MICROGREENS

Thanks to Jack Yam’s sharing with easy to follow tutorial and accompanying photographs, a lot of gardeners learned how to grow microgreens.

With Jack’s permission, his pictures and instructions are shared in this post.

Step 1 – Recycle any plastic container suitable for growing! Drill or cut holes at the base for drainage. This allowed excess water to drain from the soil.

Grow food at home

Cut or drill holes for drainage

Not handy with electric drill, I re-used easier to cut soft plastic containers instead! Drainage holes were created by snipping corners with a pair of scissor.

Grow Harvest Eat from garden to table

Re-used plastic containers!

Step 2 – Fill only 1 inch depth of good gardening soil mix, customized or buy ready mix.

Microgreens from seeds

Fill and pat down soil

Step 3 – Water well, the medium should be very wet and then slowly drained from the holes we had cut/drilled below.

Grow Eat Fresh Food

The soil is very wet

 

Step 4 – Sow seeds on the surface. Press gently on seeds to ensure that they touched the soil but were not buried. 

Grow Eat Fresh Food

Seeds are on the surface

Lesson learned from our own experience, DO NOT cling wrapped the container as mold will grow. However this is easily remedied with sun exposure after a few hours.

Our microgreens’ journal began on December 17 2017 following Jack Yam’s instructions.

We hope to grow many varieties of microgreens and be able to harvest fresh from our table top gardens!

Grow microgreens from seeds

Broccoli and Red Beet seeds from Gardeners Day Out event in Singapore

  1. Broccoli seeds germinated in 18 hours!
Grow Eat fresh food at home

2017 December 18 at 2pm – Broccoli

Impatient to taste our first microgreens, we harvested on December 24 2017, exactly 7 days later.

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Broccoli microgreens taste like broccoli

Jack Yam advised there is no fixed rule as to when microgreens can be harvested. They can be as young as one week old with a set of seed leaf or more mature 3 to 4 weeks. The older seedlings will have more leaves and better bite. Microgreens are generally eaten raw and however old they are when we harvest them, they taste really good.

How to Grow microgreens at home

Dec 29 2017 – Broccoli leaf

How to Grow microgreens at home

2 weeks old seedling

2) Red beet was our second microgreen variety to try .

The seeds are really cute as they looked like wholemeal cereal bites!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

December 17 2017

Red beets germinated on December 19 2017, 2 days later.

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

December 19 2017 – red beet

First harvest and taste on Christmas day 2017!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Red beet

How to grow microgreens at home

Red Beet Leaf taste like beet!

Whole food grow at home made great snacks as well!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Red beets and broccoli greens!

Growing microgreens was really easy and  fast to harvest.

In spite of their size, they packed a punch in nutrients, texture and taste.

Our grow rack of  anti-aging, healthy and colourful microgreens is expanding! 🙂

How to grow microgreens at home

2017 Dec 30 – Growing more varieties

One Time harvest 

  1. Spicy Taste – radishes, mustard/mizuna (wasabi tasting) , rockets
  2. Thai Basil
  3. Broccoli
  4. Pea / dou miou
  5. Red Cabbage
  6. Sunflower
  7. Alfalfa
  8. Red Amaranth
  9. Coriander
  10. Fenugreek
  11. Basil (green , purple)
  12. Kale
  13. Pak Choy
  14. Spinach
  15. sesame
  16. Chia seeds
  17. Water Cress
  18. Edamame
  19. Fennel
  20. Cucumber
  21. Chard
  22. Stevia
  23. Pumpkin leaves
  24. Sorrel
  25. Chives

Multiple harvests microgreens – cut will regrow

  1. Corn (Jack Yam’s tip – the white part of shoots are very sweet but the longer the shoot grows, the texture is fibrous)
  2. Wheatgrass

Most leafy greens can be harvested early to be eaten as microgreens or let to mature to grow into salads. Thus we can use vegetables and herbs seed for microgreens. For example, any type of kale, basil, pak choy, amaranth etc.

