...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


A Mini Greenhouse

My mother-in-law recently shared her latest issue of Organic Gardening magazine where I found plans for growing microgreens indoors.  I had all the supplies on hand so I decided to give it a shot and encourage some green things to grow inside well before we'll see the ground outdoors again.  

(Instructions adapted from Organic Gardening magazine)
1.  Select a shallow plastic container with drainage holes (I used a "clamshell" container from some locally grown winter salad mix I'd purchased.)  You don't need a lid on the container, but when closed it sort of creates a mini greenhouse,  giving the seeds a warming temperature in which in germinate.

2.  Fill the container with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of moistened organic potting mix (I used my soilless potting mix.)  Cut a piece of cardboard to fit inside the container.  Gently press the cardboard onto the soil for a flat, even surface.

3.  Mesclun mixes are good, single crop microgreens also work.  Scatter the seeds over the soil surface, then place the cardboard over the seeds and lightly press them into the soil.

4.  Sprinkle about 1/8-inch layer of dry potting mix over the seeds.  Set the container on a drip tray (I used an aluminum pie pan.) and carefully water the seeds in a gently shower (I like to use a squirt bottle.)  Place the tray on a sunny south-facing windowsill or under grow lights.  Expect germination in 3-7 days.

5.  Keep the soil consistently moist.  Prevent sogginess by pouring off excess water that collects in the drip tray after watering.  To harvest, snip the microgreens right above the soil line when their first true leaves unfurl (about 7-14 days after germination).  The microgreens are nutrient dense and make a healthy addition to salads and sandwiches.  

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