Microgreen and which species are suitable for forcing? Methods for growing microgreens at home. Features and useful tips.
Microgreens are young sprouts of vegetables, legumes, grains, and herbs in the formation of 1-2 leaves, which contain maximum vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The product is not only exceptionally healthy, but it also has a very delicate taste. As a result, micro-green quickly gained popularity in cooking and a healthy diet, and its cultivation became one of the new trends in agriculture. But you can also grow micro-vegetables at home.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are young shoots with 1-2 leaves, which are 5-15 cm tall. The crop is usually cut 5-12 days after the seeds are sown when the cotyledons are thrown out, depending on the type and variety of the crop.
At this stage of plant development, the concentration of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids) reaches its peak, so the product became very popular and became an international culinary development, although initially small greens were only used to decorate ready-made dishes.
For the first time, San Francisco chefs began adding micro-vegetables to their dishes in the early 1980s, and by the mid-1990s, Southern California was in vogue. Then there was a small set of micro-green. They grew beets, coriander, arugula, and basil. Today there are dozens of cultures available for distillation, on the basis of which are salads, soups, are as well as various beverages – smoothies, and cocktails. A microgreen is also used as a spice, condiment for sandwiches, meat, and even in the preparation of desserts.
The increased concentration of nutrients in small greens is due to the fact that the plant is at the beginning of active development when the maximum use of nutrients in the seed takes place. Thanks to the use of micro-greens, the energy supply can be renewed, saturating the body with vitamins and minerals.
Sometimes microgreen is confused with sprouts, which is also a very useful product. However, in the first case, we are talking about the stage of growth, when the plant already has two leaves, and in the second, only about germinated seeds with a dropped root.
Micro-vegetables are eaten by cutting off the stem and the roots, as well as the seeds, remain in the substrate, but the plants can be eaten completely with seeds. In addition, the taste is also different: micro-green is a more delicate, more flavorful product.
Thanks to the active use of nutrients the seeds grow micro-green without fertilizers or stimulants. This fact will make it possible to call micro-green ecologically pure, organic food.
Main types of microgreen
There are many types of small greens: these are sprouted vegetables and grains, legumes, lettuce, and herbs.
The most popular are:
- Cilantro is… Vegetables with a special aroma and tasty taste, contain many vitamins and minerals. Coriander is good for food to support the cardiovascular system.
- Beet… Microgreen, which has a tonic effect. It has a positive effect on the digestive process and strengthens the immune system. Suitable for salads and main course recipes.
- Arugula … Greens have a bitter taste, which allows them to be used as an ingredient in meat and fish dishes. Ascorbic acid and flavonoids are at the forefront in terms of volume. With regular use, the plant helps to strengthen the immune system.
- Sunflower oil … Due to the pleasantly sweet taste, micro-greens are considered a popular ingredient in salads, first and second courses. Contains protein, and fat, and also contains vitamin A and lecithin. Thanks to a variety of useful substances, sunflower oil micro-green stability of acid-base balance inhibit aging.
- Red cabbage … Large amounts of ascorbic acid are found in the composition of greens, carotene is also present. The plant, when eaten regularly, helps to strengthen the immune system and normalize digestion.
- Chives … Thin grass leaves have a mild onion taste and are considered an ideal ingredient in snacks. Due to its composition, microgreens can destroy bacteria.
- Radishes … Sprouts have a tasty taste, add to tasty dishes, and are used in salads and meat. There are many vitamins and minerals in radish shoots, micro-green is able to establish a digestive process, and it also has detoxifying properties.
- Peas … Due to the sweet taste and crispy structure, sprouts are used in the preparation of sandwiches and salads. Vegetables are rich in protein and vitamins and are also high in fiber.
- Daikon … Japanese radishes contain a lot of sulfur: this nutrient strengthens the body as a whole. They have a very tasty taste and are widely used in soups.
- Aquarius … Microgreen contains B vitamins and carotene. It also contains a lot of iron and magnesium. Spicy taste and aroma determine the use of mussels: it is added to salads and side dishes and is used in making sauces.
- Mitsuda … The micro-green Japanese mustard is known for its nutritional value, it can cleanse blood vessels and is responsible for normalizing water balance in the body. Fragrant leaves are a great ingredient in salads and sandwiches.
- Basil … B vitamins, ascorbic acid, and carotene are found in the composition of micro-green. The sprouts are also rich in essential oils. Basil shoots are useful for normalizing the digestive process, and stomach problems. They go well with many dishes, but omelets and cottage cheese are especially successful with the participation of basil greens.