Microgreens vs. Sprouts

They are not the same.

Sprouts are germinated seeds and harvested in 48 hours. Consumed sprouts are mainly the seed, stem, roots and underdeveloped light color leaves. Their ideal growing conditions, 100% humidity and warmth (27C/80F), sometimes carried risks of pathogenic bacteria. In Europe, consumers are often advised to cook sprouts before eating.

Microgreens are young greens and harvested from 2 to 4 weeks. Their growing conditions are completely opposite the sprouts conditions – high light and sun exposure, low humidity and good ventilation. They have 2 developed cotyledons (seed leaf) and partially developed true leaf. Usually consumed raw without roots as they are cut above soil level.

An USDA 2012 study on microgreens yield an interesting detail. The nutritional benefits of microgreens varied when its grown in artificial lights and natural strong sunlight. According to this study, natural sunlight will yield the maximum nutritional content for microgreens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Made Super Soil

Home Made Compost is possible in crowded, urban tropical cities like Singapore.

This process of recycling kitchen green waste into compost for gardening , is good for plants, ourselves and the environment .

Look at how my edibles garden turned out with this “home made” super soil for yourself  !

From THIS –

Composting methods in Singapore

March 2015 – Dead or dying citrus plant, abandoned after Chinese New Year

Benefits of Organic Compost

March 20 2015 – Dead Tree awakening with organic compost!

TO THIS – !!!

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Dec 14 2015 – A fully recovered plant! 🙂

How to use and benefits of organic compost

A healthy thriving plant again

Update of this tree on July 17 2016 (16 months from when I start composting in this pot) –

using compost

July 17 2016 – This plant continued to thrive

home made nutrients rich soil

July 17 2016 – see what recycling raw greens can do for your plant? 🙂

Uses of compost

How lime/citrus begin their fruiting journey – Isn’t this cute?

When I see how this little tree continued to prosper, its as if it talking to me, ” I am okay now. Thank you! ” 🙂

Benefits of recycled green waste compost

Jan 20 2017 – STILL ALIVE and Thriving!

No other fertilizer was added in this pot, beside composting of peels and adding earthworms from the garden. Imagined this – whatever nutrients that this plant gained from the compost, allowed it to rejuvenate its drive to recover from a dying state. Then I often wondered what we will gain when we consumed edibles grown in this kind of natural compost ?  Will we be able to rejuvenate ourselves as well?

Meyer Lemons –

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Growing Meyer lemon in compost pot

Sweet basil 

How to use and benefits of organic compost

September 16 2015 – Sweet Basil

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Layer upon layer of kitchen raw greens, soil, dried leaves are added to the pot until its almost full.

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Sweet basil in compost pot is bigger than my herbs grown indoors

Rosemary and Curly leaf Parsley

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Rosemary and curly leaf parsley thriving in spite of the thunderstorms!

Our MINT was grown without pesticide and in our own compost from recycling kitchen greens waste –

Benefits of home made organic compost

Kids love to harvest home grown mint for tea when they are studying

Bell Peppers or Capsicums

Growing bell peppers in home made compost

Bell peppers or capsicum grown in home made compost, taste sweeter. Kids are eating them raw like green apples!

Growing red bell peppers in home made organic compost

Red and Green bell peppers in the same pot

Even strawberries! 🙂

Growing strawberries in outdoors Singapore garden

We weed our strawberries outdoor to learn more about growing them in the tropics.

Two varieties of strawberry plants were weeded here from October 2015, to see how they fared in our special acidic compost in normal SG temperature.

So far, sick plants have recovered in them and survived our terrible haze and thunderstorms, to flower and bore fruits by December 2015.

Growing strawberries in Singapore

2017 – One of my plants thriving in natural SG environment

Why not wolfberries too?

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

February 28 2017 – Wolfberries or Gojiberries

In our household, recycling raw greens for compost bins is second nature! 🙂

How to make organic compost

We are striving toward zero-waste in our household

What goes into our compost bin?

