Friday, 30 March 2018

Microgreens: The New Season

Last summer I discovered the wonders of growing microgreens - edible shoots of plants that can be grown quickly and compactly indoors.  It's actually possible to do this all year round, with the right equipment and discipline, neither of which are things I have in abundance.  For a continuous supply, you need things like grow lights, and more shelves than I really have space for.  Still, it's fun to see how much you can grow in how little space, and how much nutrition you can actually get out of such a project.

A key component, obviously, is light.  Though it can help to start off your seedlings in the dark, beneath a weight for some stimulating pressure, once they've started sprouting, light is what you need.  Preferably actual sunlight.  So this year so far, England hasn't really provided the ideal conditions for the minimally-equipped microgreen gardener.  I've some pictures that I could use to prove that to you, but to be honest I'd rather not.  Just take my word for it.

Anyway, the weather is turning, temperatures are rising, the clocks have sprung and so at last, the time is right.  I started my first few trays at the beginning of this week.

Here's something notable.  On the left: one 250g box of "quick soak" dried peas - 50p.  On the right: one bag of tesco marrowfat dried peas, 500g - £1.80.  I soaked 250g of each overnight, sowed one tray of each the following morning and identical conditions, and three days later:

The first picture shows the Batchelor's cheapo peas; the second, the posher Tesco ones.    Batchelor's peas boxed come with a "soaking tablet" made of sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and disodium diphosphate.  Salt and shit, in other words.  Though I didn't soak the tablet with the peas, attempting to grow shoots from them has been far less fruitful than growing the others, which come un-corrupted by salt and shit.  Even just the presence of the tablet in the box was enough to thrwart my intentions.  This is a shame because Batchelor's peas are not only cheaper, but come without any plastic packaging.  Anyway, we struggle on.

To read about last year's adventures in microgreen growing, start here.

I'm also in the process of pinterest-ifying this blog, so if you're into that, you can have a look at the microgreens section here, or the main board here.

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Related posts

My first week as a microgreen gardener
Grow Your Own Meals Indoors, Forever and Ever?
A Soup Made of Scraps


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