Farming technology is continuously changing, and people are finding it easy to grow any plant they desire minus the soil. These techniques lead to an increase of microgreens in people’s houses and other eating locations worldwide. The main cause for the uproar in their popularity includes the plant being nutritional potent and ease of the growing process.
In the beginning, only major restaurants would serve small plants. Today, even the youngest of individuals, such as college students, are planting and growing the micro herbs. The essentials you need to actualize a small garden are available in a retail shop online. Gathering them follows a simple process.
What Supplies You Will Need
Pros and Cons
They are the most important when it comes to farming any crop. Microgreens seeds should be of quality nature and have no preservatives or artificial chemicals that may sully their growth process. Go to a reputable retail shop, known retailers, or your local nursery for the seeds. Ensure you select from the variety available and try out the different types to find a favorite.
As we said, the soil is out of the picture due to its many advantages. Hydroponic growing mediums are of many types. You may want to choose a growing mat for your greens. Some prefer coconut coir. However, we recommend using the mats as they are comfy and generate ample warmth for the soil, just like the soil.
Since you want to have your plants in the house to monitor and record the growth process, it is good to use a plate. Also, dishes (trays) are good holding places, and once you settle it, there is no need to lift or move it. You get to have a permanent growing location for the micro herbs.
A suitable trays dimensions include a depth of 2 inches. The length should be 20 inches while the width comes to 10 inches. No need to drill holes as the plants will use hydroponic mediums for growth.
A testing kit to measure acidity is essential as a simple element like acidic water can result in low harvest or interfere with growth. These micro herbs thrive in pH levels that do not exceed six. Therefore, testing every drop is fundamental to ensuring that you remain within the correct growing pH range.
Settle the tray and the medium in a space with access to sunlight, such as the kitchen window, patio corner, or the balcony. Every plant requires a form of the sun for growth and photosynthesis. If you find no suitable space, purchase grows lights.
Preparation for Growing the Micro Herbs
Once you have all the supplies in hand, it is time to prepare the growth medium before planting the seeds.
You already have the recommended growth mat for the micro herbs. If you cannot find one in your neighborhood or have it delivered, replace it with coconut coir. Rugs are a bit pricey but do not leave any mess behind after the preparation process. However, they are both efficient, and the resultant harvest is one to take pride in and enjoy at the end of the day.
The preparation process follows the same process, regardless of the hydroponic medium you use. In this case, coconut coir is advisable since it is much cheaper and easily accessible.
Place the medium in a container. Add water and stir to make a soil-like appearance and consistency. Many packaging comes with indications of the amount of water to use. Let it soak for around 30 minutes, then lift and drain for planting.
Using the mats is much simpler. All you need is a spray and water. Here you do not soak the cloth but mist it using a sprayer. Repeat the spray process to make it moist.
Water is a crucial part of hydroponic farming. The pH level should remain at six; thus, before spraying the mat or soaking the coconut coir, you have to test the pH level and ascertain it is indeed 6.
Store the remaining water for use if the medium dries, and plants require more water.
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Microgreens Growing Process
- Step one
If using the soaked coconut coir, the first step involves spreading the medium across the tray. Ensure it is level, and the depth is around an inch. For growth mats, the spread is simple as it requires placing it on top of the tray evenly. Ensure you prepare the growth medium before proceeding to step one.
- Step two
The number of seeds to plant at any point is available on the packaging instruction manual for your select seeds. Many advise two teaspoons, while others indicate three. When planting, the main target or goal is to ensure that every spot on the growing tray has a seed.
Ensure that they do not crowd any single space but are all-round. Too many or none will either damage the seeds or result in far spaced or too crowded seedlings. Their quality levels drop drastically. Therefore, spread evenly close to one another but not on the same spot since harvesting is after a few weeks.
- Step three
Once you spread or plant the seeds, spray some water on the seeds. The aim is to keep them a bit warm for the growth process to begin. Cover using another tray, or if you have a dark room, place the tray in it. Germination occurs in a warm but dark space. Therefore, a store for three of four days in the dark ensures the temperatures are warm enough for germination.
You do not cover entirely as the seeds still need air for germination. Water is also an important component for the process requiring you to continuously spray the seeds every 12 hours for the three to four days.
- Step four
Allow some light to reach the young seedlings after the germination process. The sun will allow the plants to grow leaves and start photosynthesis. Preferably, place in the tray under direct sunlight or use grow lights if such space is unavailable.
When you water the growing herbs, pour water directly to the tray and not the organic plants. Allow the medium to absorb the water for a while approximately 10 minutes on the lower but 20 minutes utmost. Do this for the next ten days/.
- Step five
Since the herbs grow fast, you only need ten days for the first true leaves to appear. However, some may take 14 days or less. However, if you get a pick and see a true sheet forming, it is time to harvest your herbs. They are ready for use.
Harvesting involves taking the herbs from the tray. Use scissors to cut them and leave the roots intact in the growth medium
- Step six
These are green vegetables, even though their value in terms of nutrition is very high. The recommended period for use in your food is the same day as the harvest. Nutritional value for these micro herbs diminishes with time.
However, if you decide to take them later, you need a proper storage mechanism. Select a cool place approximately 36oF and cover with damp towels on either side to preserve their nutritional value. Airtight containers are not advisable as they do not allow the microgreens breathing space, destroying the available nutrients.
Growing the micro herbs is a simple process. All you need are essential for hydroponic farming, including a medium, water, seeds, and pH kit. The process takes 10 to 14 days, and you do not need soil to grow them. After the period, you can harvest and have a party by garnishing your food with lovely and nutritious micro herbs.