Growing Microgreens

So since we’re all up to our elbows in dirt any way, now’s the perfect time to create a little pot of microgreens.


Well … only because it’ll change your life, make your cats speak Spanish, improve your hearing and give you the ability to do the splits.  In both directions.

Plus, microgreens are just cool.

If you’ve ever been to a half decent restaurant or looked through a magazine you’ve seen microgreens.  They’re exactly what they sound like.  Teeny, tiny versions of various greens.  They’re mainly used as a garnish, but don’t be fooled by that.  They  have a huge amount of flavour packed into those teensy leaves.

As I said, with so many seeds available online, in garden centres and hardware stores, now is the perfect time to plant some microgreens.  If you have some seeds, some dirt (soil for you fancy types) and a container you’re well on your way to being able to do the splits.

If you’ve ever bought a packet of seeds you  know you rarely plant all of them.  Microgreens are a good way to use up some of those leftover seeds you have.

Certain seeds work better than others for microgreens but really almost anything can be used.  As a guide for you, here’s a list of some perfect contenders for microgreens.

  • Mustard
  • Kale
  • Radish
  • Beets
  • Lettuces
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Chia

Truly most seeds will work.




I used an old teacup and an enamel bowl thing.  Because my containers didn’t have holes for drainage I laid fine gravel in the bottom.



Then fill’er up with soil (soilless mix is best but just use what you  have).



Sprinkle the soil with a variety of seeds.



Top with a tiny bit of dry soil.  (dry soil is just easier to work with in terms of putting down a thin layer)  You only need to barely cover the seeds.



Stick  your pots on a VERY sunny windowsill or under grow lights and make sure to keep them damp.



Depending on the seeds you planted, you’ll have growth in 1-2 weeks.   If you planted a variety of seeds, chances are they’ll all sprout at different times, which is actually good.  Once your lettuce has finished sprouting and you’ve cut it all, you’ll have your beet greens to look forward to.

The time to cut your microgreens is when they have their first true set of leaves.  That  means the leaves that actually look like the plant leaves.  The first set of leaves that grow aren’t real leaves at all, they’re cotyledons.  For the purpose of this post we will call them pretend leaves.

To harvest, you just snip the microgreen near the dirt.  It won’t grow back like it might if you were clipping a full sized plant of lettuce or whatever. In the case of microgreens, once it’s clipped, it’s clipped.



Use your microgreens in salads, on meats or soups. Anywhere really.  Tape a couple under your nostrils and you have an instant disguise.  The possibilities of microgreens are endless.



How endless?  As endless as the incessant Spanish yapping from your cats will be.  You’ll almost wish you never discovered microgreens.  Almost.

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  1. Maryanne white says:

    Of courae you know I meant elevate, darn auto correct

  2. Maryanne White says:

    I just bought my seeds, I’m excited to evaluate my soups, plates with micro greens! What do I do with the first set of leaves that grow the cotyledons? Do I pinch them?

  3. Jill says:

    We grow microgreens on our farm to sell to very impressive resto’s in S.F. One of our most ordered is arugula.

    And holy crap, even your gravel is cute. I’d probably just go out and get some freshly poo’d on gravel from my pigeon coop. Not cute.

  4. Louise says:

    I pinned this on my How To board on Pinterest and I’m getting a lot of repins. It made me think of your post two weeks ago about advertising and helping you in bringing more readers. I think I’ve done my share for the month ;) Hope it helps, it seems very popular ;) The term microgreens got me a bit confused, I really didn’t know what they were. Aren’t they called baby greens in the supermarket? I’m just saying but I’m french so…

    • Karen says:

      Louise – Microgreens and baby greens are two different things. Microgreens are literally teeny tiny leaves. They can be beet greens or mustard greens or carrot tops … anything like that. Once the plant has grown it’s first set of leaves it’s ready to cut. Baby greens are just young versions of the different types of lettuce. They’re much larger than microgreens. Thanks for sharing! ~ karen

  5. kate says:

    Good on you for the list of seeds to use for microgreens and to this I add a WARNING!! I disagree with “Truly most seeds will work” Actually, common veggies with poisonous leaves include: tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant (the Solanaceae family of veggies) to name a few. So, please do not plant seeds of this family for consumption as greens – only for consumption as fruit, or in the case of potatoes, tubers.

