New microgreens

Starting in late July, I filled pots with good soil and sprinkled seeds on each – some old and past their use-by-date knowing they may not germinate, and others collected last year which should grow well. I sowed chilli, mustard, fenugreek, basil, mint, alfalfa, and cornflowers with the intention of some growing as microgreens inside the house and others being planted outside in the ground when they had matured a little.

A cardboard ‘container’ left over from the packaging when I purchased a new piece of technical equipment was repurposed into a wonderful ‘box’ for the mustard seeds.

I soon learnt that in my heated house the soil dried quickly so I bagged or covered each pot with cling wrap to create a permanent humid environment for them. In addition, I placed three seedling pots in a tray with a little water hoping the pots/soil might wick up the moisture.

The pots sat in my front porch basking in the warmth of the sun, and being kept moist with a daily misting spray manually applied. And I waited and watched.

Each of these had a different germination period and I was forever watching and waiting for the first shoots to appear. An almost childish joy of discovery.

Now, three weeks later, most have sprouted – only the chilli and fenugreek have  not appeared. A couple of weeks ago the mustard germinated, followed not long later by the alfalfa and cornflowers. Still later dozens of basil seedlings pushed through. Green dots in the mint pot were the last to show.

Finally, I can see two shoots in the chilli pot – but are they chilli or weeds? It is too early for me to tell.

I have been impressed with the speed of germination of the few mustard seeds and the many cornflower seeds so that I will work with these more in the future. The mint is now coming along although almost microscopic in growth at this stage. I need to try to grow the alfalfa seeds again, and rethink the soil and conditions in which fenugreek needs to grow (or maybe the problem is the seed).

Right now the greatest success story is the basil – for the proliferation of seedlings. Next time, knowing how much they like to grow, I will only spare only a few seeds because I don’t eat a great deal of basil.

This has been a tiny voyage of discovery showing me how easy it is to try. If I made a real effort it would be fun to try out the process with lots of other seeds.

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