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Sprouts vs. Micro Greens

If you don’t have a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables, then you should think about growing sprouts or micro greens.  If sprouts are the infants of the produce world, microgreens are the youngsters!

Sprouts – Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s development and are generally grown without a growing medium (soil), but are sprouted and rinsed in a sprouting tray, jar or bag.  They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate and are delicious and crunchy.  A lot of flavor, vitamins and minerals that are going to be in the plant are concentrated in the sprouts.  Sprouts can reach their prime in just a few days with a consistent clean water rinse and no sun required. 

Easy inexpensive methods:   

  • For small seeds: use a large glass jar, place cheesecloth over the lid area, and secured with a rubber band. Rinse daily and tilt upside down in your dish rack for drainage.  
  • For large seeds: use a colander or large strainer that fits a large pot or bowl.  Rinse daily and place a clean cloth over the top. 

Types of sprouts: green leaf, mung bean, lentil alfalfa, radish, sunflower, pumpkin, wheat, chickpea, broccoli. 

Micro Greens – Micro greens are typically grown in soil or other growing medium and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear.  Micro greens are harvested at this stage before the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge.  Plants in the micro green stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and have had the opportunity to absorb trace elements and micronutrients from the soil.  Microgreens can be harvested 1 to 2 weeks 

Easy inexpensive growing methods:  

  • Save those old plastic containers and poke holes in the bottom and place on a cookie sheet/cake sheet 
  • Fill containers with seed starting soil – pre moistened  
  • Sprinkle a lot of seeds with ¼ spacing into soil 
  • Add light soil on top and cover with lightweight plastic to maintain humidity. 
  • Set in a sunny window and water from the bottom by adding water in the cookie/cake sheet.   
  • Snip with a scissors when harvesting. 

Types of microgreens: Kale, arugula, beet greens, onions, radish greens, watercress, chard, boc choy, cilantro, basil, chervil, parsley, chives, pea 

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Last Updated: 12/5/23