If you are a healthy eater, you must already be acquainted with microgreens and the health benefits that come with them. With life in the present times becoming increasingly mechanical and complicated, staying healthy has become a real challenge. People nowadays are focusing on the organic cultivation of vegetables in their own homes to stay fit.
One of the best and easiest ways to ensure that you get the essential nutrients that your body needs is consuming microgreens. Among the various microgreens available in the market, beet microgreens are one of the most nutritious ones.
Mainly because growing beet microgreens is extremely easy and convenient, and because they are a storehouse of essential nutrients, they command huge popularity among organic cultivators.
The vegetables that you find stocked up in the supermarkets and grocery stores are most likely to have been grown with extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers. To prevent these harmful chemicals from entering into their bodies, people are concentrating on organic gardening. One of the most popular categories of plants grown in these organic gardens is microgreens.
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Microgreens are the freshly grown tender shoots of seedlings of herbs and vegetables, mostly containing the first few true leaves. These seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall and come with a punch of nutrients that provide you with a balanced and wholesome diet. These tiny plants with their delicious leaves are ready for harvest in a very little time, taking maximum 12-14 days till harvest.
There are endless benefits of growing microgreens. A large variety of plants like turnips, radishes, broccoli, and carrots can be grown in the form of microgreens. They contain higher levels of carotenoids and vitamins compared to their full-size counterparts and can ensure a healthy diet with only a few servings.
Beet microgreens are popular among organic gardeners all over the world. The benefits of beetroots are known to all. To consume organic beetroots you need to grow them at home, which can be a challenging task.
You cannot cultivate beetroots at home unless you have ample time to look after your plants, and enough space in your lawn or backyard to cultivate them.
So should you miss out on the nutrients that beets come with just for the lack of space and time?
Well, the answer is no.
You can enjoy all the nutritional benefits of beets even without a large lawn or ample time at hand. Just grow beet microgreens instead and enjoy a steady supply of nutritious greens at your dinner table.
Growing microgreens at home are duck soup for anyone. You do not need to be a gardening champion with a green thumb to succeed in growing beet microgreens at home. These flavorful, packed with nutrients microgreens would complement your smoothies and salads like nothing else.
If you are looking for an article on this, thenyou are in the right place. In this article, you would learn everything you need to about these delicious and nutritious microgreen plants. Read on and find out how to grow your own, perfect, beet microgreens effortlessly.
Also Read: How to Attract Pollinators to Vegetable Gardens?
How to Grow Beet Microgreens?
Beet microgreens are among the easiest plants to grow at home. These plants do not need any extra care and can grow under any circumstance. They don’t need lot of water to grow.
Beet microgreens do not need to be soaked either. However, if you wish to, you can soak them too. The seeds need an average time of about 2-3 days to germinate and take about 15-20 days to grow. You can harvest them as soon as they are about 2-3 inches tall from the ground.
To grow healthy microgreens on your own, follow the following step by step guide:
#1 Prepping up
To prepare for growing beet microgreens, take a tray. This is where your growing medium would be placed and your plants would grow. Take a tray that is big enough so that your microgreens have enough space between them.
Choose the size of your tray on the basis of your needs. An average tray of about 10×20 inches size should do you good, but you are free to choose a larger tray. Make sure your tray has drainage holes. This is of utmost importance as beet microgreens do not do well when too much water is available to them.
A major decision to make while growing your microgreens is which medium you would like to use. Beets are root vegetables with an intricate network of roots that spread out into the soil. This is why beet plants prefer soil.
An ideal soil for growing beet microgreens should contain about 20% manure or earthworm casting. This would make sure that your microgreens get all the nourishment they need from the soil. Spread out the soil in the tray. About 1 inch of soil should be enough for your plants.
The next step would be gathering your beet seeds. Beet microgreen seeds are seed pods with numerous seeds stacked between them. To gather your seeds you would have to press the pods gently, directly into the soil.
Be sure to place a tray of water underneath the tray containing your beet microgreens. This tray would be the source of water for your microgreens. The roots of the microgreens should be able to access the water tray through the drainage holes. This would save you the trouble of watering your plants every day.
