We are going inside our cold room where we start a lot of our plants and grow things like microgreens. We will be showing you how we grow microgreens and some steps to make it easy. It is important to have lots of different things growing around the property, these are just some of our favorites that we always have on hand here at the farm.
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Hi, I’m Lindsey and I’m here at the Urban Farm in our cold room. And this is where we start a lot of our plants and grow things like microgreens. I’m going to be showing you how we grow microgreens and some steps to make it easy.
Microgreens are really simple once you get the hang of it and once you have a little bit of practice and microgreens are great, they’re really fast, they’re one of the fastest crops you can have. They usually take seven to 10 days to fully sprout and be ready. They’re really low maintenance and they are nutrient-dense. So they are a great addition to your diet. They’re a great thing when we’re talking about food security, a really fast crop. So this is definitely an essential thing to be growing at your home or homestead.
What we’re gonna do is start out with, these are just black trays. They don’t have any drainage holes. Drainage isn’t really something we need to worry about too much with microgreens. So these are just black trays. And then I just put about half an inch of soil. We really don’t need a lot. Microgreens have pretty small root systems and like I said, you’re gonna harvest them in seven to 10 days, so they don’t really need the nutrient capacity that like these broccoli or cabbage that we’re growing do.
So just a really thin layer of soil. And then we just wanna pat it down because the seeds are small and we want them to sit perfectly on the surface, so we don’t want them to be falling underneath. So we’re just gonna pat that down. Then we always wanna start with a wet surface. So what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna use my spray bottle and just quickly really spray this down. Good. And this will also help pack down your soil. And we wanna make sure we’re not using a soil that’s too mulchy because like I said, we want the seeds to sit right on top so we don’t want them getting lost underneath the pieces of soil. So once we have our surface like this, we are going to use our seeds and I’ll just show you some of the seeds that we grow here.
So this is red Russian kale, so it’s gonna make little baby kale sprouts and broccoli seed is one of the most dependable. This is one of my favorites. It’s really mild, but it’s really consistent and I feel like it does a really good job. And then alfalfa is another great option. Really fast, really dependable. Red lentil so this will create a bigger sprout. So this one’s kind of fun and it has a fluffy head on it, so it’s just a little bit different. And then we have some peas. So these are sprouting peas. We grow them like microgreens. And then this is amaranth, which is another favorite. It’s red. It’s really pretty.
We just go for diversity. It’s important that we have lots of different things growing. And these are just some of our favorites that we always have on hand here at the farm.
So I’m gonna show you how we plant them. Let’s start out with some broccoli. And the trick is you just wanna sprinkle them. So you want every part of the soil to be covered, but you don’t want seeds sitting on top of seeds. And I always like to keep all the trays separate. So do an entire tray of just one type of microgreen because sometimes like the broccoli will be a little bit faster than the red lentil. So just to keep it easier. So this is about the coverage I look for. You can see that all the soil surface is covered, but the seeds aren’t on top of each other. And then when we water, we’re just going to mist. Spray bottles are essential for microgreens. So, and just mist from above. We don’t wanna drown the seeds, we don’t wanna lose them underneath the soil. We’re just gonna mist them just like that. And you’ll wanna mist probably one or two times a day. You just kind of have to watch it. You don’t want your seeds to ever dry out. So something you can do to help with that is something I like to do here is just take a piece of newspaper and I’m just going to spray down my newspaper just so it’s a little damp. And then I’m just going to place that over the top.
This will help block in some of the humidity and it’ll help the seeds from drying out. And then when you need to mist, you can just lift it up, miss the bottom side of your newspaper. But this is also really important no matter what you decide to do with if you wanna use newspaper or not. Um, it’s important that we keep our seeds covered and in the dark for the first few days so that dark stimulates germination and it’ll get to a point like this. So these were planted three days ago, and you can see they’ve started sprouting, but they did all this sprouting covered in the dark. And once they reach this point where we see little sprouts and you can see where they’re starting to pop out of the seeds, then that’s when we can put it under a light. And this will help. The seeds won’t dry out in the dark as much and it just helps them get that kickstart. So this one is ready to go underneath the light. And as you can see, this one is similar. It’s sprouting. Not everything has sprouted, but once it gets to this point, that’s when we wanna put it under the light. And if you don’t have trays like this or something big, you can use gardening pots or you can use these. These are something that we bought online. It’s a, this is a solid, it doesn’t have drainage holes, it’s just a plastic little liner. And then this liner sits on top and it has strings in the bottom, it has holes in this part. And what that does is you can fill this bottom basin with water and then the string will actually lift water to the top of the soil. And this is just an easy way, It’s a little bit lower maintenance, you still have to watch it. I still, when we use these, still mist them on top. I just feel like it’s a little bit more consistent when you do that. But this is another great option if you don’t need a whole bit of microgreens.
Another thing to keep in mind is even if you don’t have soil, that doesn’t have to stop you from growing micro greens. So we in the past have experimented with growing in just newspaper. So I will show you how we would do that. And you can also use paper towel is another good option because the seeds will still be able to penetrate their roots will still be able to penetrate through, but it just gives them a little bit of that surface. And like I said, they sprout so fast that they don’t really need the nutrition from the soil. They’re just using it as a growing medium. I would prepare it just like I would. And then I’m just gonna get the newspaper really nice and wet and all the access water will fall to the bottom. Cause this one has the drainage holes. So there we go. And then I’m going to use some of the alfalfa on this one, and then I’m just gonna sprinkle it on top. And if you’re not using soil, you will have to check on it a little bit more often. But it’s just kind of fun to experiment with different growing mediums. I’m just gonna mist it. And then we are gonna cover it the same way with some spray down newspaper. And then we are just gonna put these trays in a dark spot for a couple days. We’re gonna check on them, missed them every day. And then once we see this kind of growth, then we put them under the light for about five to seven days. And then we will show you, we’ll have full microgreens that are ready to harvest.
Microgreens are a really quick and pretty easy way to get nutrient dense foods into your system. They’re really good when we’re thinking about food security and if we needed something to grow really fast. Microgreens are definitely an option. So make sure you go out and find microgreen seeds will be specifically labeled for microgreens. So look for those and start growing microgreens today.