Why Grow Microgreen All Year Round
Episode 024 of the Microgreens Podcast
We grow microgreens all year round for our consumption besides for our customers and wholesale accounts (at least for now on the latter - but that's a different story).
There are four main reasons we like to grow microgreens even during the time when we have a ton of fresh greens and veggies growing in the garden.
Really we should have included another, but we did mention it in the podcast!
The Reasons Why We grow Microgreens All Year Round
Here are the four main reasons with an additional we should have made its own reason.
- Insect pest on garden greens
- Save space in garden
- Flavor differences
- We like microgreens as houseplants
- Time - microgreens save time preparing meals
Are there any other reasons to grow microgreens all year round?
Do you grow microgreens all year round?
Leave a comment below the show notes or email and let us know!
Show Notes for Episode 024 of the Microgreens Podcast - Why Grow Microgreens All Tear Round
Welcome to the Microgreens Podcast, episode number 24. Today, we're going to talk about why you should grow microgreens year-round, regardless of whether you have a garden.
According to my website data and sales, of course, people just don't grow as many microgreens during the summer as they do in the fall and the winter or the spring.
Spring is the busiest time.
But regardless, there are reasons why you should plant and grow microgreens year-round in the home, and I'm going to give you my reasons for doing it, and maybe you can relate to some of these.
Let's start with why I grow microgreens for my consumption year-round.
Reason 1 - Pests Attack My Garden Greens
I have a large garden. I could grow as much food as I want to and as many varieties as I want to in the garden, but the main reason I grow microgreens in the home is that I have some pest issues. I have a large infestation of flea beetles. I've tried all kinds of organic methods to get rid of them, and nothing seems to help.
Those flea beetles just decimate my radishes, especially my arugula and Asian greens that I like to grow for stir-frys. Also, the flea beetles just destroy the leaves. There are just tons of holes in them.
I don't mind the holes, but I spend a lot of time washing the greens to get the insects off the greens before I eat, and that's just a pain. I don't out the time to do that.
That is the main reason I grow microgreens in the house. I don't want to deal with insects, and I can get those flavors from microgreens. Let me give examples.
Radishes seem simple enough to grow in a garden. Everyone grows them as a kid. However, I still have problems. The leaves get decimated by flea beetles. And I don't know if it's the flea beetles or some other insect that gets into the radish bulb, puts a bunch of holes in them, and is inside the bulb. So they're tough to use in salads.
However, I can still get the radish flavor by using radish microgreens.
They grow so fast that I can even grow half a tray and use them when I want on my salads and still get that excellent radish flavor.
Yes, I lose the crunch, but other things can add texture to the salads.
So for me, growing radish microgreens in the summer is a win-win.
I get excellent radish flavor, and I don't have to deal with the flea beetles.
Same with arugula.
Arugula just gets completely ... I mean, it looks like Swiss cheese, when the flea beetles get done with it.
I've tried to cover them. They still get to it.
I can grow a tray of arugula microgreens in the home and still have that sharp peppery flavor in my salads. So I grow arugula as microgreens in the house.
It's just much less cleaning of the greens and I can make my salads quicker at night.
I also don't have those occasional tiny flea beetles that show up in my salad bowl when I'm eating my dinner.
Reason 2 - More Room in the Garden for Vegetables I Preserve
The second reason is that by growing some of the greens in the house, I now have more room in my garden to grow other things that I want to grow and preserve for the winter.
I don't need to wait several months for broccoli or cabbage to grow.
I can grow them in 14 days inside the house as microgreens and still get the same nutritional benefits and save space in the garden for things like butternut squash or more tomatoes or carrots that I can can.
I don't need to use that space for those large broccoli and cabbage plants.
Growing broccoli to full size, I mean, have you seen the amount of broccoli you get off a broccoli plant compared to how much green growth there is?
The extra plant material is a lot of nutrients taken out of that soil. And yes, the rest of the plant can be composted, but that's a process.
I already have those nutrients in the soil that I can use to plant other things that will sustain me through the winter instead of just growing a few broccoli plants for two or three meals a year.
So by growing microgreens in the home in the summer, I save a lot of room in the garden that I can use for other nutrient-dense vegetables.
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Reason 3 - Microgreens Have More Flavor
The third reason is flavor.
The flavor of some microgreens is just better than the full-grown plants.
Mustards, for example.
I'd prefer the taste of mustard microgreens than I do of the large leaf mustards.
When they become mature, many of the mustards are just too spicy, too hot, too sharp.
I'd rather have the milder, more gentle flavor of the mustard microgreens than I would the full-grown plants. Yes, some mustard greens are very hot, or maybe spicy is a better word, but I still think that flavor is better than the sharpness that I get from the full-grown mustards.
This isn't to say that some vegetables taste better as a mature plants.
For example, the flavor of real cabbage is much better than the flavor of cabbage microgreens.