#2 Planting the seeds
After you have accumulated all the necessary items, you are ready to start planting your beet microgreen seeds. Most microgreen seeds like being soaked for about 8-10 hours. This is not true in the case of beet seeds as they are contained in pods that need to be removed.
However, if you wish to, you can soak the seeds for about 4-5 hours. Before planting the seeds moisten the medium with water. Make sure that you provide enough water to moisten the entire medium. However, be sure not to overwater. The medium should be moist but not dripping wet. Beet plants do not like excess water and too much water before planting might cause the seeds to rot.
Do not place the seeds as they are into the soil. Apply force to crack open the pod and spread the seeds evenly across the tray. A medium-sized tray can accommodate about 6 tablespoons of beet seeds. Make sure that your seeds are partially covered in soil.
It is a good idea to spread some soil over the seeds after you have planted them. However, do not put too much soil over them, as in that case, the newly germinated shoots would not be able to rise above it.
After spreading the seeds in the soil, leave the tray as it is for about four to five days. Do not move the tray at all during this time and place it in a dark and cool area. The seeds should start to germinate after about two to three days.
#3 Taking care of the plants
Leave the seeds unperturbed for about two to three days. This is the time when the seeds would germinate. After about two days from planting, you would notice that the seeds have started germinating. It is essential to check on the plants regularly to keep track of their progress.
Beet plants do not need a lot of water. On the contrary, excess water is harmful to them. You can water them once every two days, but make sure that the amount of water is not too much for them.
After about five to six days from planting the seeds, you would notice that the emerging plants are shedding their hulls. This is the time the first set of leaves or the cotyledons would appear. Do not mistake these for true leaves. True leaves would appear a few days from this point.
At this point, you can move your plants to a better location that gets more light. Direct sunlight, although not harmful, is not essential for beet microgreens. However, overexposure to sunlight might make your plants mature before time, turning them bitter to taste.
You can also use artificial or TL lights to serve the purpose. For watering the plants, use a mist or spray bottle. However, if you are providing the plants with water from under the tray, that is, through the water tray, you do not need to provide water from above. Either method would serve the purpose.
For the next two weeks keep a watchful eye over your plants and make sure that they have enough water. Track their progress to ensure that they have healthy growth. Also, keep cleaning the water tray to ensure that your plants have a hygienic environment.
If you have rightly followed all the above-mentioned steps and taken proper care of your microgreens, the next thing to do is harvesting the healthy and tasty microgreens waiting for you in their tray.
Once the first set of leaves open up to expose their green surface with red veins, your microgreens are ready to be harvested. However, there is no right time to harvest microgreens. You should only be sure not to leave them in the soil for more than 2-3 weeks after they have matured.
If you want true leaves of the beet microgreens, which are the second set of leaves that appear on the plants, you would have to wait for a little longer than usual. At the earliest, beet microgreens can be harvested after they are 15 days old.
Stop watering your microgreens about 8 hours before harvesting to avoid mould, especially when you are planning to store them. Cut them as close to the soil as you can, but not so close that you pick up dirt. You can enjoy them instantly.
Beet microgreens taste the best when eaten fresh. Add them to a salad, stuff them in a healthy sandwich, garnish your favorite dish with them, or munch on them raw, whatever way you enjoy fresh beet microgreens in, they would taste absolutely delicious.
This cannot be said for beet microgreens that have been stored or refrigerated. However, if you must, store them in a zip lock bag. They can be refrigerated for a maximum of 7 days. Be sure to remove moisture from the plants before storing them.
Now you know everything you need to about growing beet microgreens at home. Rich in Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and vitamins A, B, K, and C and loaded with flavour, these microgreens are great for your skin, liver, and hair. With their high antioxidant content, these microgreens help your body ward off infections and diseases.
With just the right amount of care and nourishment, you can grow these delicious microgreens at home and ensure their steady and continuous supply to your dinner table. Enjoy them as a garnish with your favorite dishes or prepare healthy salads to remain fit. Just a few servings of this amazing microgreen are sure to work wonders on your health.