Micro herbs are herbs that you can grow and harvest as microgreens in just a few days. These are the young or baby forms of regular herbs and they give you more nutrition.
Micro herbs have a lot of advantages over regular herbs and they are very easy to grow. Read this informative article to learn all you need to know about micro herbs.
- What Are Micro Herbs?
- Examples of Micro Herbs
- How To Grow Micro Herbs
- Precautions for Growing and Harvesting
What Are Micro Herbs?
Micro herbs are the baby or microgreen forms of regular herbs. While you have to wait many weeks or months before you can harvest and consume your regular herbs, you only need a couple of days or weeks to harvest your micro herbs. With just a few exceptions, you can grow almost every regular herb as a micro herb.
Do not confuse these herbs for sprouts. The sprout of a plant is just germinating and has cotyledons (i.e. embryonic leaves) without true leaves. You can only harvest micro herbs after they develop their first set of true leaves. Baby greens with only cotyledons do not have the flavor of older plants, but micro herbs do.
– You Can Grow Them At Home
One reason people do not like growing vegetables or herbs is that they can take a lot of space. Well, you do not need a lot of space to grow micro herbs, because you can grow them anywhere. You can even grow them in micro herbs basement so long as you can provide an artificial source of light.
These herbs may be very delicious and have a lot of flavors, but they are surely easy to grow. All you need is a spot to keep your grow tray, a source of light and nutrients to feed to growing plants. If you are an enthusiast of growing your food but do not have space for outside gardening, you should try growing micro herbs.
– You Can Grow Them All-Year-Round
It does not matter if the herb you want to grow is annual or perennial, temperate or tropical, or easy or difficult to grow. As long as you are interested in growing it, you can always grow it successfully no matter the day or time of the year. Micro herb gardeners do not face the challenges that other gardeners face.
Most plants die when the season is not favorable because as they continue to grow, they tend to prefer certain ranges of factors such as humidity, temperature, and water. As for micro herbs, you get to harvest most of them before an unfavorable season can stop them from growing.
– Micro Herbs Consume Fewer Water and Nutrients
Another reason people prefer to buy instead of growing their herbs and vegetables is because of the high cost of buying fertilizer as well as constantly feeding and watering their plants. As for micro herbs, you have just a few days to think about watering or feeding the plants.
What’s better? You can choose to grow your micro herbs without feeding them. All you need to do is to grow them in compost or nutrient-rich substrate. This prevents you from spending money on nutrients. Also, microgreens consume less water than regular plants.
– They Are Super Nutritious
Think of any herb of your choice and then research the nutrients in it. Micro herbs have all those nutrients and they are concentrated in the little plants that you are consuming. Older plants have a lot of water and fiber, so you need to consume a lot before you can get certain amounts of nutrients from them.
As for micro herbs, their nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc are still concentrated. Micro herbs are also rich in antioxidants just like regular herbs. As you can see, consuming micro herbs will give you the same or better nutrition as consuming regular herbs.
– Micro Herbs Come in a Wide Range of Flavors
You have favorite herbs because of their variety of flavors. Likewise, you are promised to get a variety of flavors from micro herbs, so you can as well get a favorite micro herb soon. Some micro herbs have a mild flavor while others are spicy.
It does not matter what you want to cook or prepare, there is a micro herb for you so long as you can use an herb or vegetable to make the food in the first place.
– They Have Fewer Fibers
Fiber is a nutrient in plants that aid in digestion, especially bowel movement. As humans, we cannot digest fiber. This means that the more fibers are present in our food, the fewer nutrients we can get from it. While fibers are good for digestion, they are not so good for people who need a boost of nutrients in their meals, which is why these herbs are ideal.
These herbs are still young, so they do not have a lot of fibers, therefore, eating micro herbs will give you a concentration of needed nutrients that you can digest quickly.
Now you know many reasons why you should grow and consume micro herbs. Continue reading to learn about some examples of micro herbs that you can grow.
Examples of Micro Herbs
Examples of plants are listed, continue reading to know why you should grow these herbs and what you should know about them.
Dill or Anethum graveolens is a very popular annual herb with a rich flavor. It is rich in vitamins A and C. Just like regular dill, you can store your micro dill by drying it.
Cilantro or Chinese Parsley is an annual herb in the Apiaceae family.
You may or may not like cilantro according to your taste or preference, but this is a great herb nonetheless.
Oregano is a very common micro herb because regular oregano is a shrub or woody plant and takes time to grow before you can harvest it.
As a herb, you do not need to wait for a long time before you enjoy your oregano.
Kale is a leafy vegetable just like cabbages. If you love regular kales, you should try micro kales as you get to enjoy their sweetness and richness. You can grow these leafy greens in different colors.