- Soy … Sprouts contain B vitamins and high levels of ascorbic acid. They also contain numerous amino acids and iron. Soy micro-green cholesterol levels have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Sprouts are best paired with side dishes and meat dishes.
- Amaranth … Tasty small vegetables with a nutty aftertaste. It contains many vitamins that are essential for the body, so this micro-green is actively used in the preparation of various vitamin smoothies.
- Alfalfa … It contains large amounts of iron and is therefore recommended for use by people who lack this mineral in their body. Also, the composition is high in magnesium and calcium, and there are numerous vitamins – K, A, E, and ascorbic acid. Alfalfa micro-green goes well with fish, and eggs and is used in the preparation of various salads and snacks.
- Lentils … Small vegetables have a unique composition; they contain a lot of magnesium, iron, and ascorbic acid. Its use is recommended to stimulate blood circulation and clear blood vessels. Lentils are often used in the preparation of hot and cold dishes.
- Cereals … Microgreens have a pleasant sweet taste. And thanks to the bright yellow color, young sprouts will decorate any dish. It has a beneficial effect on the body due to the content of numerous vitamins and minerals. It is an ideal ingredient for making salads and appetizers.
- Spinach is… A spicy vegetable that contains a lot of protein and fat. There are also many vitamins in the composition. A microgreen is appreciated for its ability to normalize blood circulation and lower cholesterol levels. With regular use, you can count on the elimination of toxins. Young spinach plants are a great addition to side dishes, salads, and sauces.
- Mustard … These greens are known for their tasty, spicy taste that stimulates your appetite. It is useful for cleansing the walls of blood vessels and stimulating blood circulation. Its peppery taste makes it an ideal addition to fish dishes and salads.
- Sorrel … The plant is valued for its sour taste, which resembles a lemon, and small greens differ in similar properties. It contains many minerals and vitamins. Regular consumption helps to strengthen the immune system. Sorrel micro green is an excellent ingredient in recipes for egg dishes, sauces, and salads. It goes well with cheeses.
- Clover … Small vegetables contain protein, minerals, and many vitamins – A, group B, and ascorbic acid. Regular use of microgreens helps to cleanse the blood and eliminate toxins and toxins. It is customary to add young sprouts to salads and stones.
In addition, for salads, you can plant micro vegetables from rutabagas, quinoa, flax, buckwheat, parsley, dill, onions, and garlic. For the production of vitamin juice, micro-greens of barley, oats, and wheat are used. Also popular are sprouts of sesame, Swiss chard, and different varieties of onions.
Seeds of the Solanaceae family, which contain tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes, are not suitable for growing micro-greens. Their sprouts contain toxic substances and are toxic. Its use causes gastrointestinal disturbances and nervous system disorders. Pumpkin sprouts (watermelon, cucumber, melon, pumpkin) taste bitter.
Note! Eating micro-vegetables is especially useful in winter and spring. At this time of year, there is an acute shortage of vitamins and minerals.
Properties of growing microgreen
Microgreens are easy to grow not only on plantations but also at home. Even a novice gardener will tackle the task. It is much easier to grow whole plants.
Microgreen develops at the expense of its own reserves, which accumulate in the seeds, without the need for fertilization and feeding. After 5-12 days, after the crop you are germinating, you can cut the crop. Agricultural scientists say that there is in fact a technology to force micro-vegetables.
Microgreen does not require environmental conditions. You do not need a lot of light and heat; the containers do not take up much space: you can grow micro-vegetables at home on the windowsill. Plants are also suitable for cultivation in low light conditions, in indirect natural light, and even in complete darkness.
Dietary supplements are not suitable for all crops, but it is necessary if you grow microgreens in several stages or plan to harvest before a certain date, for example when you force microgreens for sale.
Smaller plants feel good even in winter – you can grow micro-greens on the windowsill, just choose windows facing south or east for this.
As microgreens grow rapidly, most diseases affecting mature plants do not have time to develop before harvest. Also, sprouts are not threatened by pests, due to the invasion of mature crops.
The biggest challenge in cultivation is choosing the right seeds for micro-germination. Great demands are made on them. They should not be eaten with toxic substances, pesticides, or herbicides. It is important to note that imported seeds are usually only pickled.
Buy seeds with a high germination rate. If the seeds are of high quality, you can even take them as the expiration date will soon expire.
