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soil-less micro greens?  RSS feed

 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 88
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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Hi All,

I'd like to grow some micro greens (Peas) but have no potting soil stashed away and the snow outside is more than a few feet thick, so no chance of digging any, any time soon (I'd also prefer not to buy any as I don't have a car to transport it in and my wallet is mighty thin!).

Is it possible to grow micro greens in a soil-less medium? What might be used instead of soil?


cheers,

Tom
 
Evelyn Mitchell
Posts: 20
Location: Central, Eastish Missouri, St Robert in Pulaski Co. was in SE Michigan, South of Detroit, Suburbian
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Hi Tom, Yes you can grow micro greens without soil because everything the plant needs to get started is in the seed. However the seedling will need soil or nutrients to survive once the roots start heavy branching which is telling you that it is hungry and looking for food. Since you harvest when the first true leaves appear (about 10 - 14 days) that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Soil does improve the taste of the greens though.

Water will work for a little while, also gravel if you clean it will help hold the plant up. you can use a shredded paper towel to cover the seeds as if it were soil. Heck you might be able to shred paper towel and use it as a growing medium, just make sure it stays damp, but not too wet. If you do that let me know how it works out. I might try it myself, if I do before you do I'll let you know.

I hope that helps.
Evelyn
 
Todd Nease
Posts: 16
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Tom...

Have you considered just sprouting? If so I bought a stacking sprouting system off of Amazon that I found to be superior, for a good price. It looks a lot like a mini dehydrator, you pour water in the top and it trickles down to rinse each tray. I do a tray a day and I always have a batch of sprouts ready to eat every day. As I find most things to be perfect about day 4. Just a thought.

I used a lot of other methods too. But found this thing to be really useful, and space saving. The only big downside is that it is plastic, but it should last a lifetime.
 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 88
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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Hi All!

@Todd - I have, and discovered I dont really like sprouts.

@Evelyn, I tried pea shoots in your shredded paper idea (using newspaper cuse thats what I had) along side of a "control batch" of pea shoots in a little soil I found and here are the results:
P1010001.JPG
[Thumbnail for P1010001.JPG]
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1275
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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So what does a pea shoot taste like?
 
Evelyn Mitchell
Posts: 20
Location: Central, Eastish Missouri, St Robert in Pulaski Co. was in SE Michigan, South of Detroit, Suburbian
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@elle Until Tom said he wanted to grow pea shoots I didn't know they were used, I sprout lentils, quinoa and navy beans. I haven't tried any of the newer ones yet. I'd like to try sunflower, radish, and buckwheat also Amaranth is supposed to be good too, I usually use the jar method with a fine netting over the opening and let them drain between rinses, until they get about 3/4 of an inch, or longer for the lentils and beans.

So I don't know what a pea sprout tastes like.

Evelyn

PS. The youtube video I saw was sprouting sunflower seeds. I assumed they would work the same way.
 
Tom Kozak
Posts: 88
Location: Sudbury ON, Canada
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a pea shoot has sort-of a mild nutty/lettucy taste, my favorite micro-green by far, highly recomended!
those seeds were planted at the end of feb. (27?) and the picture is from this past Sunday, but it is cold in the sun porch here in Sudbury and up until recently pretty dark too.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1208
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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I remember a certain season many years ago, when you could get delicious pea-shoot dishes in NY Chinatown. They were maybe just young plants, pulled up and washed, and sauted with soy sauce. I remember finding them delicious!

I've sprouted any random seed that seems like both the seed and the leaf is edible, including whatever peas, lentils or beans we have, and spices like fennel, anise, dill, coriander.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1275
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I think I need to try this now!
 
Taylor Brown
Posts: 21
Location: Little Rock, AR 7b
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I've been growing microgreens for a few months. I am aware of two soil-less media products for growing in 10x20 trays. SuretoGrow pads are a light fiber mesh and MicroMats are a compostable wood pulp sheet that expands into a mushy goop when watered. Both cost $1.40 per tray. I use the MicroMats for small seed like brocolli, arugula, and amaranth.

For larger seed like peas, sunflower, and beets I use a loose organic potting soil media. I imagine that the water retention and structure of the media are more important than the nutrients when growing microgreens (10 days to harvest). Since the seed cost is much higher than the grow media cost, I have not yet experimented with soil alternatives. Perhaps a mix of shredded newspaper and used coffee grounds (free from Starbucks) would be a good option. For comparison, organic potting soil costs about $1.00 per tray.

Pea shoots taste like peas, except without the sweetness. The bottoms of the shoots can get a little tough and stringy when eaten raw. Sunflowers are my most popular crop so far. They are very tender and delicious.
 
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