One of the questions that many new to eating this superfood ask is “Are microgreens expensive to grow?” The truth of the matter is that they are far less expensive than lettuce, spinach, or other greens grown with soil. Microgreens, also known as nopal cactus, are very small, white, purple growing plants that come in three basic varieties: purple, yellow and orange. These tiny cactus plants grow well indoors under partial shade in a variety of conditions.
A surprising fact about microgreens is that they are considered safe for eating. Even experts have said that it’s a mild toxin (less toxic than spinach) and is considered much safer than eating regular spinach. That means that people with special health conditions can safely eat microgreens as an alternative to lettuce, kale and other leafy vegetables. Microgreens are so safe that they are recommended to pregnant women, children, seniors and those recovering from illness or injury.
There are several considerations one should take into account when growing microgreens. The first is the cost. As it turns out, microgreens are significantly more expensive than traditional greens such as lettuce, spinach and collards. But this doesn’t mean that they are not worth the investment. It simply means that people with modest budgets who aspire toward great tasting food should consider investing in some seeds and a plant.
It’s important to realize that microgreens are no bigger than seeds of ordinary greens such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. The difference lies in their size. Microgreens are much smaller than ordinary seeds, which makes them more fragile and require more care. This means that it takes more attention and patience than normal to provide adequate nourishment for microgreens.
Microgreens germinate faster than do ordinary sprouts and thus require almost no special nourishment. Once microgreens sprout, they are ready to be planted immediately. They cannot survive cold weather, which is a significant limitation for urban dwellers because winter requires additional watering. Even so, microgreens make excellent indoor sprouts.
People who want to grow their own vegetables in a small space can opt for dwarf microgreens instead. These are about the same size as regular microgreens but they are almost double the per pound cost because of their size. You also have to take note that although these roots are more visible to your naked eye, they are not as strong as those of regular seeds. Thus it takes twice as long for these plants to mature as it does for regular seeds. But if you are looking for easy growing food items, then microgreens actually are the best option for you.
Dwarf microgreens are easier to germinate than regular seeds. If you use regular seeds, then it takes a considerable amount of time before the sprouts are noticeable. But if you use microgreens, then you are guaranteed germination within 24 hours. And since the root system is so visible, the sprouts develop faster. That is why you don’t need to water a lot.
If you use dwarf microgreens, then it will take less than two weeks to produce six ounces of edible vegetables. The seeds can be stored in glass jars or plastic containers and they can last for up to one year. These are some of the things you need to know about growing microgreens. With proper care, growing microgreen crops in a small space should not pose a problem.
Dwarf or micro green sprouts are affordable and are suitable for people with tight budgets. However, the germination process from regular seeds takes longer. So if you want to have quick growing microgreens, then you need to increase the number of sprouts. But if you don’t like to wait for long periods of time before sprouts, then you should opt for a store-bought product.
When you buy, look for a range of different colors and textures. You may also be able to get fancy-looking tiny versions of popular leafy vegetables like lettuce, kale and broccoli. Some retailers also offer oven-toasted sprouts. That means you can make leafy vegetable dishes like pizza and burgers with microgreens.
While buying, check the fiber content of the sprouts. Since microgreens may lack fiber, they won’t help you lower cholesterol levels. They also may not provide a sufficient level of dietary fiber for people with high blood pressure and diabetes. Look for supplements that provide a more complete range of nutrients.