How to make organic compost

Fruit pulp, peels, tea leaves, ground coffee, raw washed egg shells, any raw greens BUT not meat and bloody innards (too smelly, attracts rats/cats/dogs to dig in)

5 Easy Steps to prepare organic compost OUTDOORS

  1. Cover the holes with net or any material that allow liquid to drain while stopping soil/compost erosion
  2. Dried leaves or any organic dried matter from the garden
  3. Add soil (Any nurseries soil would do – new, used, old soil, would not recommend garden common soil)
  4. Add kitchen greens waste: peels, washed egg shells, tea bags, ground coffee ( Not bloody innards, meat, bones)
  5. Cover with soil and dried leaves, raise the compost container for aeration is a good idea.

 

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Cover pot’s drainage holes with net to allow water to drain out but not erode the soil and compost.

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 2 – Dried leaves (shred them if you are not lazy like me! 🙂 Break down faster if they are smaller pieces.

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 3 – Add soil (any soil can be used – old , or new soil )

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 4 – Add raw greens etc. Cover with soil and top off with dried leaves so less fruit flies hovering around the pot!

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Layers after layers are repeated until my pot is almost full.

What to do when it rained, and the compost become wet?

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden and what to do when compost is wet

After a heavy rain, its good to “turn/stir” the pile and add dry soil . I usually top off with dried leaves again to ward off fruit flies. My soil smell like orange, nothing foul. In our tropical heat if there is no rain, compost can be ready in 2 – 4 weeks.

Composting in Singapore

The ready product is a soft, citrus smelling dark soil!

Benefits of composting

Color of nutrients rich compost is BLACK !

Home made compost

Lots of worms as raw greens break down! Not for the squeamish 🙂

When the compost is ready, the color of the compost is very dark and none of the peels and kitchen raw greens are distinguishable. This is my super soil which I used as a top soil in my pots.

2) For apartments’ corridors composting,  please followed this group’s “Composting in Singapore” instructions.

There is no smell and not much presence of pests , it is neighbors’ friendly but takes longer to breakdown.

Compost bins suitable for apartment’s corridors

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 1 – Plastic Bin with cover, drilled holes at the bottom for drainage

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 2 – Cover holes with net. Second layer is shredded newspapers, followed by dried leaves and soil.

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 3 – add greens and my idea of a toilet roll for aeration! 🙂 Top off with soil, newspapers and cover bins!

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests and smells

In the process of breaking down organic matter for compost, heat and moisture are created in the compost bins. Newspapers absorb liquid and smells.

Composting in Singapore

Thumbs UP – Compost bins like these are neighbors friendly – no smells, no pests!

For an easy non fussy indoor method, Lim San had uploaded a new video in February 2017 –

Just for knowledge, the following video showed what happened in my compost bin when too much raw greens is added over brown ratio! Thus do keep Lim San‘s advice in mind (Brown : Green , 30:1 ratio) when starting a new compost bin! 🙂

Compost bins in Singapore

Bins can be used outdoors but mind the mosquitoes breeding when it rained on the bin’s covers! Best to lay a cloth than tile like this.

 

We love to cook with edibles from our organic garden!

It is possible to grow edibles without using commercial fertilizers.

Sweeter edibles grown in home made organic compost

Young chefs in training and home made Quiche with herbs from our garden 🙂

 

Growing vegetables with children in our organic garden

SG Strawberries kids helped built this  edibles garden (2015 ) 🙂

Recycling waste for compost

September 1 2017 – still at it!

Benefits of composting

2017 November 5 – Gardens get better the longer we compost!

A small pleasurable plot of edibles, grown in nutrients dense compost by recycling waste, and shared freely with neighbors now. It was an empty corner where people abandoned plants and discarded pots, changed for the better.

Gardening has become my voice for sharing ideas to promote recycling in our communities and how every household can play a part to protect our environment. This is also a good way to teach the younger generation how to grow food from “own-made” super charged soil! 🙂

In addition, we took science out of the textbooks and learned how to protect our environment while growing delicious food.