You would think that for someone who can garden almost year round that I wouldn’t be interested in indoor gardening, but I am. I don’t really have a great place to do much indoor gardening and potted plants tend to die when they are in my house but I get really irritated at having to buy lettuce from March to November. So figuring out how to do some sprouts, microgreens or indoor gardening is on my list of things to try this year.
Over the holidays Dr. Mercola (the company, not Dr. Mercola himself 😉 ) emailed me and asked if I would be interested in hosting a sprouting giveaway. Well, that was just the kick in the pants I needed to try a little indoor gardening.
I grew sprouts and microgreens and they were not as scary as I thought they would be.
I sprouted broccoli seeds using things I had around the house; cheese cloth, mason jar and a metal band. The instructions were on the broccoli seeds packet but in case they are not on your packet, here’s what to do.
Put 2 cups cool water in a quart size mason jar and add a tablespoon of seeds. Put the cheese cloth over the opening and secure it with the metal band. After two hours pour the water out without taking off the cheese cloth. Rinse the seeds (again, without taking off the cheese cloth) and put the jar upside down in a bowl to drain. Cover the jar and bowl or put it in a cabinet. Every 12 hours or so, rinse and drain the sprouts for 3-5 days. On the last day, remove the towel and put them on a sunny window sill to green up the sprouts. Enjoy!
I also decided to grow some micro-greens with pea shoots. Ideally I would have soaked the peas the night before and used a sprouting tray that has drainage holes. I didn’t do either. 😉 I’m a little impatient and didn’t want to wait unit the next day to start and I looked at every store here for a sprouting tray and couldn’t find one. So, I just used what I had – a salad container.
Fill your tray (or container) with at least an inch of soil, scatter seeds and put more soil on top of seeds. Put lid on and wait. Once shoots appear, remove the lid and put in a sunny location. Harvest after the second set of leaves appear which is about 10-14 days after planting. If you live up North you will probably need to use grow lights or a heating pad for your micro-greens. After the second set of leaves appears, cut the shoots at the soil line with sharp scissors. Rinse the shoots and give them a spin in a salad spinner. Enjoy!
A few tips about sprouts and micro-greens
There is a slight risk of salmonella with sprouting seeds. So, be wise. Your jar should be sterile, either run it through your dishwasher or boil it before using it. Also, it is imperative that you rinse and drain the sprouts several times at 12(ish) hour intervals.
It’s really important to use organic seeds. We try to always use organic but I would not do sprouts with seeds that are not organic.
You can get a sprouting lid for your mason jar, I think it will work better than the cheesecloth.
For the shoots make sure you use potting soil or seeds starting soil to avoid soil born disease.
If you live up North you might encounter some lanky shoots, Chris from Joybilee Farms has some good advice for dealing with that.
It’s such a simple thing, really, but has caused quite the excitement in our family. Esther is excited to check them each day to see if the leaves are opening up. The rest of us are having conversations about time lapse video and how nutrient dense micro greens are.
It’s funny, we have tons of vegetables out in our garden; kale, swiss chard, chinesse cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli. We don’t really need an indoor garden right now. And yet, every time I walk by these, I smile. I can only imagine the satisfaction I would feel growing these when I didn’t have a garden full of vegetables.
Maybe your garden is under 3 feet of snow or you live in an apartment, if you need a little spring in your life right now, try growing some micro-greens.
Do you grow sprouts or micro-greens?