What is Micro Gardening?
Micro gardening is the practice of intensively growing food in small, well-designed urban spaces and containers. Micro gardens are made to be extremely fruitful, energy and space efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective, as well as to be grown in healthy, living soil.
What are Microgreens?
Vegetable greens known as microgreens are harvested right when the cotyledon leaves have formed with one set of true leaves, as opposed to sprouts or shoots. They are used to supplement nutrition, improve aesthetics, and improve flavor and texture. Foods can be spiced up and made sweeter by using microgreens. Because they are harvested very quickly after sprouting as opposed to when the plant has had time to develop multiple leaves, microgreens are smaller than baby greens. They are now regarded by upscale grocery stores as a special kind of green that can be used to decorate salads, soups, sandwiches, and meals.
In some recipes, they can also be used as the main vegetable to add flavor and nutrition. Some recipes use them as the main ingredient, while others use them as a garnish. For instance, coleslaw is made with radish microgreens in place of cabbage, pea shoots, or micro cabbage in cabbage soup. Chefs and cooks develop new uses for microgreens as their pronounced flavor and nutritional value gain popularity.
Produced from a variety of vegetables, herbs, or other plants are edible young greens. Their total size, including the stem and leaves, is between one and three inches. When harvesting, the stem is cut just above the soil line. Microgreens typically have one pair of very small, imperfectly developed true leaves in addition to fully developed cotyledon leaves
In San Francisco, microgreens first appeared on chefs’ menus in the 1980s. Since the middle of the 1990s, microgreens have grown in Southern California. A few varieties were initially provided; these included: arugula, basil, beets, kale, cilantro, and a colorful combination of those known as a “Rainbow Mix.” They are now grown in most parts of the United States, with an expanding variety, after spreading eastward from California. Currently, there are many different seed companies and growers in the U.S. market for microgreens.
A central stem, cotyledon leaf or leaves, and typically the first pair of very young true leaves are the three basic components of microgreens. The size varies depending on the variety grown but is typically between 1 and 1.5 inches overall. When the plant expands past this point, it is typically no longer referred to as a microgreen and is instead called a petite green. Fast-growing microgreens, like many brassicas, typically take 10 to 14 days from seeding to harvest on average.
Differences Between Sprouts, a Miniature Garden, and a Micro Garden
Miniature gardens are not the same as micro gardens. Miniature gardens are scaled-down, landscaped gardens that are kept in containers like terrariums, trays, baskets, or cups. Miniature gardens can also include tiny bonsai plants, dwarf plants, tiny fairies, houses, rocks, and other features. Sprouts are not planted in soil like microgreens are, whereas microgreens are sometimes grown in soil using a hydroponic system.
A variety of edible herb and vegetable seedlings make up micro gardens, also known as microgreen gardens. Microgreens, also known as baby leaf vegetables, are young vegetable greens. They are renowned for their extraordinarily flavorful aroma and high nutrient content. Microgreens can be grown outdoors on a balcony or terrace, as well as inside on a windowsill. Microgreens are particularly simple to grow for those who live in apartments. Additionally, learn the ultimate guide to survival gardening here.
Micro gardens can be grown all year long in trays, pots, and even food delivery boxes, both indoors and outdoors. Microgreens are wonderful to grow because you can harvest them in 10 to 14 days. When compared to mature greens, microgreens, also referred to as superfoods, frequently contain higher percentages of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Microgreens can be incorporated into a person’s diet in the form of salads, parathas, soups, raitas, pizza, or juice.
Creating a Micro Garden
Micro gardening is a developing trend as urban farming among millennials picks up steam. Microgreens can be harvested after only a few weeks. Therefore, growing these at home doesn’t take much time. Additionally, it doesn’t call for a lot of gardening tools or expertise. As a result, city dwellers can adopt it as a soothing hobby and enjoy caring for some vegetation.
What Can Be Cultivated in a Micro Garden?
The first step in creating a kitchen garden is to set up a micro garden. Starting with mustard, green grams, or fennel, a beginner can progress to sunflower and flax seeds later. Fenugreek, radish, kale, arugula, amaranth, beetroot, wheatgrass, basil, buckwheat, sunflower, and pea shoots are all simple plants to grow. Start with a few varieties and gradually add more as you go. In addition, find out what grows best in sandy soil.
These tiny greens are simple to grow and have attractive leaves and a nice spicy flavor. Protein, fiber, and iron are all found in mustard microgreens.
The intensity and flavor of this microgreen make the slightly longer germination time compared to most others worthwhile. Zinc, phosphorus, and beta-carotene are all present in micro coriander.
Another well-liked microgreen that people have been growing for health reasons is wheatgrass, which strengthens immunity and contains antioxidants. They also sprout quickly.
Reddish-purple edibles called beetroot microgreens are a rich source of zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Home Microgreens Production
Fortunately, growing microgreens at home is simpler than growing vegetables. Once you have the materials, they are also extremely inexpensive. On your kitchen counter, you can have a year-round source of wholesome vegetables growing once you get everything set up and understand how to grow microgreens. Vegetable seeds are simply sown in sterile soil, allowed to develop into a small shoot, and then harvested when they are a few inches tall.
You’ll enjoy using microgreens in the kitchen once you learn how to grow them. Add some microgreens to a pre-made salad to give it an instant gourmet makeover. Additionally, they go well in tacos and sandwiches. Additionally, microgreens can be added to soup bowls, stir-fries, and smoothies. For an added splash of color, I even put them on top of cooked fish.