Broccoli sprouts and microgreens are highly nutritious foods for all age groups. You can grow broccoli sprouts at home in few easy steps.
In this post, I’d like to share 5 advanced methods of growing broccoli sprouts and microgreens. By using these methods, you can grow sprouts and microgreen by using Kale, beets, Cilantro, basil, and many other seeds.
Difference between Sprouts and Microgreens?
Most of the new gardeners believe that sprouts and microgreens are the same things. But in reality, both are two different things. Sprouts are the germinated seeds. When you eat sprouts, you eat germinated seeds along with shoots. These shoots are a type of soft roots. So, you are eating initial roots and shoots along with seeds.
On the other hand, microgreens are young plants. When you eat microgreens, you eat new young green leafy plants served from their roots. They are more nutritious because they produce their food from the sunlight or artificial grow light.
Whenever a small plant produces its food this means it has stored more energy in its stems and leaves. When you compare sprouts and microgreen you will find microgreens have more energy than sprouts.
Whereas sprouts only have initial germinating fuel stored in seeds. They don’t produce more nutritional content than this seed stored energy.
If you let the sprouts grow for a few more days, they became microgreen. When the germinated plants grow true leaves and start the photosynthesis process (for the first time) they called microgreens.
Microgreens are seedlings with true green leaves.
Now that you know the complete information on broccoli sprouts and microgreens. Let’s do deep into the seed selection process.
Best seeds for growing broccoli sprouts and other microgreens
If possible, try to find the organic broccoli sprouts seeds for sprouting and growing microgreens. Because you eat seeds with little shoots when you eat sprouts. I am sure you don’t want to eat broccoli sprouts and microgreens that grow up from treated seeds. The seeds that you see in the garden catalogs are treated with fungicides.
This prevents the fungus in seeds and increases their shelf life. Also, plants grown from these seeds don’t get fungi diseases.
Moreover, the seeds in catalogs are costly and you want sprouting seeds at a minimal cost. These seeds are produced to use in the garden to grow plants to full maturity for heavy harvest. You will only get a few ounces of seeds for many dollars.
The best option is buying sprouting broccoli and microgreen seeds from online stores. You should check organic broccoli seeds at Amazon before going to your local garden stores. Seeds on Amazon are certified organic sprouting seeds. They are the pure form of seeds with small shelf life because they are not treated with fungicides and pesticides.
Always choose organic natural food to stay healthy and fit.
How to grow microgreens and sprouts at home?
In this post, I am talking about only 5 methods of sprouting broccoli seeds and microgreens. But there are many techniques to grow microgreens and sprouts of broccoli.
Some methods need special germinating tools whereas others do not require. Let’s discuss each method of sprouting seeds with examples.
Method 1: Sprouting broccoli seeds in jars
This is the easiest and fastest method of sprouting broccoli seeds. You don’t need to buy any special equipment. You can use your old jars for sprouting seeds. If you don’t have any spare jar and want to buy a new one. Then my advice is to invest in special lid jars because they come with a closing lid. SO that you don’t need to worry about the open mouth of the jar.
If you want to use your old jar that doesn’t have a closing lid. Then you can use cotton cloth and rubber band to cover the mouth of the jar.
Steps to follow
1. Take a cup of fresh clean water, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and add 1 TBSP of broccoli seeds in it to sanitize them. Do not use seeds without sanitization because they may contain bacteria. Let them soak in the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes then wash them with clean drinkable water.
2. Put the washed seeds into the jar and add some water so that seeds can sink at the bottom. Cover it with the lid or use cotton cloth and rubber band to cover the mouth of the jar. Let the seeds soaked in a jar for one night.
3. Next morning drain the jar water, take out the seeds and rinse them with clean water. Again, put them back in the jar and fill it with water. You need to repeat the process for 7 days. Rinse the seeds after every 12 hours with clean water. You can take the seeds out of the jar or you can drain the water and fill it with clean water then drain it again to rinse the seeds.
4. Within a few days, your broccoli seeds will germinate and you can eat them whenever you want. But for delicious taste wait until the seeds turn in bright green color.
5. I am talking about how to grow broccoli sprouts but you can use the same methods to sprout seeds of cabbage, kale, lentils, beans, and other seeds.
Method:2 How to grow broccoli sprouts using garden soil?
When you want to grow broccoli microgreens then using the soil is a great idea. In this method, you need to have some necessary equipment on your side.
