Healthy and full of nutrients sunflower and micro basil microgreens are a great addition to many dishes. Microgreens are a miniature version of easy to grow salad greens. You might be sprouting your own, in a Mason jar or some other homemade device. Perhaps you’re growing microgreens too. Or you might only have sprouts or microgreens added to a dish when you’re having a salad or sandwich at your favorite eatery.
You can grow sprouts and microgreens at home for regular consumption and added health benefits. Go a step further than a jar with a wired lid for easier and more convenient sprouting. While the jar is one way to get a few of the nutritious sprouts, microgreens kits are now available that make the process more efficient and productive. In addition to sprouting seeds, you can grow micro basil and sunflower microgreens from kits too.
You may take the microgreen process a step further and grow baby salads (greens). These get a little bigger than the microgreens but are still young, tasty and flavorful while being packed with nutrition. We can use the terms interchangeably, as they grow from the same process.
Growing microgreens indoors is a simple and easy process using a microgreens kit. Several are available that are small enough to fit conveniently in front of a kitchen window or on a sunny counter. Try sprouting sunflower microgreens or micro basil. Seeds are included with the kit and can be easily replaced from several online areas.
If you’re attached to a jar for sprouts, find them here as well. They can be attractive in the kitchen and if you only use sprouts occasionally, a jar maybe your best choice.
Using Microgreen Trays
Trays and kits range from those with simple sprouting and microgreen trays that allow you to complete all steps to those that automatically control water pressure and watering. Choose from various selections as to how many microgreens you can use and what amenities you need in your starting tray.
Some are single tiered and some have a few different levels. There are some microgreen setups that separate the seeds and let you grow several kinds at once. Customize your seed-starting tray just like you want it.
If you’re new to growing microgreens indoors and even if this is your first time, choose from easy to grow seeds that reportedly have the most success and are simplest to grow. A helpful list is included from Bootstrap Farmer of the best seeds to start off with.
Soil for Growing Sunflower and Micro Basil Microgreens
Growing mediums in which to plant your seeds are numerous. Here we’ll deal primarily with using soil. You may also consider growing micro basil and sunflower microgreens in rock wool, bamboo, coir, lava rock, or crushed granite. These are more appropriate for the grower with some experience with growing indoors.
The set up for growing in these mediums is more complicated and costly. Growing microgreens in these mediums require fertilization, something you’ll want to avoid until you’re fully aware of the finished product you desire.
New potting soil (or a mix) is low-cost and will include the proper amount of nutrients needed by the microgreens.
Avoid using soil from outdoors, from your yard or garden bed. Impurities such as fungi, viruses, bacteria, weed seeds, and insects likely live in this soil. These may not be in amounts large enough to cause problems with your flowers and vegetables, but because microgreens and baby greens are small and delicate, they absorb nutrients more quickly and can be affected by these additional impurities.
For growing sunflower microgreens in trays, you’ll want to choose a seedling mix or a potting mix. Find these in your local garden center or big box store (click here » to check price of All Organic Potting Soil).
Your soil should be well-draining, as damping off is a common issue when growing from seed. This is where seeds receive water damage below the soil and fall over, never to grow again.
You may amend these mixes with ingredients such as coarse sand or perlite to add drainage. If you seem to have an issue with your seeds damping off, amend the soil you’re using and adjust or slow the water flow.
Try to keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy.
Again, purchase new seedling or potting mix for growing microgreens. If you’re in a drastic situation where this is not possible, you can use outdoor soil that is baked to destroy the impurities, but, this is only for an emergency.
Nutrients for Micro Basil and Sunflower Microgreens
Microgreens are ready to eat in just a few days. Those you’re accustomed to in restaurants likely are grown to the development of true leaves, the second sets to appear on the stem. The ultimate taste for these is when only seed leaves, those that appear first on the plant, have developed. Since you have full control when growing your own microgreens, try them like this and decide.
The point is that those harvested with only seed leaves takes four to five days and will have little chance to absorb nutrition from the soil, and certainly not from additional fertilizer you may provide. Microgreens with true leaves take 10 days or more to develop to the point of harvest and are beginning to uptake nutrients. Your soil does not need additional nutrients added to the mix and it will likely be a waste of your money to buy that type of soil.
If you would like to read a little more about this Microgreens growing kits, you could click here to get started.
Get Started Today
Don’t wait to add healthy sprouts and microgreens to your diet and that of your family. If you have small children, remember, healthy eating habits are best developed at a young age. And if you’re attempting to take off a few pounds before the holidays, what better motivation than learning to grow your own greens.