You’ve gathered all your supplies, you’ve filled your trays and sowed your seeds, now it’s time to watch your microgreens grow, harvest them and best of all, eat your microgreens and sprouts!
In this video we go over lighting, what can and can’t be consumed as a microgreen, what seeds are difficult to germinate as a sprout, keeping a log, alternative growing containers, harvesting, storing and eating them on some deliciously prepared foods, of course.
Video: Growing Microgreens Part 3: Growing and Eating
Do I need a Grow Light?
According to Robb Bauman, partner at True Leaf Market, and our microgreen expert for this video series, no light is required to grow microgreens or sprouts because all of the energy needed to grow to an edible stage is in the seed alone. “However, light changes things,” says Robb. He recommends experimenting and growing your microgreens in very little light, indirect natural light, or under a grow light. Your greens will vary in each scenario from tall and “leggy”, to pale in color, or shorter with larger leaves.
It’s good to experiment with different lighting setups to decide how you like your microgreens. For example, corn microgreens grown in complete darkness are sweet as candy, but as soon as the photosynthesis process starts their flavor changes from sweet to bitter. Changing your lighting can change the flavor of your microgreens.
Our first tray of microgreens was grown by a window with indirect light.
What can and what shouldn’t be grown as a microgreen?
Anything in the nightshade family should not be grown and consumed as a microgreen. Plants in the nightshade family are tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, eggplants, goji, and potato plants.
Our pea, rainbow swiss chard, and corn microgreen seeds.
Can any seed be sprouted and consumed as a sprout?
There are certain seeds like basil and chia that form a natural mucus layer around the seed when they become wet, and if the seed doesn’t have a soil base it can easily rot. Seeds that develop this mucosal layer are not seeds that you want to sprout. Other seeds like cilantro have a hard seed coat, making it difficult for water to penetrate. The length of time spent in the rinsing phase increases the chances of the cilantro seed growing mold and rotting.
Plants in the nightshade family are poisonous and shouldn’t be consumed as a sprout.
Modern Gardener Host and Author
Ashley works for KUED Channel 7 as a digital producer and host of Modern Gardener. She loves gardening and is excited to share what she's learned from her own garden!Read more