DISCOVER THE MINIATURE CROPS OF WINTER

Once it’s too late to work out in the garden you can still grow some crops indoors on your windowsill. Of course they will need to be small so they will not take up too much space. In fact what we are talking about are microgreens. I found this article by Julie Falk who is an Adams County Master Gardener. Julie explains what microgreens are and how you can grow them.

The time of year has arrived when gardeners must express their vegetable gene through indoor plantings. If you take special pleasure in cooking with food that you?ve grown yourself, it?s time to make room on or near the windowsills for the miniature crops of winter.
For at least a decade, chefs have been showing increased interest in the production of “microgreens”. These are vegetables and herbs that are grown to a grand height of one or two inches, and then harvested as a garnish or ingredient. Although the finished products are about the same size as sprouts, microgreens are different in a few important respects. They are both, as you would expect, grown from seeds ? but sprouts are essentially grown solely with water, and the seeds are consumed. With microgreens, the seeds are planted in soil or a growing mix and harvested at the soil level when their first true leaves have unfolded. If you remember your high school biology, the first set of leaves are called cotyledon leaves, and the second set are the true leaves of the plant.
Microgreens are fun, easy and cheap to grow. You can use a flat, or even the plastic containers you bring home from restaurants. Just fill the shallow container with soil or potting mix, taking care to punch holes in the bottom for drainage. Plant your seeds and cover with about one quarter inch of soil. That?s it. You needn?t worry about spacing the seeds because you?ll be harvesting before they?re big enough to crowd each other out. The choice of seeds to plant can vary wildly. The most popular are probably leaf lettuce or lettuce mixes, but you can gainfully plant many others ? beets, kale, parsley, basil, cilantro and arugula among them.

Read more at The Master Gardeners
Image source: Julie Falk