Tis the season for micro greens and sprouts. The weather outside is frightful freakin’ cold. Too cold to sprout seeds outdoors, even under cover, so I’ve brought the operation indoors.
A few years ago I gleefully ripped open my festively-wrapped automatic sprouter and started the winter tradition of growing fresh greens on my kitchen table in the less pleasant months. There are many seeds that benefit from spouting in this manner (hydroponically) like radish, alfalfa, lentil, clover, and many more. Sunflowers, however, do much better when grown as micro-greens: seeds that are sprouted in soil and harvested as seedlings.
Indoor Gardening Project: Sunflower Micro Greens
- Makeshift mini greenhouse
- Organic black oil sunflower seeds
- Clean potting soil
No fancy equipment needed for this high-brow salad trimming. I used a biodegradable plastic dome (make sure it’s food safe) from a pre-cooked organic chicken: a prefect soil tray and greenhouse. You could also use a milk jug cut in half, a cake tray, or whatever you can imagine that would create a mini greenhouse.
Add about an inch of clean, rich soil to the bottom tray and spread sunflower seeds over the top. I generously cover the soil with seeds, not letting any of them overlap. Cover those seeds with just enough soil to hold moisture on them and put in a warm place out of direct sunlight. The top of the fridge is a great place to sprout them. In 1-4 days when the seeds have sprouted, remove the dome and get them to a bright windowsill. Don’t bother using a grow light or worrying if the sun isn’t shining every day. Who cares if they are leggy?! You just get more yummy sprout to eat.
The micro greens are ready to harvest when the mighty seedlings push up the soil (which helps to knock off the black husks) and grow two fat seed leaves. Snip the seedlings at the base and wash in a salad spinner. The nutty flavor is a fresh treat in the colder months and it only takes about 7 days from seed to table.
A great winter project for those days when you want to eat a salad and imagine yourself in Hawaii.