On the other hand, the cabbage microgreens might have as many nutrients as the full-grown cabbage, so it works both ways.
Some microgreens have better flavor than their full-grown counterparts, and some full-grown vegetables taste better than their microgreens.
It's just a matter of deciding which ones you like better, full-grown vegetables or microgreens.
Reason 4 - I Like to Grow Them Like House Plants
All right, reason number four.
This one may seem strange to people, but I like microgreens as house plants.
Not that I don't like house plants. I like looking at some interesting leaf shapes and the characteristics and the flowers or some house plants. What I don't get from many house plants is the growth progression.
I enjoy the fact that you can take seeds and watch them develop into these vibrant plants, this dense canopy of a microgreen tray of kohlrabi or red cabbage, amaranth, beets even some Swiss chard; they're just beautiful as microgreens.
I like to have them in the house growing.
I enjoy the progression of them growing from seeds up until mature microgreens.
And even though I have to keep replanting them, I get to see those progressions repeatedly.
I almost enjoy that more than looking at an African violet or an orchid. I'm not saying that those aren't beautiful house plants. Still, microgreens are a little bit easier to take care of, and I get to see those progressions repeatedly instead of seeing an orchid bloom and then having to wait several months for it to bloom again.
I know this may seem strange to people, but I enjoy microgreens as a house plant. I enjoy coming into the house and seeing that rack of microgreens growing.
It just makes me smile.
And anything that makes you smile is a good thing.
Don't Forget, Microgreen Seeds Can Be Planted in the Garden
For Less Money!
I'd also like to remind you that microgreen seeds can be planted in the garden.
Not to grow as microgreens, but full-sized garden vegetables.
Often, it's cheaper to buy one of the small packets of the Home Microgreen seeds in the Home Microgreens store than to purchase seeds packaged explicitly for the garden.
And because of this, I've also put instructions on how to grow the plants in the garden on the microgreen seed packets.
I have instructions on how to grow them as microgreens, where I put a URL on a seed packet that takes you to a specific article for growing those microgreens.
I also input instructions on how to grow those seeds in the garden because there's no difference in the seeds.
It would be a great idea to plant your last microgreen tray for the year, maybe if you're not growing year-round, save three or four seeds, say broccoli, and then plant those in the garden.
Home Microgreens Store
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Let's face it; those garden packs that you buy at Johnny's or High Mowing seeds or wherever you get for the garden, who's going to plant 65 broccoli plants in the garden.
And the fact that you're still paying a lot of money for those 65 seeds when you're going to spend less money for over 300 seeds in a Home Microgreen seed pack and then just save a few of those seeds for the garden.
So it seems like another win-win to me.
Let me quickly summarize why I grow microgreens year-round.
Many plants I like to grow in the garden have insect problems, whereas I don't have that problem growing the same plant as microgreens.
It also saves me room in the garden. I don't have to wait several months for five or six broccoli plants that take up 20 square feet in my garden when I can just grow trays of broccoli microgreens in the house and get the same nutritional value and then grow something else that I can store through the winter in that 20 square feet that I'd be growing broccoli in.
So besides reducing my insect problem in the garden, I've also saved room in the garden.
I like the flavor of some microgreens better than I do the full-grown plant. So those microgreens, such as mustards, I grow as microgreens. Just trim a few off, put them in my salads, and I'm delighted.
Again, I've saved more room in the garden for other things that store better, like carrots or beets.
I didn't mention this before, but heads of cabbage are pretty inexpensive.
Generally, the only reason I use cabbage is to make sauerkraut. So to me, it makes more sense to save space in the garden, buy heads of cabbage, later make sauerkraut out of them and then get the nutritional value of the microgreens instead of the full-grown cabbage.
Lastly for me, I just enjoy watching the microgreens grow.
I like having them in the house year-round and using them as house plants.
A Couple Questions for You
So let me ask you, do you grow microgreens year-round in your home?
Which varieties do you grow?
Do you grow a garden?
Have you ever used microgreen seeds in the garden?
You save a lot of money by doing it that way. There's no need to buy specialty packs of garden seeds for many of these varieties.
With Some Seed Companies You Don't Know What You're Getting
But here's what I've noticed. A couple of the major microgreen seed producers that also sell garden seeds have stopped selling microgreens by the variety.
What I mean by this is that I'm going to use beets as an example; they just sell their beet microgreens as beet microgreens.
They don't tell you what variety they are.
I don't know if that's because that way, they can just not change the label and throw on whatever beet seed is cheaper at the time.
I'm not sure.
Or whether they're just trying to protect their garden pack sales by people just buying microgreen seeds for microgreens and then spending three or $4 for a packet of garden seeds. It's probably maybe a combination of both.
You won't see that at the Home Microgreens store.
When I sell microgreens, I sell them by variety.
So I put the variety name down. If I can't find that variety, I'll change the labels and put the new variety on them.
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