  6. Maggie says:

    Give wheat grass a try. Not sure if that is technically a micro green because you can get a few harvests out of one set of seeds. But supposed to be über healthy – the 4 year old gets a kick out of having grass smoothies. Think “meadow.”

  7. Evalyn says:

    A tip about beet seeds: each little seed capsule contains four or five seed possibilities, but as soon as one of those sprout, the others stop. However, if you give the seeds a rinse before planting you will remove the natural innoculant and all four or five possibilities will sprout. In the garden you only want one sprout, but in microgreens, more would be better.

  8. Gayla T says:

    Dang! I was doing micro-greens and didn’t even know how trendy I had suddenly become. I grow grass in a pot for the dogs and cats to eat when they are having tummy problems. Then this winter, my first since moving to a house with a glassed in back porch I decided to grow some lettuce and have had that going successfully all winter. Being the old over the hill hippie that I am, I’ve always kept sprouts going which is really the same. However!! You have inspired me to greater things as usual. Never thought beyond lettuce until you. I can’t wait to get a pot of indoor mint and a few other culinary greens going. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As to the cats and Spanish….mine all speak some middle eastern dialect as they are mini terrorist. Just ask the dogs.

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – Just so’s you know. Technically a microgreen is just that Micro. One set of true leaves only. Maybe 2, but even then you’re pushing it. So you, my dear hippie, aren’t growing microgreens. You’re just growing lettuce, LOL. There are considerably more hippieish things you could be growing. ;) ~ karen

  9. Melissa L. says:

    Please post a picture of the fella with a microgreen disguise. ;)

  10. allyson says:

    I grow sprouts all the time, in jars, in my kitchen. No soil required, just water. In a few days I have delicious sprouts. I use all the seed types you mentioned and more! I get them from Mumm’s. The whole family eats them – in salads, sandwiches, on top of almost anything or just by themselves as a snack.

    • Karen says:

      Allyson – Yes, I did a post on sprouts a couple of years ago. Very easy to grow in a jar. And FAST. ~ karen!

  11. nancyeileen says:

    Love the ant –
    Those pincers look like they’ll really HURT!

  12. Kate S. says:

    Your cats must be prodigies . . . I grow Microgreens all the time and mine have never learned a word of Spanish, or German for that matter. Clearly, I need to get some new cats.

  13. Sherry says:

    Seriously, I actually think I can and will do this… it just gives me that creepy feeling that I am getting old and will be like the old Mrs. Schellenberg that I used to know that had every table surface and counter top and edge of the floor along the wall covered with pots of purple violets…
    Maybe if I put that old tea service out that is quaint but without purpose cause I rarely drink tea, and seeded the creamer, sugar and tea pot I would be constricted to minimalist behaviour and not let out the inner old person … over-doer potential….
    Finding this blog is my new reason for living…

    • Karen says:

      Sherry – Well thanks. That’s um … wow … I feel a lot of pressure now. I think I’d better go have a nap. Welcome to my site. ~ karen!

  14. ruth says:

    Wonderful! I was never able to do the splits before! My cats are already bilingual. The tomato soup photo is brilliant!

  15. Polly C says:

    This is brilliant.

    Can you keep starting new batches throughout the summer (zone 5, NW of Boston, MA)?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Polly – Sure. As long as a windowsill with sun (a lot of sun) or lights, you can do this whenever, wherever you want. Of course if it’s summer, you can do it outside and get even better results. Just put a pot outside and seed part of it. A week after you seed the first part of the pot, throw more seeds onto another part of the pot. Just keep succession seeding like that and you’ll always have a supply. ~ karen!

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