six months for them to produce enough energy to support a single plant. If you want to harvest several plants at a time, don’t move them around but wait until they reach maturity.
To keep the plants alive longer, you can feed them one to two tablespoons of fertilizer a week. Keep your microgreens away from sunlight to keep the nutrients from degrading into oxygen.
Microgreens, as part of a balanced diet, may be a good addition to your eating plan. If you care for your new microgreens properly, they can thrive in your garden.