How to Grow Beet and Broccoli Microgreens
Tips on how you can grow your own beet and broccoli microgreens in soil
Microgreens are a great way to add a bit of fun, texture, nutrition and flavor to your meal. They are easy to grow, can be grown year-round whether indoors or outdoors, and can be planted using many different mediums.
Due to their mounting health benefits, purchasing microgreens can get pretty costly overtime, however, you can eliminate that issue by growing your own microgreens in the comforts of your home. All you need are a few materials and you can have a variety of microgreens at your fingertips.
In this article you’ll be shown how to grow both broccoli and beet microgreens, and what to expect at each stage so you can be a pro in no time.
4 5x5 trays with holes
2 10x10 trays without holes
These materials can be bought online, from a garden center or at your nearest home depot.
To get started place your four small trays inside your 10x10 tray and use a cup to scoop out the soil and add it to the small trays. Once you’ve added your soil mix, use your fingers to pat down the soil to ensure that it is leveled.
To help you remember which tray has what type of seeds, you can use a piece of tape to label each tray with the name and date you’ve planted your microgreens. A bit of blue painters tape and a sharpie marker will do the trick.
Once you have leveled and labelled your trays, take your spray bottle and saturate the soil with water to prepare it for planting. The seeds will need to sprout so they need a heavy amount of moisture to germinate, so more water at this stage is fine. Also remember that the trays are made with holes in them, so any excess water will be dripped out into the catch tray below.
Now it’s time to plant your seeds. Spread your beet seeds out in the left trays and the broccoli in the right or whichever side you choose. You can use a teaspoon to help you measure out and spread the seeds as evenly as possible. Make sure it’s also a single layer and that they are not on top of each other in the trays, this is to ensure that each seed has their own space to grow.
Once you’ve planted your seeds add a few spritzes of water, at this stage you don’t have to worry about giving them too much water. This will also make certain that the soil remains moist for the next few days. Some people even soak their seeds overnight to get the germination process started before planting.
Now that you’re through planting your seeds you can cover them up with one of the 10x10 trays, and leave it alone for the next few days.
On day four you’ll notice that your beets have started to germinate, and you should be able to see some red sprouts starting to protrude from the soil. You’ll also see a bit of white fuzz but do not be alarmed! it’s not mold, it’s only root hairs. What’s happening is that the beet hairs are looking for something to grab onto as it grows.
As for the broccoli, they will grow a little faster than the beets and should have sprouted. Because your broccoli was covered you’ll notice that the sprouts are more of a yellow color than green, that’s because they have not been exposed to light as yet. You’ll keep both your beets and broccoli covered for a couple days as the seeds sprout. You do this to keep the seeds in the dark so that sprouts grow taller as they stretch up and seek for the light.
On day five you can go ahead and remove the covering trays.
On day six, your broccoli sprouts will now have their green color as they’ve been exposed to the light and should be growing quite nicely.
The broccoli at this point is almost ready for harvesting, the roots and soil will be nicely matted together, so that if you were to pull up the broccoli it would come up with the soil still intact. In fact you can go ahead and harvest it at this point, it’s all up to you. Or you can always wait for it to grow a bit taller.
The beets on the other hand will take a bit longer and will not be ready for harvesting at this point.
You’ve now made it to day 10 and your broccoli at this stage should be taller and much more full and your beets should be growing nicely.
On day 11 your broccoli is ready to be harvested, but the beets are still not ready to be picked. Take your hand and gently brush the top of your microgreens to get rid of, and loosen the hulls. This should be done daily so that they do not become part of the harvest.
To harvest your broccoli remove it entirely and place it on a paper plate. The broccoli at this stage should come out their trays very easily and neatly as long as the soil is dry, so try not to water the microgreens before harvesting.
To get your broccoli from the soil, grab a pair of scissors and a basket, or the basket from your salad spinner and proceed to cut away your broccoli microgreens. After you’re through cutting, you can simply add the soil to your compost pile as you’re not able to reuse that bit of soil.
Place your broccoli under the pipe and give it good wash to get rid of the hulls, if you have a salad spinner, put the lid on and give your broccoli a few spins to dry it. Afterwards take your microgreens and then spread it out on a paper towel to further get rid of any water.
One thing to note is that you can grow microgreens on many different mediums, paper towels, coconut coir and of course soil. However, microgreens grown in soil versus on paper towels tend to be healthier and richer looking. This could be due to the fact that the soil contains more nutrients and holds the water better.
It’s day 18 and your beets are ready to be harvested,they should be tall with beautiful red stems. Beets can be used to garnish many dishes or you can simply add them to your salad, soup or sandwiches for a nutritional punch.
Just like you did with your broccoli, you can remove the entire beets and the soil together once it’s dry, and then place it on a paper plate.
Grab your plant cutting scissors and cut away your beets, place it in the strainer of your salad spinner and wash your beets off to get rid of the hulls. The hulls are a bit bigger so some will float to the top and you will have to manually get rid of the others. Give your beets a few spins in your salad spinner to get rid of the water, and then place your beets on a paper towel for additional drying and you are all done.
Microgreens will stay fresh a lot longer if they are spun dry. Or you can store them away dry immediately after harvesting, without washing them. If they are stored away wet, they will become very slimy and not remain fresh for too long, so make sure to store properly to have your delicious microgreens for a lot longer.
Now it’s time for you to get microgreen crazy and explore with different kinds of microgreens.