Basil is an herb in the Lamiaceae family. As a tender plant, many people grow basil with difficulty. To easily grow and harvest basil, you can grow it as a micro herb.
While many people enjoy onion bulbs, some grow them specifically for their leaves.
A few people grow onion leaves as micro herbs as the young stage of onion leaves is very flavorful.
Allium schoenoprasum or chives is closely related to popular plants like onions and garlic. It has edible leaves and flowers when you grow it as a regular herb. As a micro herb, you get to enjoy just the leaves.
Don’t you love mint? Mint is one herb that everyone should grow as it is common in many dishes as well as super easy to grow. Regular mint is easy to grow, but micro mint is easier.
Arugula or garden rocket is popular for their fresh, bitter, and peppery leaves. This is among the most common microgreen plants.
– Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has a similar appearance and flavor as mint. Regular lemon balm grows as a perennial plant, so you should grow some in your garden to continuously enjoy their flavor.
If you do not have space, you can grow lemon balm as a micro herb.
If you love the taste and hardness of cabbage leaves, you’d be motivated to grow some. However, the problem with cabbages is that they take a long time to grow before harvesting.
If you want to enjoy your cages quickly, you can grow them as a microgreen.
– Micro Herb Mix
Would you like to grow different types of herbs and harvest them at once? This is difficult for regular herbs because they have different growth rates. As micro herbs, however, you can combine different herbs and harvest them at once (in about ten days).
Now you know different types of micro herbs that you can grow. How do you grow them? Continue reading.
How To Grow Micro Herbs
Here are the steps to follow for growing microgreens with a detailed explanation of each step:
– Gather The Tools That You Need
You only need these items to grow your herbs:
- Quality seeds: Get your micro herbs seeds from a reputable store or gardener. You can buy a seed mix or just seeds of a particular plant.
- Substrate: You can plant your micro herbs directly in compost, but you should mix it with sand, vermiculite, and perlite for better quality.
- Tray or container: Just like regular plants that need pots.
- Source of light: Sunlight is the best, but you can always use some grow lights for your micro herbs.
As you can see, micro herbs do not demand too much. When you have everything that you need, start planting the seeds.
– Plant and Water the Seeds
You do not need to dig holes to plant your seeds. All you need to do is sprinkle the seeds on the substrate and then use a thin layer of loam or sand to bury the seeds. This will help keep the seeds in the same spot while you water them.
To water these seeds, use a spray bottle to mist water on their cover or loam or sand. Mist them and then you are done for the day. It would help to perforate holes under the tray for drainage of excess water.
– Check and Water Your Micro Herb Seeds Daily
Depending on the type of herb that you are growing, your herbs should germinate in two to five days. Continue watering them by misting them regularly until they germinate. However, even when they germinate, do not stop watering them.
The first two leaves that come with the sprouts are the cotyledons. In five to seven days, you should see another set of leaves with an entirely different shape from the cotyledons. This new set is the first true set. They indicate that your micro herbs are ready for harvesting.
– Harvest Your Microgreens in Seven to Ten Days
When you see the first set of true leaves in your microgreens, you can get scissors or any tool of your choice to harvest your micro herbs. Cut the greens from their stems or petioles. You can cut them close to their base, but make sure that you do not collect their sandy roots as well.
Well, you can harvest your micro herb roots if you have use for them. After harvesting your microgreens, you should rinse them with running water to prepare them for the next step.
– Eat or Preserve Your Micro Herbs
It is time to eat and enjoy your herbs. You can prepare different types of foods with them and you can even eat them raw if you like. If you do not want to eat them immediately, you can preserve them in the refrigerator so that you can eat them later. You can also dry them if you want.
Precautions for Growing and Harvesting
Take note of the following:
- Wait until their first true leaves develop before you harvest micro herbs: If you harvest your micro herbs when they have only cotyledons, you may not enjoy their rich flavors and nutrients. Please wait until they have a true set of leaves.
- Always use contamination-free substrate: You should use a new substrate for every set of microgreens. If you must use an old substrate, bake it first.
- Grow other herbs but rosemary: Rosemary plants are difficult to grow as micro herbs because they germinate slowly and are frequently attacked by mold. You can grow other types of herbs.
Now you are good to go, enjoy your micro herbs.
Micro herbs are truly your go-to herbs if you are a fan of growing what you eat and you lack space. Before you start growing your micro herbs, remember the following:
- Micro herbs are simply regular herbs that you can grow as baby greens or microgreens.
- Micro herbs have the same nutrients as regular herbs, but their nutrients are more concentrated.
- Micro herbs include dill, basil, mint, lemon balm, rockets and cilantro.
- Make sure that your micro herbs have a source of light.
- Wait until your plants have a set of true leaves before you harvest them.
What are you waiting for? Get some seeds and start growing your micro herbs with the great recommendations from this article.
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