Kitchen Garden Guides

Friday, October 9, 2015

Microgreens experiment

I have been sprouting and eating lots of lovely things, all winter; the coldest winter for 50 years in southern Tasmania. The days are always short in winter but this winter was so grey and so cold that it was a chore to manage the garden at all. I use a handy little, 4 layered sprouter that is really good, so I always have fresh sprouts, even when it is snowing!

Now spring has arrived with its usual flourish and the garden is bursting with life once more. For some reason I now feel less like eating sprouts and more like eating micro-greens, which I have not really tried growing much before. I normally eat from the garden, not from a pot.

However, our local green grocer was giving away little punnets of microgreens (she called them lettuce sprouts, but they weren’t) she had grown but which had not sold. They were tall and spindly and did not look very interesting but I accepted one and brought it home. It sat, neglected, on my kitchen window sill until one day I clipped it back by half and gave it a drink. Within a few days it sprang to life, thickened up and looked like it might be worth looking after, after all.

That was at least a month ago and it is still going! I trim it and put the shoots in my salad often and still it grows. A week or so ago I took the whole clump out of the punnet to see what the seeds were, that had so much life in them, and discovered lentils. Ah haaa, I sell organic, Australian lentils, amongst other things, in my Garden Shed and Pantry shop, so I took a handful of this and that and headed to my potting bench.

I gathered some punnets and some pretty pots then wondered what medium to use. She had not put much soil in the punnet but had a thick layer of seeds so I did the same. Obviously they would need some good, nitrogenous medium to keep them growing so I used compost, potting mix and a dash of chook poo pellets. The pots required more soil than the punnets just to fill them up a bit but next time I would put less, as the swollen seeds have now pushed it all up and it looks like a risen loaf of bread!


I sowed green lentils, azuki beans, chick peas and buckwheat. Before long, the green lentils were up and growing fast. Next is the buckwheat; not so even germination but ok. The chick peas and azuki beans are slower to send up green shoots but have good roots.

Green lentils microgreens

These terracotta pots are cheap and available locally but made in Italy! They come without any holes, so I drilled one but, for these microgreens, I wonder if it would be ok not to have a hole, since the terracotta itself is porous and the life of the greens is not long. I will try that next.

Life is good. Get there fast then take it slow.


Selina B said...

what a great idea, had not even thought about trying to grow chick peas, lentils just beans lol
great post
thanx for sharing

africanaussie said...

I really enjoyed a huge variety of greens in my garden all winter and decided I might try microgreens to extend the season. I planted out watercress, lettuce and rocket quite thickly in a polstyrene box. They were coming up ever so nicely, but over the weekend something ate every single leaf, except for the rocket! I have never had much success with microgreens. Yours look lovely. Maybe I will try lentils...

Rectangular Garden Beds said...

Great Idea. Thanks for sharing with us.