1. Organic potting soil or coco coir
2. Any old container or specially made grow microgreen tray
3. Grow light or south-facing sunny window.
Steps to follow
1. Fill the container or tray with the potting soil to the top
2. You harvest your broccoli green when they very young seedlings. Therefore, you need to sow the seeds thickly.
3. Cover the seeds with the potting soil and mist some water
4. Place the tray on the sunny window shelf or under the grow light.
5. Keep the soil well moist by misting the water. Do not use a container to give water as you do with container plants. This will damage the seeds.
Note: Don’t use the same soil for the next batch of broccoli microgreens. The reason is once you harvest the green from the soil it becomes nutrient deficient.
You need to use the new soil or add some compost or fertilizer in it. The problem with adding fertilizers in old soil is this is a costly idea. It’s better that you order the big bag of potting mix or coco coir and use it many times for growing broccoli microgreens at home.
Method:3 How to grow broccoli sprouts with grow mats?
This the easiest method of growing microgreen at home for beginners. Because in this technique you don’t need to play with soil. As the name suggests “grow mats” are made to grow seedlings. The best part is you can reuse grow mats many times.
My favorite grow mats are:
2. Micro Mats
Process to follow
All you need to have is seeds, grow mat and clean fresh water
1. Measure the size of the tray in which you want to grow seeds. Cut it to the size of the tray.
2. Before using mats soak them in the clean water for 10 hours (material of mat doesn’t matter). Also, soak the seeds in water for a couple of hours in different containers.
3. Put the mat in the clean dry tray and spread seeds all over it. No need to cover it with anything.
4. Place the tray under a good source of light or on a sunny window.
5. It takes a few days to grow microgreen out of the seeds.
Method:4 Grow broccoli micro greens on wood shavings
Now, this is a little messy method. It is messy than the soil growing methods. But the advantage is wood shavings can hold a great amount of moisture for a long time. This reduces the watering needs of microgreens.
Buy wood shavings from the local animal feed store or buy special wood shaving for microgreens. Once you have it, soak it in the water for 4 to 5 hours before using it. Then fill the tray with moist wood shavings and spread seeds over it. keep the tray moist and your microgreens will grow in a few days.
Method:5 Grow microgreens and Sprouting Broccoli on specially made growing paper
Growing broccoli sprouts on grow paper is another easy and clean method. The paper is designed in such a way so that it can hold a massive amount of moisture. The moisture is necessary to grow soft delicious sprouts and microgreens.
Steps to follow
1. Soak the paper in the water for a few hours. Also, soak 2 tablespoons of seeds in water.
2. Now drain the excess of water and spread the seeds over the paper
3. No need to cover the paper with anything.
4. Just put it under the grow light or place it somewhere it can get enough sunlight.
5. Mist water regularly on the tray to keep the paper moist.
Microgreens and light requirements
Sprouts and microgreens need few hours of bright light. In summers you can put the seed tray on the windowsill. But in winter you need to use grow lights because of reduced sunlight hours. Do not buy high quality grow lights. They are made for growing multiple plants at once. Any reasonable priced grows light is enough for growing microgreens and sprouts.
Turn ON the light for 12 to 16 hours per day. Also, to save electric energy use Timer. Maintain the 2 to 4 inches of distance between growing light and seed tray.
Use Seedling Heat Mats
Seedling heat mats are good for starting seeds and growing microgreens. All you need to do is set the temperature of the heat mat and put it underneath the seed tray. Seedling heat mats are waterproof mats. They are very useful especially in winters when the temperature drops below 10 degrees.
Your heat mats increase the temperature of the soil to 10 degrees. Don’t worry seedling mats don’t burn the seeds and are safe to use inside homes. Some best brands like Vivosun manufacturer best mats for starting seeds and microgreens. They also give safety features like auto shut off, short circuit protection, etc.
When to harvest broccoli sprouts and microgreens?
Sprouts are ready right after the germination. The microgreens became eatable when you see the true leaves on them. Once the seedlings are 6 to 7 inches long you can harvest them and eat them after washing with clean water.
For harvesting use clean pair of scissors and cut greens from right above the roots. To store it for a long time don’t wash seedlings. Put them in the Ziplock bag and store them in the fridge. This way your microgreens can last for 5 to 7 days.
Don’t forget to rinse them before eating.