Tips for Growing Microgreens

a microgreens grow mat with a partially empty seed packet

Every December, PJ Library sends a special in-the-envelope gift to subscribers and their families. For 2020, the special surprise is a planting kit to grow your own microgreens

Microgreens, not to be confused with sprouts, are the leafy part of vegetables harvested just after a type of leaf called the cotyledon develops. Microgreens can come from bok choy, broccoli, turnips, radishes, spinach, and even corn. The special seeds that PJ Library is sending this year are arugula. 

Growing tips

1. Your grow mat should be moist but not floating.

2. Be generous when you pour your seeds: the more the merrier. Microgreens are made to grow in concentrated bunchings, so don't feel like you need to spread your seeds out.

3. Once your seeds sprout, they will be hungry for light. Move them to a nice bright spot by a kitchen window (or under a grow light if you have one).

Harvesting and eating

a little girl enjoys a snack of microgreens on crackers

  • Your microgreens will be ready to harvest about 10 days after you've planted them. (Depending on conditions your greens might be ready earlier or closer to two weeks after planting). 
  • A good way to determine that your greens are ready to harvest is to look at the number of little leaves they have. Most varieties of microgreens will have two (or sometimes three) little leaves in a heart shape when they're ready to be eaten.
  • There are two different methods people use to harvest their greens. Some prefer to give the greens a "haircut" while others prefer to pull the whole tiny plant out roots and all. Either way is fine - and the little roots to your greens provide a delicious crunch. 

Here are a few fun (and delicious) ways to enjoy your microgreens:

  • As the maror on your seder plate
  • Top a favorite cracker with cream cheese and a sprout
  • Add greens to salads and sandwiches for extra nutrients and texture
  • Toss your microgreens into a scramble or an omelette

More ways to grow

If you loved using your PJ Library planting kit to grow microgreens, here are some other fun ways to grow greens at home:

Plant Parsley for Tu B'Shevat 
6 Crops for Kids to Plant (and Eat!) via Highlights
DIY Microgreens You Can Grow Right on Your Kitchen Counter via The New York Times
Grow Your Own Microgreens in a Toilet Paper Roll via GrowTorah
The Ultimate Microgreens Guide Video via Epic Gardening