Microgreens have become incredibly popular in the recent years, thanks to all the health benefits they pack in in their teeny tiny size. Spinach microgreens in particular, are one of the healthiest microgreens out there, and if you have been considering growing them on your own, here’s a quick guide to help you out.
How To Grow Spinach Microgreens
How to grow spinach microgreens fast, easy and with minimal effort. Learn how to grow your own fresh greens in a few weeks time!
Microgreens are baby greens that are harvested before they reach maturity. They are usually sold at farmers markets or specialty grocery stores, but now they are also being grown commercially.
Why Grow Spinach Microgreens
The popularity of microgreens has increased over the years due to their high nutrient density and ability to add color and texture to salads. They also taste great when added to sandwiches or wraps.
Microgreens are extremely nutritious and versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They also provide a burst of flavor and crunchy texture to dishes.
Infact, a study has found that microgreens pack in a whopping 40 times more nutrients than the same mature plant does.
How To Grow Spinach Microgreens Effortlessly
There is no need for special equipment or expertise to grow microgreens. All you need is a sunny window and some basic supplies.
Growing Spinach Microgreens: The Step by Step Process
You can grow microgreens in containers such as pots, planters, trays, buckets, hanging baskets, tubs, window boxes, and even hanging bags.
Get the Seeds Ready
Soaking your seeds overnight helps them to germinate faster. Spinach seeds can take anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks to sprout. When soaking seeds, make sure there is enough water for the seeds to sit in. If you put the seeds into too little water, they won't sprout properly.
Planting the Spinach Microgreen Seeds
We'll be planting seeds in shallow trays, about 2 inches deep, that easily fit into the spaces between bookshelves and windowsills. This way, we won't waste precious floor space. Plus, since the plants are close together, they'll provide shade each other.
Once you've found a spot to put your grow tray, fill it near-full with seed starting soil. Spread the spinach seeds evenly across its surface. Using a shaker if you'd like, sprinkle the seeds over the surface. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and set it aside somewhere warm and dark for 8 days. You'll know when the seeds have germinated because they'll start to look like tiny leaves. When they've sprouted, carefully lift them out of the potting mix and transplant them into individual pots filled with nutrient rich soil.
Watering the Spinach Microgreens
Watering your seedlings is one of the most important things you can do to ensure healthy growth. If you don’t give your seedlings enough water, they won’t grow properly and could die. Here are some tips for keeping your seedlings watered correctly:
1. Choose the Right Tray
If you're starting out, it's best to start with smaller pots or trays. They'll be easier to handle and you won't have to worry about accidentally spilling too much water over your seedlings.
2. Use the Right Amount of Water
You want to keep your seedlings moist, but not soggy. Using a spray bottle allows you to adjust how much liquid there is in each application. Start with a small amount and increase the volume gradually.
3. Let Them Dry Out Between Sprays
When you use a spray bottle, you can apply just enough water to wet your seedlings without saturating them. This lets the roots breathe and prevents excess moisture buildup around the stems.
Harvesting the Greens
Microgreens are young greens harvested while still very small. They are often used raw in salads and stir fries. You can find them at farmers markets, grocery stores, health food stores, and online.
When the cotyledon (seedling leaf) opens up, it’s ready to be harvested. Cut the stem just above the seedling and place into a glass container filled with cool water. Keep the container in a dark area without direct sunlight. Check daily to make sure there isn’t too much light. This prevents the stems from turning yellow.
After about three days, the roots will emerge. At this point, you can transplant the microgreens into individual containers or trays. Continue watering every day until the plant reaches about 12 inches tall. Harvest when the first true leaves form.
Tips and Tricks to Grow the Spinach Microgreens
Make sure you sterilize the pots and trays well before planting seeds. You can use bleach water or boiling water. If you are unsure how much water to add, use about half the amount required for normal watering.
After sterilizing, pour out excess water and let dry completely.
Water the microgreens regularly during the first few weeks. Once the seedlings emerge, you can reduce the frequency of watering.
Do I Need to Set Up Grow Lights to Grow Spinach Microgreens?
The most important thing to remember about starting your own microgreens is that you want consistent temperatures and lighting. This means you'll either need to put up a greenhouse or use artificial lighting. For indoor growing, you'll usually want to keep things around 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Once you've purchased your seeds, you'll need to set up your grow lights. Most growers recommend using fluorescent bulbs because they provide consistent and bright light. Growers also use timers to ensure that the light cycles change throughout the day.
If you live in a climate that experiences cold temperatures during the winter months, you might consider adding heat lamps to your setup. This will help keep your plants warm and encourage faster growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Store the Spinach Microgreens?
You can keep your microgreens fresh for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. If you want to store them longer, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them. When you're ready to use your microgreens, simply thaw out what you need and wash them off.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Spinach Microgreens?
It takes anywhere between two and four weeks to harvest spinach microgreens. Depending on the size of your pot, you should expect to see results after about two weeks.