Have you ever marveled at the vibrant splash of greens on a gourmet dish and thought, "I could grow those"? Well, I did! My fascination with mesclun microgreens began in a chic little bistro downtown. The peppery punch and the crisp texture of these tiny yet mighty veggies sparked more than my taste buds; they ignited an enduring passion for urban gardening. Picture this: your very own lush carpet of mesclun microgreens sitting right there on your windowsill, ready to harvest at will! It's not just about adding flair to your meals or embarking on a journey towards sustainable living - growing these greens is simply delightful. And guess what? You don't need to be laden with years of gardening experience either—anyone can start their microgreen garden with some straightforward steps.

Embark on this green-thumb adventure as we delve into choosing the best seeds for your needs and creating ideal conditions for them to thrive. We'll touch upon sowing techniques that promise success all but guaranteed, followed by essential care tips that ensure vigorous growth without any hitches along the way. And when it comes time? Oh yes—the harvesting part is where every novice gardener’s heart swells as you reap what you've so tenderly sown!

Let's demystify each stage together; from seed selection through snipping those succulent sprouts—it’s easier than piecing together an IKEA bookshelf (and infinitely more rewarding). So roll up those sleeves because we’re diving into everything you'll need for nurturing these verdant beauties from seedlings all the way up until they grace your favorite dishes.

How To Grow Mesclun Microgreens (7 Easy Steps For Beginners!)

Have you ever marveled at the vibrant splash of greens on a gourmet dish and thought, "I could grow those"? Well, I did! My fascination with mesclun microgreens began in a chic little bistro downtown. The peppery punch and the crisp texture of these tiny yet mighty veggies sparked more than my taste buds; they ignited an enduring passion for urban gardening. Picture this: your very own lush carpet of mesclun microgreens sitting right there on your windowsill, ready to harvest at will! It's not just about adding flair to your meals or embarking on a journey towards sustainable living - growing these greens is simply delightful. And guess what? You don't need to be laden with years of gardening experience either—anyone can start their microgreen garden with some straightforward steps.

Embark on this green-thumb adventure as we delve into choosing the best seeds for your needs and creating ideal conditions for them to thrive. We'll touch upon sowing techniques that promise success all but guaranteed, followed by essential care tips that ensure vigorous growth without any hitches along the way. And when it comes time? Oh yes—the harvesting part is where every novice gardener’s heart swells as you reap what you've so tenderly sown!

Let's demystify each stage together; from seed selection through snipping those succulent sprouts—it’s easier than piecing together an IKEA bookshelf (and infinitely more rewarding). So roll up those sleeves because we’re diving into everything you'll need for nurturing these verdant beauties from seedlings all the way up until they grace your favorite dishes.

11

min read

Choosing Microgreens Seeds

When venturing into the world of growing mesclun microgreens, selecting the right seeds is a pivotal first step. The seeds you choose will determine not only the flavor profile of your greens but also their nutritional content and how well they'll grow in your setup. Here's what you need to know to make an informed decision.

Quality Over Quantity: Always opt for high-quality seeds. While it might be tempting to go for cheaper options, premium seeds have better germination rates and are less likely to carry diseases. Look for seeds that are specifically labeled for microgreen cultivation or those that are organic and non-GMO to ensure you're starting off on the right foot.

Variety is the Spice of Life: Mesclun is a mix, typically including a variety of leafy greens such as arugula, endive, lettuce, and chard. When choosing your seeds, think about the flavors and textures you enjoy. Some seed suppliers offer pre-mixed mesclun blends designed for microgreen growth, which can take the guesswork out of creating your own mix.

Consider Growth Rates: Not all greens grow at the same pace. When creating your own mesclun mix, it's wise to pair seeds with similar growth rates to ensure even maturation. This way, you won't have some greens ready to harvest while others are just getting started.

Disease Resistance: Some varieties of seeds have been bred for increased resistance to common plant diseases. This can be particularly important when growing microgreens since their dense planting can sometimes promote fungal diseases like damping-off. Check seed descriptions for mentions of disease resistance.

Germination Rate: The germination rate indicates the percentage of seeds likely to sprout. High germination rates mean more successful sprouts from each batch of seeds sown, leading to a fuller harvest. Seed packets often list this rate, so keep an eye out for it.

By taking these factors into account when selecting your mesclun microgreens seeds, you'll be setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable growing experience. Remember that while some trial and error may be involved, choosing the right seeds is a crucial step in cultivating a lush and tasty crop of microgreens.


