Once you've mastered sprouting you might want to try growing micro greens and shoots in soil to increase your harvests. This is also the method of choice for shoots such as sunflower shoots and pea shoots and this is the method we use for our micro greens, shoots, and micro green mix!
Materials: Trays, cell inserts or yogurt containers, potting soil, weights, grow/shop light or sunny window, seeds, mister (optional)
1. Some seeds, such as sunflowers, peas, and radishes do best if soaked prior to planting (called the wet method). For these seeds, soak them in cold water for the first 12 hours and then rinse and drain well. Other seeds (such as mustard greens and broccoli) should not be soaked and can be planted right away with a light misting afterwards.
2. Place your cell inserts in your trays and fill with soil and tap the cell on the table to compress the soil (or tamp down with your hands to compress the soil). Gently water until moistened thoroughly.
3. A teaspoon of seed per cell/yogurt container is usually adequate for the small seed. Spread the seed in an even layer in each cell with a little bit of space in between in each seed.
4. At this point you need to cover the seed and weigh down the tray. Cover the entire tray with a moistened paper towel or with plastic wrap, and then place another tray/yogurt container on top. This keeps the seeds in the dark and increased seed contact with the soil, which helps germination and tricks plants to grow taller. Unlike garden transplants we want shoots to be leggy.
5. After a few days you will start to see the micro greens pushing the tray on top of them upwards. When this happens you can uncover and place them under a light. The light should be about 2 feet above the tray to encourage them to stretch upwards. Hint: Keep sunflowers under a plastic dome for the first few days and then run your hands over them to encourage the seed shells to come off. Misting can also help this.
6. You will have to water every few days now that they’re uncovered. Do so by lifting up the cells and pouring in about an inch of water into the tray below. Keep the soil damp but not soggy.
7. After about 7-14 days your micro greens will be ready to harvest. Trim with scissors close to the soil and enjoy! Once ready, shoots can be stored in fridge alive or cut and bagged.