You can grow microgreen ones in 5-12 days; the speed of force depends on the type of seed you use. Smaller plants are usually 10 cm tall. But microgreen growth can be accelerated. To do this, you can soak large hard seeds in advance in warm water and store them for 4-8 hours. Small seeds are not soaked.
Note! Choose the right time to cut vegetables. If the plants are too light, they will turn yellow and wither.
Microgreen cultivation methods
Microgreens can be grown at home by several methods: in the ground, aquaculture, and without soil. Let us consider each method in detail.
Growing micro-vegetables in waterlogging
Prepare a growing container before planting micro-greens. The easiest way is to buy a special sprout in the shop to get sprouts in a water trap, which is a plastic container with a small height and a removable mesh that is inside.
Instead of using a purchased germination machine, you can make a structure for planting micro-greens by hand. To do this, prepare any suitable container where you want to place the mesh. It is best to use a food tray plastic tray.
Technology for growing micro-vegetables using the hydrophobic method:
- Prepare seeds for micro-green crops.
- Spread the seed evenly on the screen.
- Pour water into the pan so that its level reaches the grid.
- Close the sprouts with a clear cover.
- Keep the structure in a warm, dark place until the seeds grow micro-green and have germinated.
- As soon as the first shoots appear, move the containers into the light and start caring for the plants.
Young shoots appear quickly. Micro-vegetables in-home water cultivation is grown at room temperature. It is recommended to change the water regularly. For ventilation and oxygen enrichment, open the lid slightly to allow air access. If you use commercial sprouts to distill green, there is no need for ventilation: a special pump can handle this.
Rotate the container to grow microgreens regularly on different sides of the window. Otherwise, photography can be found as the plants face the light.
To harvest, carefully cut off the stems when two leaves come out with sharp scissors. Once you have collected the first batch, discard the roots and you can start growing micro-vegetables at home and re-sowing.
After the first batch of sprouts has been fully used, the roots should be removed and discarded, the container rinsed and new sowing started.
Growing micro-vegetables in soil
Prepare the microgreen substrate before forcing the plants. You can use any soil in the store – for vegetables, or plants. Do not use soil for orchids and cacti: it is not suitable for this business.
It is better to take a neutral reaction substrate for the cultivation of microgreens at home. The thickness of the layer should be 1-1.5 cm.
Different containers are suitable for growing microgreens at home. When plants are forced into the ground, no network is required.
Technology for growing micro-vegetables at home in the ground:
- After the container has been prepared for micro-green distillation, pour the soil into the bottom.
- Moisturize the soil using a spray.
- Sow seeds over the entire area of the container on a substrate to grow micro-vegetables. They should not fit very tightly.
- Press on top of the seed with the palm of your hand and add a small layer of soil. Make sure it does not reach the edges of the container: shoots will rest on the walls as they grow.
- Compress the soil to ensure the best contact of seeds with the soil.
- Spray the soil with water with a spray bottle.
- Close the container with a transparent lid. You can also make a film or a regular low-density plastic bag for this purpose.
- Place the micro-green distillation container on the tray.
- Keep the container in a warm, dark place until you see the first microwaves in the ground.
- After the shoots appear, namely after 2-3 days, bring the container with small plants into the light.
Conditions for growing microgreens in the soil are room temperature and water as needed when the soil dries. For this it is recommended to use a spray, so you can prevent the seeds from washing out on the surface.
For harvesting, the sprouts are cut above the ground with sharp scissors. To extend the time to collect greens, cut the leaves off selectively and leave small next time.
Note! The soil for growing micro-vegetables in this way can be used repeatedly without further fertilization and fertilization.
Growing microgreens without land
You can grow microgreens without land and all equipment by building small greenhouses or greenhouses. To prepare the structure you need any container: it is convenient to use a plate. It should be covered with a bag without fail.
Techniques for growing microgreens without land:
- Place two layers of paper towel at the bottom of the tray. The perforated side should face up. Loose material (cotton, linen, gauze) is also used to germinate seeds. You can do it with cotton and bandages.
- Whatever material you use, moisten each layer with warm water.
- Top with seeds to grow micro-green on the windowsill without soil.
- Furthermore, using a syringe, you should moisten the seeds with warm water.
- As in previous cases, the structure is covered with a transparent lid or polyethylene to maintain humidity.
- When the seeds have sprouted, move the plate into the light.
- Spray the “soil” when it dries using a spray bottle.
Note! The first crop can be cut 6-10 after the seeds have been planted.