Micro Gardening for the winter: microgreens
So getting the the micro greens up and growing for the winter. Have about 20 trays. - going to up another shelf and ten more trays next week. Anyone else bring your gardening indoors for the winter?
@AngelaOston I started growing micro greens last winter. A bit hit and miss. Tell me your process and what you use as a growing medium please. I mainly wanted broccoli sprouts for their health benefits.
You are farther along than I am this year. I just put in my first fall/winter 2021 microgreens about a week ago.
I use Miracle Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix as my medium. One 8 quart bag is about right to last my through one winter. However, I don't think that microgreens are very fussy about their growing medium. As long as you don't use soil with disease that could cause damping off, you'll probably be successful.
I don't have a good south-facing window, so I use artificial light. The first few years I used typical cool fluorescent tubes, which worked well for sprouts and shoots but were not bright enough to get transplants going for outdoor summer crops such as tomatoes. Last year I upgraded to actual LED grow lights in the odd blue-red colors that are optimized for plant growth, which have done a good job both for microgreens and starting transplants.
The most successful varieties of shoots for me have been daikon radish, buckwheat lettuce, evergreen hardy white onion scallions, and broccoli. The buckwheat and broccoli provide the mild-flavored bulk for salads or sandwiches, the scallions provide a mild onion flavor that we love, and the radishes provide a bit of heat for a "kick".
We also grow peas and eat the pea shoots, which also provide bulk, but we don't like them as much as the others things I list above. A small amount of nasturtium grows more slowly but stays at the optimum point longer, and has a pleasant flavor similar to black pepper. You can eat the nasturium flowers as well as the greens.
Our setup also sprouts mung beans to use as bean sprouts.
I buy my sprout and shoot seeds from Johnny's, but I'm sure there are many other good sources.
I grow sprouts a diff way but would also use the tray method if I had some..
My ongoing question is what can you sprout and what can/should you not sprout? I talked to a seed company and they told me the sprouting seeds have to be specially treated to keep them safe to eat. so which varieties of for example...broccoli , carrots, greens, onions, radishes....
I do know that you must not sprout to eat sprouts of the night shade family... the plant parts that are safe to eat is the fruit...tomato, pepper, potato...here is an interesting article for bottom line health regarding the nightshade family...more of them than I thought...so don't use any of them for sprouting.
This is how Mike Adams does it and keeps in step so he has fresh sprouts every day. When I saw his method I quit with the pads, soil etc and tried it...fast and easy 3 day turn around..depending on the sprouts you grow and if you only grow to the sprout stage. With many of the sprouting seeds it only takes a few days longer to have the next stage which yields lots more food for your time and money investment.
I grow microgreens and sprouts.
I just brought in the last of my plants I overwinter. They should have come in a few weeks ago but I am way behind.
I hope to have up one more small greenhouse to help store plants in this winter. I have one week to successfully get it up, lol.
I have grown sprouts off and on for several years. Have tried microgreens once or twice, but really want to get going on that. I did collect some kale and broccoli seeds from plants in my garden. Now just to get to sprouting them.
My sprouts always have irregular growth, some grow way faster than others.
I will keep trying.
I used to grow sprouts in the winter months when my kids were young. I taught them a lot about gardening. One of them gardens now and has beautiful strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and lots of other things.
I really enjoyed the sprouts in the winter. My kids ate them too. I actually haven't done that in years. This year I attempted to bring my garden inside like last year but that didn't work at all.
I decided to grow some greens inside and I have a south facing window so it should work.
Growing anything in the winter months make the cold season go faster.
And with possible shortages, any greens will help.
Good luck with your indoor gardening@dipat20052 · Share on Twitter
@silvertipgrizz We tend to lump sprouts and shoots together when talking about microgreens, but you make a good point when you show the jar of sprouts. Most of the discussion about microgreens we've had here has focused on shoots.
I sprout mung beans the same way you do except I use a plastic resealable bag instead of a jar. We don't use very much, so the small size of the bag works well.
Mostly, though, our indoor microgreens focus on shoots instead of sprouts. Those actually benefit from soil or potting mix, light, and occasional watering.
I use a plastic spray bottle from Walmart that was intended for use in washing and drying clothes. It cost about $1 and works very well. I spritz my sprouts several times a day instead of drowning them by pouring water on. This works very well for getting seeds started. For transplants that you want to grow larger than microgreens, at some point you want to switch to actually adding water to the soil so the roots can reach it.
Hello - have a question === does anyone have a LED grow light that they would recommend? I have one that is good - but they no longer are in business.
@SandraSterkel Flack We have a few discussions covering this question.
I just recently got an LED grow light myself, but it isn't in place yet. Considering, I can't give a review on it besides that it arrived in good shape.
Now, somehow I just managed to get posts within 4 discussions, instead of direct links to the discussions themselves. If you search for grow lights or LED in the search function of the forum, you will find these posts along with further discussion.
@LaurieLovesLearning. - thank you for the information -- I will go check these out :)
Welcome to TGN's forum @SandraSterkel Flack.
I'm very satisfied with the Monios-L T5 Grow Light, 2 feet long, 30W Dual Growing Strips. Putting these in made it possible for me to start my own tomatoes successfully for the first time, when regular fluourescents weren't working.
They're about $25 on US Amazon.
The challenge I've had with microgardening is that they take a week or more to sprout to the point that they are ready to eat, and they won't survive long if you aren't there to keep them watered.
So if you go away for a week to visit family, you have to start over when you get home, and it will be a least a week before you have any to eat again.
The outside garden is much better at managing on its own for a few days without human attention.
I've grown some microgreens in the past, but never really got into the groove with it, so haven't continued doing so. I do love the idea of growing them during the winter, so I may look into trying it again. Some great resources and tips in this thread--thank you, @AngelaOston, for starting it, and to everyone else for contributing their wisdom!
Winterleaf Posts: 1 ✭✭✭
What I grow might technically be sprouts, but they look like microgreens to me, and I harvest them the same.
I’m using Hamama mats and trays that I was gifted - very easy system for beginners like me. The mats come seeded and you basically just add water.
I realized pretty quickly that I could clean up and re-use the coconut coir mats instead of composting them as suggested. I pick off the roots (and compost those), dry the mats out well, sprinkle with seeds I bought and cover with a piece of paper towel et voila! Super easy system for anyone looking to start. I don’t use grow lights.
Welcome to the forum, @Winterleaf! Reusing is always a good idea when possible. I'm sure everyone here likes a money saving tip, and this is an easy one to do. Thanks! 😄
When you have a moment, please leave a short introduction here:
If you ever have technical questions or need a how-to tutorial that's forum related, you can find that here:
I soak all the sprouts for the tray in a glass before seeding Im in the desert and its not very humid. So this helps sprouting. Im wondering if you are seeing directly in trays and then wetting. This may be creating the uneven germination .
I soak my seeds, but maybe not long enough? I too live in the desert. I will try longer soaking next time. Thanks for the feedback.
Could always be a poor bag of seeds
I typically soak my shoot seeds in a small cup of tap water for about a day before planting. Then I lay them on the surface of a small breadpan of damp potting soil, fold a piece of newspaper up until it's a little larger than the surface of the pan, wet it thoroughly, and put in on top of the seeds. Then I spray the newspaper with water a couple of times a day.
Eventually the shoots germinate. Then I remove the newspaper and continue to spray the shoots once or twice a day with a cheap spray bottle designed for laundry.
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