Micro gardening means exactly what it sounds like - growing plants in small spaces, typically in containers. While what is grown is up to you, micro gardens usually require seed selection and germination; moist, rich soil; and a warm environment to get started.
Window boxes and flower pots are great for micro gardening, as it's easier to tend to plants and amend soil for each specific plant's needs. Learn how to start a micro garden with this step-by-step guide:
Starting Your Micro Garden
- Measure out the desired amount of seeds according to package directions for the container you are using. Seed size and germination times can vary according to variety, so always refer to the planting directions. Most seeds can be soaked in water overnight to jump-start the germination process.
- Place the prepared soil mixture in the growing container and generously moisten the soil using a spray bottle before spreading the seeds evenly over the soil. For the best dense growth, seeds should completely cover the soil surface - but be careful not to overlap them.
- After the seeds are evenly distributed, mist the surface again. It isn't necessary to cover the seeds with a layer of topsoil - it may prevent the tender shoot leaves from breaking through the surface.
- Cover the growing container with a light towel, napkin or paper towel for two to three days, misting at least twice a day so the seeds don't dry out. Keep the container in a warm area or on a heated grow mat for best results. At this stage, sunlight isn't vital for germination.
- When the sprouts develop their leaves (three to five days) it's time to expose them to light, but remember to keep up regular misting so the soil remains moist. If you're growing the sprouts indoors near a window, rotate the container on a regular basis when the sprouts begin to lean toward the light. Good air circulation is also important in order to prevent mold; a small desktop fan placed near the container works well to move air.
Depending on the types of vegetables or herbs planted, your micro garden can begin producing in as little as two weeks after the first leaves have fully formed. Microgreens are especially fast growers when well-tended. From beautiful Fino Verde basil to Jingle Bell peppers and Fairy Tale eggplant, the sky's the limit when starting and nurturing a micro garden.