Micro greens /micro gardens seem to be catching on like wild fires in Australia.
Every where I look I see advertisements and blog posting about growing, harvesting and serving ‘Micro’ greens.
UK’s Royal Horticultural Society said “in the dark days of January there is one crop for the keen vegetable grower to sow. Micro leaves(Micro greens) are small vegetable or herb seedlings harvested when an inch or so high with just a couple of seed leaves. Although tiny, they pack a punch of intense
flavour flavor and are an ideal way to pep up bland supermarket lettuce.
Micro greens are a great way of using old stocks of seed such as carrot, lettuce, leek, onion, parsley, spinach and turnip.
Hint: Coriander, fennel, radish and rocket offer some of the most intense
Seed companies offer varied selections of seed which are more economical to use for micro greens but, almost any veg seed can be used and it’s a good way of using up last season’s seed. Try searching ebay for micro greens.
A frost free greenhouse and propagator the sky’s the limit, but a well lit, sunny windowsill can be very productive. The ideal minimum temperature for germination is 65 degrees(18C).
Seed can be sown thinly on damp kitchen paper or felt cut to fit a shallow tray. Keep a close eye on it to prevent the seedlings from drying out.
Sowing into quarter-size seed trays of a good multipurpose compost cuts down maintenance. Another useful shortcut is to cover the seed with vermiculite to keep the emerging seedlings clean and reduce drying out and capping of the surface.
Harvest once the first seed leaves have fully opened using some sharp scissors to cut the stems. Alternatively, if you let the seedlings develop true leaves and cut above the seed leaves you may get a couple of cuts from these slightly larger seedlings, essentially the “cut and grow again” technique.
To speed germination, buy a heat mat, keeping soil warm can reduce growing time by half. Buying a second (heat mat)propagator and sowing once germination occurs in the first ensures a constant supply of micro greens.
Recommended Micro greens for your consideration:
*Basil ‘Dark Opal’: the flavor complements tomatoes, soft cheeses and pesto. The dark purple leaves make a great contrast added to salads or as garnish.
*Celery leaf: intense celery flavor. Use in salads, soups or garnish. Slower to germinate.
*Cress ‘Polycress’: the original micro leaf with typical peppery cress flavor
*Coriander: typical strong, aromatic flavor, goes well with any Asian dish
*Mustard ‘Red Frills’: bright red and green leaves with a strong mustard flavour. Goes well with beef, stir-fries, salads and in sandwiches.
*Rocket ‘Victoria’: peppery flavour added to salads and tomato or pasta dishes.
*Radish ‘Sangria’: attractive, bright red stems with distinctive flavour. Great in salads, sandwiches and stir-fries.
Grin.. British spell funny. Flavour???
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