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Ideal Growing Conditions

Growing mesclun microgreens can be a rewarding experience, especially when you provide them with the ideal conditions they need to thrive. Let's dive into what constitutes the perfect environment for your tiny greens.

Light: The Power Source for Growth

Mesclun microgreens, like all plants, require light to perform photosynthesis. However, they don't need the intense light that mature plants do. A moderate level of indirect sunlight or a grow light for about 12-16 hours a day will suffice. If you're using artificial lighting, LED or fluorescent grow lights are excellent choices as they emit the necessary wavelengths without excessive heat that could harm the delicate microgreens.

Temperature: The Comfort Zone

The temperature is crucial for germination and growth. Mesclun microgreens prefer a consistent temperature range between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Extreme temperatures can hinder germination or lead to stressed plants, which are more susceptible to diseases. It's important to keep your growing area away from drafts and drastic temperature changes.

Humidity: The Balancing Act

Humidity plays a significant role in the health of microgreens. Aim for a relative humidity level around 40-60%. Too much humidity can invite mold and fungal diseases, while too little can cause the greens to dry out quickly. Using a humidity dome or tray cover can help maintain the right levels during the initial germination phase.

Watering: The Essence of Life

Water is essential, but overwatering is one of the most common mistakes when growing microgreens. Mesclun seeds need to be kept moist but not waterlogged. A fine mist spray bottle or bottom watering technique works well to provide moisture without disturbing the seeds or young roots. Ensure your growing tray has proper drainage to prevent standing water.

Soil: The Foundation

A good quality soilless potting mix or coconut coir provides an excellent medium for mesclun microgreens. These mediums are free from soil-borne diseases and provide a clean, neutral base for your seeds to grow in. They also help manage moisture levels effectively, which is key for delicate seedlings.

By providing these ideal growing conditions, you'll create a nurturing environment that encourages your mesclun microgreens to flourish. Remember, consistency is key – fluctuations in light, temperature, or moisture can all impact the health and yield of your crop.


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Sowing Mesclun Seeds

Sowing mesclun seeds is a straightforward process that can yield a lush carpet of tender greens in a matter of weeks. To ensure success, follow these easy steps:

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    2. Prepare Your Growing Tray: Begin with a clean, shallow growing tray. If you're reusing a tray, make sure to wash it thoroughly to prevent any diseases from affecting your new crop. Fill the tray with about an inch or two of pre-moistened potting mix or soilless growing medium designed for microgreens.

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    2. Even Distribution: Mesclun seeds are typically small and can be challenging to sow evenly by hand. To achieve uniform growth, sprinkle the seeds as evenly as possible over the surface of the medium. There's no need to cover them with soil as microgreens do not require burying. However, you can gently press them into the medium to ensure good contact.

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    2. Optimal Spacing: While microgreens can be grown densely, avoid the temptation to overcrowd the seeds. Good spacing allows for adequate air circulation and reduces the risk of mold or fungal issues as the plants grow.

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    2. Moisture is Key: After sowing, use a fine mist spray bottle to water the seeds gently. The goal is to keep the medium moist but not waterlogged. Consistent moisture is crucial for germination, so check daily and mist as needed to maintain even moisture levels.

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    2. Cover Up: To create a humid environment that encourages germination, cover the tray with a clear plastic lid or another tray turned upside down. This also helps in keeping the moisture level constant without the need for frequent watering.

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    2. Patience Pays Off: Mesclun seeds typically germinate within 3-7 days depending on the variety and growing conditions. During this period, keep the tray in a location that's out of direct sunlight and at a stable temperature—ideally between 60-70°F (15-21°C).

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    2. Let There Be Light: Once you see sprouts emerging, remove the cover and expose them to light. This could be natural sunlight on a windowsill or under grow lights if sunlight is insufficient. At this stage, light is essential for healthy growth and development of your microgreens.

Remember, while mesclun seeds don't require deep soil or intense care, they do need consistent attention in their early days. Keep an eye on moisture levels and watch out for any signs of poor germination or disease.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to growing a vibrant mesclun microgreens garden right in your own home. Enjoy the process and look forward to harvesting your very own fresh greens soon!

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Planty helps your plant find the best place to soak up the sun goodness.

Microgreen Care Tips

Caring for mesclun microgreens is a rewarding endeavor that requires attention to detail and a gentle touch. These tiny greens are packed with flavor and nutrients, making them a popular choice for gardeners and food enthusiasts alike. To ensure your microgreens thrive, here are some essential care tips to follow.

