Howdy homebodies! We have a fabulous DIY microgreens patch and planter idea(s) here today, which you can totally try out as a lockdown activity with your family.
Secondly, I think it’s imperative that I ask…have you come across news recently? Some of it makes one smile even in the gloomiest of days. Birds are chirping again in Wuhan, the canals of Venice are clear & the swans are back (some pointed out it’s photoshoped but we can take the sort of photoshop that inspire hope), air pollution rates have been recorded to be lower, dolphins have come out to play in Marine Drive, Mumbai…it’s like suddenly the world figured out a way to keep us inside. I know. It’s really heartbreaking what’s happening and I have gone through my fair share of nausea inducing anxiety thinking about the impacts of Virus C on people who probably had no hand in spreading it, but I also cannot ignore looking at the bright side of it all.
I also think, as humans we are built to look at the positive outcome of things, and I am no exception! I now see this lockdown as a great opportunity to probably look within yourself and your home and explore the limitless possibilities within the 4 walls- one that you never thought existed.
For example, did you know you could grow those fancy microgreens for your salad right at home?
Plus they make fabulous house plants too? Welcome to the DIY microgreen patch and planter post where we’re taking you through facts about Microgreens, what their benefits are & how they’re one of the quickest & easiest greens to grow at home. We’re also doing a bit about DIY planters that can be made out of repurposed teapots, teacups or even a plastic bottle! And everything without stepping out of your home.
What’s not to love, eh?
Down to the Roots: what are microgreens
Essentially, microgreens are just young edible versions of plants that are grown from vegetables, plants or herbs. They emerged in the 80’s in menus and were frequently used as garnishes & functional foods – this was attributed to their strong flavors (despite their size) & a packed punch of concentrated nutrients (studies suggest almost 40% higher a nutrient concentration level, wowzah)! They’re easy to grow out, sustainable & require virtually no space.
Celery, Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Amaranth, Kale, black grams, beans, mustard, sunflower, pea & Beets are some common microgreens. Aside from their nutritional value, these babies are just the perfect additions to multiple dishes across cuisines.
We love it in our salads and our omelettes!
Colour Me Green: microgreens grow in pretty much anything
Microgreens are a breeze to grow. All you need is:
– A planter, mug, bowl, tray, a pot of your choice.
– The seeds of the microgreens you wish to harvest.
– Growing medium like potting soil, peat moss or fibrous material that supports plant growth. I use 1 part coco peat, 1 part compost and 1 part garden soil.
– Water to mist
Your Personal Green Patch with microgreens
Layer the bottom of the planter with about an inch of planting soil.
Scatter the seeds of the chosen microgreen onto the soil layer.
Add another layer of soil to cover the layer of seeds.
Mist the planter 1-2 times a day depending on the soil moisture.
Place the planter in a spot with umpteen sunshine & natural air.
Most varieties would grow in a span of 1-2 weeks.
Harvest the microgreens upon growth just above the soil line, leaving the roots intact. The growth is characteristically 1”-1.5” long.
Consume the microgreens fresh & refrigerate under 5 deg in case you store. They’re perfect in salads, smoothies & even juices kudos to their high vitamins & mineral quotient.
Feeling Crafty? Here are a few creative ways to grow microgreens
And now in the true spirit of leaving it better than you found it. Feel free to let your imagination take the wheel while making planters for your microgreens, flowers, herbs or even succulents. You’re the artist & the planters your muse!
Chipped & Vintage Teacup Bliss
– It’s a great time to get out those cracked pieces of crockery that is way too deeply loved by you but has unfortunately lost function.
– Give them a theme if you wish. Express this through colours, paint, pattern, texture or keep the look minimal & group the planters based on what you shall choose to plant.
– In case you’re using teacups, pair it with matching saucers to take care of the drainage. Start by making tiny holes in the base of the chosen planter (use a drill compatible with ceramics to make sure you don’t damage the piece, we’d say do a trial planter first & preferably carry out this process in your balcony, backyard, etc.) If you dont want to add holes, simply add potting mix and water scantily.
– Cover the bottom with some small stones/gravel.
– Add a layer of growing medium/compost.
– Plant the sample with roots spread out & refill with some soil + compost.
– Mist/water & sun the plant depending on the species you’ve planted.
The Upside down plastic bottle trick
Got a lot of plastic bottles at home? Cut it in the middle- right around the tummy. haha. Turn the neck upside down. Add a stone first and then add some compost and soil mix. Add your seeds.
Fill the bottom with water and place the neck side down. Voila.
Reuse those empty plastic pouches
Coffee, tea or any plastic pouch makes for the perfect thing to grow your microgreens. Punch a few holes beneath and you are good to go. Last year, we grew lavender toddlings in these but the summer killed it as we transplanted it to a larger container.
Eat, decorate- microgreens checks all the right kind of boxes
Whether you choose to eat them or just decorate with them, microgreens make for a fabulous addition to your home. A bunch of them on your coffee table can cheer up the drabbest of days. A bit of mustard green can pack a punch to your sandwiches. And if you need a bit of ASMR, just look at them and do a slow mo video. Microgreens surely know how to lend dollops of happiness to your soul!
Go on then. Fill those cups and mugs with microgreens and love, and I shall head on over to do the chores. Happy Sunday to you. Go get your hands dirty