Every one of us wishes to create a green corner amidst this concrete jungle. There are a few basic elements that plants need; sunlight and water, the vital among them.
In an urban landscape, there are so many factors beyond our control.
Your lovely balcony garden in it can be destroyed any time by a new large building coming up right next to your’s. It will just snatch way all the sunlight. And there is nothing you can do about it.
Somebody can object to use of common terrace for garden; How irrational the objection might be, yet, you don’t have much say about that common resource.
One fine day, your society might just decide to concretize that beautiful corner in the premises, capping the soil and permanently shelving your dream of a garden there.
Yeah, I know, it is frustrating, and yet we are utterly helpful, living in this built environment of our ever-expanding cities.
Oh, but don’t get disheartened. As they say, where there is will, there is a way.
So, okkay, space and availability of sunlight, these are the 2 limiting factors, right?
Let’s start exploring for both in the house.
There has to be a few corners in the house, a few pockets that are lucky enough to receive sunlight at least for a few hours of the day.
Yes!! A window to east or west? A wall adjacent to the window? Window sill?
Yup, you got it.
So, there is a pocket here and a pocket there. That’s all we need.
In today’s blog, we discuss growing microgreens. In subsequent blogs, I will show you some planter and vertical garden designs.
What are micro-greens?
As you know, when a seed germinates, there is a set of leaves. These leaves are confusing. It is not possible to identify a plant by looking at these leaves because they are not true leaves.
These “false” leaves are called Cotyledons. These are the first to emerge when seed germinates.
Afterwards, the true leaves emerge. Usually when we sow a seed, it is the flower or fruit that we are interested in.
However, micro-greens mean utilizing the plant when first pair of true leaves is formed. Depending on the species, plant might be 2-3 inches tall by then. Simply cut off the plant stem, a bit above the soil.
What is the use of micro-greens?
Microgreens are rich in nutrients. Ideal way to consume micro-greens is in raw state. Use it to garnish the salads, soups, subji, rice.
They do not interfere with the taste and add a dash of nutrients to your meals.
What all can be grown as micro-greens?
Any seeds for that matter.
Following are the ones you can easily grow.
Mustard, Amarnath species, Water Cress, Beet root, Cabbage, Flax, Coriander, Spinach, Fenugreek, Dill, Mung beans, wheat etc.
What are the suitable conditions?
Choose a spot that receives light. If it is sunlight, well and good. But in case there is no direct sunlight, enough light is fine.
Use the dry leaves + kitchen waste compost mixture. Sow the seeds.
Now, what exactly is “adequate”?
Make sure the soil/ compost in the planter is moist, not dry nor wet, just moist.
Once true leaves come out, cut the microgreens at the stem and utilize as garnish.
If you are first-time gardener, then micro-greens is a good option. Waiting for fruits (literally 😊) of labor is too tiresome a task. Here, results are quick, because you are not waiting till flowering and fruiting stage.
Strat with micro-greens, gain confidence and then move on to more challenging tasks, what say?
Flax seeds micro-greens