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Sprouting/microgreening leaf lettuce

 
greenhorn
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Is it feasible, or just a silly idea I have.  Will you really get anything from it or is the seed to small in size to get anything from trying to sprout/microgreen small seeds?  It does seem like I always see everybody talking about using bigger seeds for sprouting.
 
rancher
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Hank Fletcher wrote:Is it feasible, or just a silly idea I have.  Will you really get anything from it or is the seed to small in size to get anything from trying to sprout/microgreen small seeds?  It does seem like I always see everybody talking about using bigger seeds for sprouting.



They're the same size as radish seeds that I grow often... I'd recommend looking at Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days by Peter Burke.  He doesn't talk about growing lettuce, but I assume you could use his technique if you have an inexpensive seed source.
 
rancher
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from my own experience, I have not been successful trying to grow lettuce shoots or plants indoors as it take too long to sprout & grow and the stems are week.

My best success is radish shoots & Buckwheat shoots for winter salad.  Sunflower shoots are great but annoying to pick off all the shells as they do not all fall off on their own.

So this winter, I am focusing on radish & buckwheat shoots and a bit of sunflower shoots.  I have read  Peter Burke's book and have adapted it to growing in larger 10'' pots in an outbuilding that is already heated.  Also, to keep seed costs down, I buy them in 5lb bags, so that is why I limit the variety.

Not only do I use the shoots in salads, I use them like cooked spinach by adding them to soups, stews, gravies, stirfries etc...
 
Hank Fletcher
greenhorn
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:

Hank Fletcher wrote:Is it feasible, or just a silly idea I have.  Will you really get anything from it or is the seed to small in size to get anything from trying to sprout/microgreen small seeds?  It does seem like I always see everybody talking about using bigger seeds for sprouting.



They're the same size as radish seeds that I grow often... I'd recommend looking at Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days by Peter Burke.  He doesn't talk about growing lettuce, but I assume you could use his technique if you have an inexpensive seed source.



Well, saved seed from the summer is quite cheap seed.  I had been thinking about trying it, hence why I saved a ton of seed.  After the lettuce had bolted I just let it grow and harvested the seeds off for next year and then I got to thinking about trying sprouting them this winter for sprouts/microgreens.  Someone I talked to questioned whether since the seed was so small if they would even amount to anything.  I haven't tried but since I do see it appears I am working with an heirloom variety I may give it a shot and see if I can sprout them and get them to do anything or not.
 
Marshal
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Hank Fletcher wrote: Someone I talked to questioned whether since the seed was so small if they would even amount to anything.



The size of a seed is not a good indicator of the size of what will grow. It's one of the aspects of nature that I love, seeing life spring forth from the tiniest of seeds, such as poppies for example. Some varieties get big, and a 6 foot tall poppy flower can be the end result of a poppy seed, which I think most of us are familiar with. For fun, I just got out my seeds, rummaged for a few in particular and took this picture below. The seeds on the left are Genovese Basil, pretty tiny similar to a poppy seed, but pictured on the right is Greek Oregano, the tiniest seed I have yet to sow, and they turn into nice, rather large bushy oregano plants!

Even just sowing seeds for sprouts or micro greens and harvesting within a week or two of sowing, quite a bit of leafy material can emerge. I think sowing your lettuce and showing your friend may surprise them with just how much is there after the sprouts emerge.
Basil-and-Oregano-seeds.jpg
[Thumbnail for Basil-and-Oregano-seeds.jpg]
 
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