Microgreens : A Beginners Guide to Growing and Cooking with Microgreens

Are you interested in growing and cooking with microgreens but don’t know where to start? Look no further! Microgreens are essentially the sprouts of plants that can be harvested within a few weeks of planting.

They are packed with nutrients, easy to grow, and add an extra burst of flavor to your dishes. In this beginner’s guide, we will cover everything you need to know about understanding microgreens, setting up your own microgreens garden, caring for your plants, and even cooking with them.

Whether you have a green thumb or not, growing and incorporating microgreens into your diet is a fun and rewarding experience. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s get started!

Understanding Microgreens

You might be wondering what microgreens are and how they differ from sprouts, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are harvested just after the first leaves have developed. They are smaller than baby greens and larger than sprouts, making them perfect for adding a pop of color and flavor to your dishes.

One of the benefits of growing and consuming microgreens is their high nutritional value. These tiny greens pack a punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and potassium. In fact, some studies suggest that microgreens may contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts!

Microgreens come in a variety of types and flavors ranging from spicy radish to sweet pea shoots. Some popular varieties include arugula, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, sunflower shoots, and wheatgrass. Experimenting with different types can add depth to your meals while also providing health benefits.

Now that you understand what microgreens are all about, let’s discuss setting up your own microgreen garden!

Setting Up Your Microgreens Garden

Once you’ve chosen the perfect spot in your home, it’s time to gather all the necessary supplies for your microgreens garden. Start by selecting a container that is wide and shallow to accommodate adequate drainage and airflow. Some popular options include plastic trays, seedling flats, or even repurposed items like egg cartons or takeout containers. Just make sure whatever container you choose is clean and has holes in the bottom for drainage.

Next, consider lighting requirements. Microgreens need bright light to grow properly, so if natural light isn’t sufficient in your chosen location, consider investing in some artificial lighting. LED grow lights are a great option as they emit low heat and consume less energy than traditional bulbs. Position the lights about 6 inches above the soil surface and keep them on for around 12-16 hours per day.

Setting up your microgreens garden may seem overwhelming at first, but with these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to growing delicious greens right in your own home!

Now that you know how to set up your garden space properly, let’s move onto caring for your microgreens so they can thrive and flourish under your care.

Caring for Your Microgreens

Now that you’ve successfully set up your microgreens garden, it’s time to talk about caring for your tiny plants!

To ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest, there are three key areas to focus on: germination, thinning out and harvesting, and pest and disease management.

Don’t worry – with a little bit of attention and care, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious microgreens in no time!


When germinating microgreen seeds, it’s important to keep the soil moist but not too wet. The first step is to select high-quality seeds that will produce healthy and flavorful microgreens. Soak the seeds in water for a few hours before planting them in soil, as this will speed up the germination process.

To ensure proper watering techniques, use a spray bottle or misting wand to gently water the soil surface without disturbing the delicate seeds. Cover the planted tray with plastic wrap or a lid until sprouts appear, which usually takes about 2-3 days.

Once they’ve emerged, remove the cover and continue to mist regularly. Keep an eye on the moisture level of your microgreens as drying out can be detrimental to their growth.

With patience and care during germination, you’ll soon be ready for thinning out and harvesting your delicious microgreens!

Thin Out and Harvesting

As you start to see tiny leaves sprouting up like a field of fresh green grass, it’s time to pluck out the weaker shoots and thin out your microgreen tray for optimal growth. Here are four steps to guide you through this process:

1. Get your scissors or gardening shears ready.

2. Identify which seedlings are growing too close together.

3. Cut the stem of the weaker plants at soil level, leaving enough space for the stronger ones to grow without competition.

4. Once you’ve finished thinning out your microgreens, consider composting the leftover cuttings for their many benefits.

Not only does thinning out your microgreens promote better airflow and reduce the risk of mold growth, but it also provides an opportunity to harvest some greens early on in their development!

Culinary uses for microgreens are endless- add them as a garnish on top of soups or salads, blend them into smoothies or juices for an added nutrient boost, or use them as a flavorful addition to sandwiches or wraps.

But before you get too excited about harvesting your mini greens, it’s important to note that pests and diseases can still pose a threat even in small indoor gardens. So let’s take a closer look at how to prevent and manage these issues in our next section.

Pests and Diseases

Dealing with pests and diseases in your indoor garden can be a challenge, but it’s important to know how to prevent and manage these issues for the health of your plants. The good news is that there are many preventative measures you can take to avoid infestations altogether.

One effective way to prevent infestations is by keeping your growing area clean and free of debris. Additionally, regularly inspecting your plants for signs of pests or disease will allow you to catch any issues early on before they become major problems. In the event that you do encounter a pest or disease problem, there are also natural remedies you can try such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your microgreens thrive and stay healthy.

When it comes to cooking with microgreens, their delicate flavors make them an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, and even smoothies! So let’s dive into some creative ways to incorporate microgreens into your meals.

Cooking with Microgreens

You can add microgreens to any dish for a boost of flavor and nutrition. In fact, studies have shown that microgreens can contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts!

Here are some ways you can incorporate microgreens into your cooking:

– As a garnish: Sprinkle some colorful microgreens onto soups, salads, or sandwiches for an added burst of freshness.
– In smoothies: Add some nutrient-packed microgreens to your morning smoothie for an extra health boost.
– In omelets or scrambled eggs: Toss in some chopped microgreens for a flavorful twist on your breakfast eggs.
– On pizza: Top your homemade pizza with some fresh microgreens after it comes out of the oven for added texture and taste.
– In stir-fries: Throw in a handful of microgreens towards the end of cooking to add a pop of color and flavor.

Not only do these tiny greens add deliciousness to your dishes, but they also come with numerous health benefits. Microgreens are packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. They’ve also been linked to reducing inflammation in the body and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases. So go ahead and experiment with adding these powerhouses into your meals!


Congratulations! You’ve learned all about microgreens and how to grow them. Now it’s time to put your knowledge into action and start cultivating your very own garden of tiny, nutrient-packed greens.

Remember that setting up your microgreens garden requires a bit of planning, but with the right tools and materials, you’ll be well on your way to success. And once your plants are thriving, don’t forget to incorporate them into your cooking for an added burst of flavor and nutrition.

So go ahead, get planting – you never know where this new hobby may take you! As the saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages,’ and microgreens certainly live up to that adage. With their vibrant colors, bold flavors, and endless health benefits, these tiny greens are a true culinary delight.

So don’t hesitate any longer – embrace the world of microgreens today!