You don’t need to be an expert gardener to get started with growing microgreens. With materials from your household, you can immediately start growing your greens today. Here are a list of microgreens starting with the easiest, that no matter what you do, you won't mess up.
Quinoa is part of the amaranth family, and they are both grown for its greens and seeds. Because they are grown for their seeds, their seeds are found just in every health food store at a reasonable price.
Quinoa is easy to grow because they are harvested 6-7 days after germination, which means that as long as the growing medium is moist, you can throw it on the medium and the plant will do your job for you. Full bright light is highly reccommended to increase its antixoidant content.
Quinoa can be sown as dense as possible (without stacking) if you harvest it within one week. Keep in mind that if you are keeping it for more thann one week, you will have to lower the seeding rate to improve survival.
Peas are a set and forget type of plant. In fact, in the middle ages, all a farmer had to do was throw the peas on plowed soil. Peas take 3-4 days to germinate, and about 1.5 to 2 weeks to get the harvest. You don't even have to soak the seeds in order for the peas to germinate, which is surprising given the large size of the seed.
Large seeds have large energy reservoirs, which gives an extra buffer for poor growing conditions and fighting infectious fungus. You don't even need light for peas to grow the first two inches.
For better moisture availability, you wwould want to mix the growing medium with vermiculite. And being a legume, you don't even have to supply the growing medium with any fertilizer.
Flax is one of the easiest seeds to germinate, and it's surprising that not a lot of people know that you can eat flax greens.
Soaking is not required to germinate flax seeds. It takes only 2-3 days to germinate and grow its first pair of true leaves in as little as one week. Its growth is faster than peas or sunflowers. And since you're only growing flax for a week, you can seed it as dense as possible.
Flax has a sharp spicy flavor and not at all phenolic. The best part about flax is that it's also the cheapest microgreens to grow at around $2/pound.
Sunflower microgreens are essentially sprouts because their true leaves are not edible.
As sprouts, sunflower greens takes no more than 6-7 days to harvest.
The only hurdle to growing sunflower microgreens is to remove the seed husks, which you can do by germinating them in a seperate container.
Growing sunflowers in low humidity and daylight (microgreens method) is reccommended if you want to increase flavor and nutritional quality howerver.
Radish are grown as a cover crop: plants used to re-mineralize and fertilize the soil. In order to be a cover crop, they have to be easy to grow, cheap, and low maintenance.
Radish microgreens exhibit the same traits of a low maintenance plant. Not only do you not have to soak the seeds, but as long as you prepare the medium right and seed it at the right rate, it can tolerate a diverse temperature ranges and lighting conditions. It's a set and forget type of brassica plant, where you can even eat the roots if you want to.
Broccoli is the most nutritous microgreen you can grow. The reason why it’s at the bottom of the list is because it takes a more experience to grow it well. There's a lot of trial and error involved with the seeding rate and length of growth.
But if you're just growing broccoli greens for a 1 - 2 week window, you really can't go wrong with it. At this stage, they can be seeded at their maximum rate of 55 g per square meter on a thin layer of growing medium without any issue. Their roots will only extend to about 0.75 cm at around 1 week, giving you pleanty of breathing room.
Broccoli is the gateway drug for microgreens because once you get the feel of growing broccoli microgreens and optimize all the growing variables, you can grow just about any other microgreens well.
I am the author of this website and owner of growyourmicrogreens.com. I am an hobbyist gardener and a passionate scientist. I was trained as a scientist in the Molecular Genetics program in University of Toronto, where I received my Masters of Science and published a journal article.