Microgreens, as we know them, are present in numerous varieties across the world. If we had to pick one of its species that presents the minimum problems while growing and tastes exceptionally well when consumed, then we would place all our bets on chia microgreens without any second thoughts.
Neither do they present problems while growing and nor do they attract pests that would destroy the yield. These and other factors make them a must have in your own backyard. If you are planning to grow chia microgreens at home, then you have arrived at the right place.
We would have a look at each and every step of growing chia microgreens, assisting you in your journey, along with providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about “how to grow chia microgreens at home”. Let us begin this journey without any further delay.
Before beginning, remember that in this short 1 to 2 week process, you would be required to follow everything as mentioned, in the desired quantities, and at the right time, or things might backfire.
How to: Growing Chia Microgreens
Here is a list of materials that you need to keep handy for the next 15 days, in order to grow the perfect chia microgreens at the comfort of your home.
- Chia microgreen seeds: quantity as desired
- Seed starting trays: 2
- Soil or coconut coir, should be smooth and free from large chunks
- Sunlight, or artificial grow light
- Water spray bottle
- Scissors, should be sharp
Also Read: How to Grow Basil Microgreens?
Surprisingly, chia microgreens seeds do not support soaking them. These seeds absorb the water as soon as they are soaked, disturbing the water content and disabling the further steps of growing chia microgreens.
Therefore, unlike other seeds, chia microgreens seeds do not require soaking, so one can skip this step.
They say, “it gets easier from the planting process”. And, it is in fact true. Planting is super important in growing chia microgreens as it lays a foundation for your plants to flourish.
Follow these steps to plant chia microgreens right:
- Take a tray and pour water at its bottom.
- Fill the soil till the brim of that tray.
- Spread your chia microgreen seeds evenly across the tray, such that it gets properly seated in the soil.
- Mist those seeds with a spray bottle. Do not overdo it.
- Place the tray at a place away from direct sunlight, in the dark, until they germinate.
Seed sprouting takes about 4 to 7 days on an average. If you do not see them sprouting, then continue misting them as you were doing all this while. If everything goes right, then you would see the sprouts blossom in the next 24 hours.
If the seeds have a hard time sporting then, cover them from direct exposure to sunlight. Once, the leaves start growing, remove the shade and let the direct sunlight fall upon them. Further, it is also important to provide 12 hours of sunlight per day for appropriate growth.
Do not overwater or mist plants unnecessarily. Without much problem, you can grow chia microgreens in a quick amount of time, at their maximum potential.
If you have been observing your chia microgreens all this while, then you can see the leaves opening after a short span of 10 to 15 days. After the leaves have opened, ensure that their length has also reached a height of 2 to 3 inches.
That is your perfect clue to start harvesting them. A key consideration is to harvest them all at once, instead of snipping them out as and when you need. Start cutting them off at a point just above the soil level and chop the stems off without hurting the leaves at all.
Also Read: How to Grow Broccoli Microgreens?
It is preferred to eat your chia microgreens as soon as they are harvested. If you decide to store them before consuming, then there are a few careful measures that need to be considered.
In order to store them, dry them out completely and stop watering them a day or two before harvesting. You need to be prepared beforehand and know if you want to eat them right away or if you have to store them.
Next, put them in a sealed bag after folding them in a dry towel, and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days. Keep a check on the towel, and replace it after it has reached its maximum limit to absorb any more moisture.
However, if you decide to eat them, then rinse them with cold and dry them out thoroughly before consuming them raw, in salads, or sandwich.
Problems and Solutions to growing chia microgreens at home
What is the average time that chia microgreens take to grow?
Chia microgreens present us with minimal time and effort to grow. On an average, it takes about 14 to 16 days for them to completely harvest and grow, all ready to be consumed or stored, as per your convenience.
However, if you are wishing to see the primary signs of life in them, then it is available within the initial 2 or 3 days. You can observe their sprouts and growth each day, if you wish to keep a record of their progress.
How can I eat chia microgreens?
Chia microgreens can be eaten in a variety of ways. Some of them are raw, including in a salad or sandwich, or cooked. The seeds of chia microgreens can be cooked for making them soft, but it would completely devoid the plant of its nutritive value. So, if you are cooking and eating it, then it does not profit you much.
In salads, chia microgreens can be a perfect replacement for lettuce. They add more nutrition and health to the salad, and can also be used as a delicious addition to sandwiches. The simplest and easiest way to include them in your diet is to eat them raw, as they are.
Also Read: How to Grow Corn Microgreens?
How to harvest and store chia microgreens?
It is not difficult to create appropriate harvesting and storage conditions for chia microgreens. In order to harvest them, you need to wait for the plants to fall over, followed by cutting the stems as described earlier.
Storage, on the other hand, is not a favourable option. However, if you find yourself at the mercy of no other alternative, then try to store them in as dry a condition as possible. No moisture should be prevalent in their storage surroundings.
How to grow chia microgreens without soil?
If you are planning to grow chia seeds without soil, then it can only be done by converting them into sprouts. It does not require much apparatus or careful venture. Instead, one needs to follow the exact same procedure of sprouting that we use for any other pulse.
You can begin by laying a linen cloth on the plate and sprinkling fresh water on it. Follow this step by spreading chia seeds evenly, misting them with water, and covering it with a plate. After waiting for 2 days, you will be delivered with chia microgreens without growing them into soil.
Can we categorize microgreens as a superfood?
If you miss any particular nutrient value in your daily meal, then turn to chia microgreens as soon as you can. This is because they are packed with each possible nutrient consideration in abundance and they fulfill your bodily needs of a balanced diet.
Yes, chia microgreens qualify each and every criteria of being a superfood.
Are sprouts healthier than microgreens?
This is a common question. You might have heard people getting confused about the health inclination of sprouts and microgreens. We would clear this doubt for you. It is not as difficult as it seems.
Microgreens have a greater chlorophyll and overall nutrient value than sprouts, and therefore, they win the race by a slight difference. So, next time you get confused, just remember that sprouts are not the best option in the presence of chia microgreens.
Also Read: How to Grow Beet Microgreens?
What do chia microgreens taste like?
Chia microgreens taste tangy and slightly bitter, making a delicious combination. To some people, it might not suit, given the low quantities of sweetness present. In order to combat that, you may add fruits into your salad or sandwich that are natural sugar sources. To take one example, you can add some berries or citrus fruits in your salad to make this worth an experience.
Isn’t is amazing how you have just learnt to grow something at home that contains thrice the amount of calcium in cow’s milk, and is packed with all the essential nutrients like protein, iron, and soluble dietary fibre. Plus, you can also make use of chia microgreens seeds to add the goodness of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.
Since we have brushed up on the health benefits provided by growing chia microgreens at home, it reinforces our need to grow them even more. Follow the aforementioned guide step by step to enjoy the tangy and slightly bitter taste of your self grown chia microgreen seeds.