How to grow microgreens in muffin cups in 8 steps, Packed with nutrients and exceptionally easy to care for, microgreens can be sown at any time of year in silicone muffin cups (see overleaf), and placed on a windowsill. Once ready to harvest, display them as a pretty collection of leafy cupcakes.
What are microgreens? These tiny, flavorful leaves are simply the young seedlings of edible plants that, given time, would grow into mature crops. Most take just two or three weeks to reach the stage when they are ready to eat, having formed a couple of sets of leaves. Research has shown that microgreens contain higher concentrations of nutrients than mature plants, making them an attractive crop to grow.
A top crop for tiny indoor spaces, all you need to grow these diminutive leaves are a few small pots and a windowsill or sunny kitchen counter. Try growing a range of microgreens for different colours and flavours to pick fresh and add to your salads and sandwiches.
As they are picked and eaten almost immediately, none of the vitamins and antioxidants that microgreens contain are lost. Use them to add spice to salads and sandwiches, for example, or as a nutrient-rich garnish on savoury dishes.
Grow microgreens in muffin cups Microgreen seeds need warmth and light to germinate, so you may find their shoots appear more quickly in spring and summer.
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YOU WILL NEED
large silicone muffin cups
- good-quality seed-starting mix
- vermiculite (optional)
- selection of microgreen seeds
- small watering can with a fine rose head or water bottle
- the tray that holds water
- cake stand or large plate
- microgreen snips (optional)
Fold the large muffin cup in half (small muffin cups will work too, but the microgreen shoots need more watering as a result) and snip a hole in the base of the cup with sharp scissors.
Fill the muffin cup with the good-quality seed-starting mix to about 1⁄4in (5mm) below the rim of the cup. Firm the starting mix gently with your fingers to remove any air pockets.
Sow the seeds thickly and evenly on the starting mix, ensuring that they are all in contact with the surface and not sitting on top of one another. Press them down lightly with your fingertips.
Cover the seeds with a thin layer of either starting mix or vermiculite (the latter allows light through and retains moisture). Repeat with different seeds in the other muffin cups.
Set the muffin cups on a tray, water the seeds gently with a watering can, and place the tray on a windowsill. Turn the cups every day so the stems grow evenly.
Water every day or two so that the starting mix is moist, but not wet. When ready, set the “cupcakes” on a cake stand or plate; snip off the shoot s as needed
For a continuous harvest, either sow a batch of microgreen seeds in muffin cups or small pots every week, or sow seeds in larger pots for a bigger harvest. You can also sow seeds on one side of a wide pot one week, then sow on the other side the following week to extend the harvest period. Or, if you prefer, choose another variety to grow, which may have a shorter growing time and be ready to harvest around the same time that your first batch is ready. Turn the pot every day or two so that both sides receive sufficient light. Use either of these techniques and you will have fresh microgreens to eat all year round.