Micro-greens, micro herbs or micro leaves, are simply the seedlings of leafy herbs and plants that we would usually allow to grow to full size before harvesting.
All micro-greens are grown in the same way, sown into compost and placed in the light. They’re so tiny that they can be grown all year round, on a windowsill indoors. They can be grown in just about anything, from seed trays and old yoghurt pots to pieces of guttering, and should be ready to harvest just one or two weeks after sowing.
Ensure a constant supply of micro-greens by sowing successionally every week, so that new leaves should be ready to harvest just as the last batch is ending. Most are ready to pick just a few days after germinating and have all the flavour of the fully grown plants, bringing a concentrated, flavoursome burst of taste to your favourite dishes.
Advice on buying micro greens
- Choose a variety of leaves and herbs that you like to eat – there’s no point in growing leaves that you don’t like the taste of
- You can buy micro greens seeds in your local garden centre or online. Regular herb or salad leaf seeds are perfect – you just harvest the leaves sooner than you would for a traditional harvest
- You can also buy bespoke micro greens kit – see below for links to suppliers
Where to buy micro greens
You Will Need
- Leafy veg or herb seeds
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- Guttering or seed tray
- Watering can
- Gaffer tape (if using guttering)
Fill your guttering (tape up the ends with gaffer tape to stop the compost spilling out) or seed tray with compost. Firm it lightly with your hand. Use your finger to make a shallow drill in the compost, then sow a dense but evenly spaced line of micro greens seeds – thick clumps of seeds can lead to damping-off disease and crop failure. Water using a can fitted with a fine rose, taking care not to wash them away.
Place on a windowsill and keep them lightly watered. Your micro leaves should be ready to harvest after about a week, although they will take a few days longer in the winter than in summer. Pick when still tiny by either snipping them off at the base or pulling them up, roots and all.
Micro leaves and micro herbs are usually eaten fresh and raw, and the fresher the leaves are, the more vitamins and minerals they contain. Each little leaf is a gold mine of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals such as iron, folic acid and potassium.