Consistent Watering

Water is the lifeblood of all plants, and microgreens are no exception. They need to be watered regularly, but with a delicate balance – too much can lead to mold and root rot, while too little can cause them to dry out and wilt. Here's how to get it right:

    1. Use a spray bottle or a gentle watering can to mist your microgreens. This method prevents the force of water from damaging the fragile plants.

    1. Aim for consistently moist soil, not soggy or flooded. The topsoil should feel damp to the touch.

    1. Water in the morning so that any excess moisture can evaporate throughout the day, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

Temperature Control

Microgreens prefer a comfortable room temperature to flourish – typically between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Extreme temperatures can hinder growth or even kill your delicate greens. Keep them away from drafts and direct heat sources that could cause fluctuations in temperature.

Air Circulation

Good air circulation is crucial for preventing mold and fungal diseases, which can quickly devastate a tray of microgreens. Here's what you can do:

    1. Ensure your growing area is well-ventilated. A small fan on a low setting can help circulate air without being too harsh on the plants.

    1. Don't overcrowd your seeds when sowing. Adequate space between plants allows air to flow freely.

Gentle Handling

Microgreens are tender and require careful handling:

    1. When watering or moving trays, be gentle to avoid bruising or crushing the greens.

    1. Use clean tools and hands when touching your microgreens to minimize the risk of transferring diseases.

Nutrient Needs

While microgreens can usually get by without additional fertilization due to their short growing cycle, they still need nutrients to grow. Most potting mixes come with enough nutrients to support their growth until harvest. However, if you notice slower growth or pale leaves, consider using a diluted liquid fertilizer formulated for seedlings.

By following these care tips, you'll create an ideal environment for your mesclun microgreens to grow healthy and strong. Remember that while they may be small, they still demand the same level of care as their full-grown counterparts – just on a smaller scale.


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Harvesting Your Greens

When it comes to harvesting your mesclun microgreens, timing and technique are key to ensuring that you get the most flavorful and nutrient-packed greens possible. Here's how to do it right:

Know When They're Ready: Mesclun microgreens are typically ready to harvest 2-3 weeks after planting, once they've developed their first set of true leaves. These are the second set of leaves that appear after the initial, simpler seed leaves (cotyledons). The true leaves will look more like the leaves of the mature plant and are a sign that your greens are packed with flavor.

The Right Tools: A sharp pair of scissors or a knife is essential for a clean cut. This helps to avoid bruising or damaging the delicate greens. Make sure your tools are clean to prevent the spread of disease.

Harvesting Technique: To harvest, hold a small clump of microgreens gently between your fingers, and snip them just above soil level. Be careful not to pull the roots out of the soil as this can disturb the remaining plants and introduce soil pathogens to your greens.

Harvest in Sections: If you're not planning to consume all your microgreens at once, consider harvesting in sections. This way, you can extend the life of your crop by only taking what you need, when you need it.

Post-Harvest Handling: Once harvested, handle your mesclun microgreens with care. They are delicate and can wilt or bruise easily. Gently wash them in cold water to remove any soil or debris and dry them thoroughly but gently using a salad spinner or by patting them dry with paper towels.

Storing Your Greens: If you're not using your microgreens immediately, store them in a container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Keep them in the refrigerator where they can stay fresh for about a week.

Remember, mesclun microgreens are at their peak of flavor and nutrition right after harvest. For the best taste experience, use them as soon as possible after cutting. They make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and garnishes, providing a fresh, gourmet touch to any dish.

By following these steps, you'll ensure that your mesclun microgreens are harvested at their best – tender, tasty, and teeming with nutrients. Happy harvesting!

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Embarking on the journey of growing mesclun microgreens is not only a step towards sustainable living but also an enriching experience that connects you with the very essence of nature. Experts like Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham, a postharvest specialist at UC Davis, emphasize the importance of understanding your plants' needs: "Just like us, plants thrive with proper care and attention. Observing your microgreens' growth can teach you so much about their unique requirements." Remember, every little sprout on your windowsill or balcony garden is packed with flavor and nutrition, waiting to enhance your meals and health.

As you gain confidence with each harvest, consider experimenting with different seed varieties or growing conditions to find what works best for you and your mesclun microgreens. Have you ever wondered what other flavors might be out there just waiting to tantalize your taste buds? Imagine the possibilities that await in those tiny seeds! What will you grow next in your green-thumb adventure?

Made with Love in San Francisco & Istanbul. Copyright © 2021-2024

Made with Love in San Francisco & Istanbul. Copyright © 2021-2024

Made with Love in San Francisco & Istanbul. Copyright © 2021-2024