Since late spring, we've had a constant supply of delicious buckwheat and sunflower microgreens growing on the back porch.
I've written about growing microgreens before, but am now following a slightly different growing method. Instead of planting dry seeds under a thin layer of soil, I now follow the soaking and sprouting method of Ann Wigmore's book “Sprouting.”
This entails soaking the seeds overnight (about 1-1/2 cups per growing tray), then sprouting them for a day in half-gallon mason jars. Then I spread the sprouting seeds out right on top of the soil. This keeps the greens much cleaner come harvest-time, because instead of popping out and bringing dirt with them (as they would if under the soil), they root down and sprout up from the top of the soil and stay clean. I like that cleanliness.
I also like that the growth rate seems to be better, because they're already sprouted when going into the soil. As long as I make sure the soil stays moist, they continue to grow. With the summer heat, I do not find that it is necessary to keep the trays covered. But I have to watch that the soil doesn't dry out.
The other difference between mine and Ann Wigmore's method is that instead of pulling up the roots and composting them (once a tray has been harvested), I just chop up the soil and the roots of the old greens right in the tray. The roots can break down right there, providing organic matter for the new crop of (soaked & sprouted) seeds, which I lay right on top of the soil/old root mixture. This seems to be working. I suppose at some point, I might have to change out the contents of the trays with new soil and compost, but for now, the decomposing old plants are there to nourish the new. In addition, I rotate where each new crop grows. For instance, I plant buckwheat greens in the tray that last contained sunflower greens and vice versa.
Our salads contain a bed of microgreens topped with sprouts grown indoors, and other items as they are available (cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini, olives, etc.). I dress the salads with our favorite olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad dressing.
© Copyright 2008 by Wardee Harmon.
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