How to plant microgreens in soil is not the same as how to plant other types of greens. Unlike most other micro greens (which grow from underground), these are actually newly germinating seeds which have just been inserted into the ground. You never get to see the sprouts growing; instead, they are placed in a small container for a couple of weeks and then plucked right before the next frost. Soil preparation is different for these two microgreen varieties.
Typically, when you’re planting a new plant in the soil, you’re working with what’s known as the “hosta”. This is a shallow garden bed, made of one to three inches of soil. When you plant microgreens in that manner, it’s called “seed planting”. You’ll need to prepare the area for seed planting, by adding compost, peat moss, or any other type of organic fertilizer to the bottom of the hole. When growing microgreens in soil, your goal is not just to get as many as you can up and over. Instead, your goal is to ensure that all of them get established so that you can harvest your crop.
Microgreen varieties like the cotyledon and true leaves have stems that reach no more than about a half-inch. The cotyledons and true leaves of these plants grow upright. In order to determine how much microgreens will be visible when planting, you’ll need to know their mature heights. Microgreens reach maturity after about three years; true leaves reach maturity after just two years. For planting amounts, about five to ten pounds per acre is a good bet.
Many indoor vegetable gardens do not provide for year-round indoor salad growing needs. If that is the case, then you will need to purchase a window box that is large enough to accommodate your microgreens. These micro green vegetables do not like to be planted directly into the soil, but rather need to be contained in a special solution to keep them from growing wild.
To begin, remove any dead leaves or twigs on the root system and any weeds that are on the surface. Thoroughly dig the hole, making sure to fill in all of the spaces between the holes. Your goal is to make it as even as possible, and to also ensure that no air pockets develop between the roots of your microgreens. After digging the planting holes, re-site the plants on top of the soil and use a spade to carefully plant your microgreens.
It has been shown that sun-loving plants like tomatoes actually prefer the afternoon sun over direct sun. By growing your microgreens inside the home, you are creating a nutrient-dense environment for them to thrive. Because tomatoes typically need at least three hours of daylight each day to grow healthily, planting tomatoes in the house during the height of daylight hours will help them be able to come out of their protected environment later in the evening. The cool morning sunshine will not harm these delicate plants.
Once your microgreen seeds have sprouted, be sure to move them indoors immediately. This is especially true if you are planting them in a sunny windowsill. Sunlight can actually cause your seeds to germinate and sprout prematurely. Microgreens do best when they are planted in a deep bed with at least two inches of moist soil. This moisture will help them develop properly and keep fungus from infecting the seeds.
Harvesting should be carefully done with care. Microgreens do not like extreme temperatures. If you are growing microgreens indoors, be sure to harvest them only after the leaves on the top begin to turn color from green to purple. Harvesting when the top layer of leaves has turned purple means that the plant is ready for harvesting. Be sure to rinse off any spore residue when harvesting any kind of herb.