Fun, educational and healthily nutritious during these viral times of immune-boosting necessity, why not get your kids to grow delicious microgreens on the windowsill during lockdown?
Microgreens are seedlings of various vegetables that you cut and eat a couple of weeks after planting, just like cress. Unlike sprouted seeds, which are eaten before the leaves appear, microgreens are harvested a little later to include the small, tasty seed leaves.
They are quick & easy to grow (ready to eat within days or a fortnight depending on type), packed with nutrients and thrive on any sunny windowsill all year round.
In this simple, child-friendly tutorial you will learn how to grow microgreens for kids and discover their health benefits for all the family. Deliciously good fun!
Microgreen growing with kids is the perfect mix of fun, science, education and nutrition to entertain and engage children who are cooped up indoors on lockdown or stuck inside during bad weather.
They are even being investigated as a food for astronauts to grow on space farms, so they must be good for us!
And if you don’t have a garden it’s a great way to bring nature indoors.
You will need:
- a sunny windowsill(!)
- some suitable seeds – we used kale, basil & peas
- a bit of peat-free compost
- a tray or two to grow them in (we recycled tin-foil takeaway trays with plastic lids)
Kids LOVE watching them grow and snipping the seedlings to eat raw or add to sandwiches and meals.
What to do:
- Take a clean seed tray or other suitable flat container such as an old lunchbox or ice-cream container
- Put 1-2cm of compost into your chosen tray (peat-free is more expensive but much better for the environment)
- Moisten the compost with a spray or gentle watering can
- Sprinkle seeds on the surface. You should plant lots more seeds than if you were planting normally as they happily grow close together and aren’t in the compost long enough to compete for nutrients.
- Gently cover the seeds with a fine layer of compost, about 0.5cm but follow the packet instructions for different varieties
- Spray the compost with water
- Place the container on a sunny windowsill*
- Watch and wait for the seeds to germinate
- Spray the compost daily, or more often, to keep it moist
- When seedlings reach 4-5cm tall (a couple of inches) cut the seeds with scissors and eat raw or add to sandwiches, salads or soups
*As our recycled containers had plastic lids we used those to add a warmer ‘greenhouse effect’ but a cover isn’t necessary, and we still had to moisten them daily.
Don’t forget to encourage young space addicts to grow microgreens like astronauts on the ISS! I’d love you to share photos over on Facebook.
Which Microgreen Seeds to Grow
Standard seeds are fine, or buy the varieties specially produced for microgreen growing. Try both and let me know which grow best.
These are the best vegetable seeds to plant for microgreens: –
- red pak choi
- Swiss chard
Health Benefits of Microgreens
Microgreens are cut to eat immediately so they retain more nutrients than shop-bought veg.
The nutrient content differs between vegetables but they all contain good amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, all excellent for health and immunity. To find more nutrition information, read microgreen health benefits.
Kids Isolation Activities
Wild wishes on your astronaut-growing adventures!
Let me know how you get on or if you’ve got any handy tips to add.
Buy Microgreen Seeds & Equipment
Click on the images to find prices at Amazon.
Happy microgreen growing!