As recipe developers, working with beautiful, fresh herbs and microgreens just makes our job easier. And with spring just around the corner, you’ll want to step up your own gardening game — especially if you want to add extra fresh greens to your own food. So get the most out of your homegrown herbs and other microgreens by following these must-know tips and facts.
Planning is essential
Like any hobby, it’s important to do a little research before getting started to ensure you’re aware of what care is needed to be successful. Certain greens require considerably different amounts of time during the incubation stage. So depending on your planting schedule, it’s usually a good idea to choose greens with similar grow times if you’re planning on grouping items together.
Limit the number of seeds you plant
Read up on the seeds you plan to work with, and make decisions about how much or little you’d like to harvest of each. Fresh basil will undoubtedly be easier to use up than an abundance of licorice shiso — so plan accordingly, and be realistic about your needs so you don’t waste any food.
Get great results by embracing the future
Urban Cultivator is an internationally-known, Canadian-based company who bring indoor garden units right to your kitchen. The unit is self-sufficient, and runs on a light and water schedule that does all the work for you. You can grow anything from microgreens, herbs to vegetables, with minimal maintenance required.
If you’ve had an elegant dish at a restaurant finished with microgreens, there’s a good chance they came from an Urban Cultivator. They’re a leader in the industry, with heavy hitters like Martha Stewart giving it the ultimate seal of approval.
We’ve been using our residential unit for a little over a year now, and honestly couldn’t live without it. The level of speediness and reliability the machine provides takes all the guess work out of gardening, and you’re left with the most tender, pure, organic edibles you could ever ask for.
You can still kick it old school
If an indoor garden unit is out of reach, don’t despair — there’s still a number of microgreens and herbs you can grow successfully without one. Basil, rosemary and thyme are our top three, and we’ll usually have all three basking in the summer sun on the patio. Micros like sweet peas, arugula and kale can also do well in pots with natural sunlight.
Start out with mint
Mint is a great herb to plant for first-time growers since it’s extremely resilient. It grows like crazy (almost like a weed) and can even survive tough winters only to thrive again the next year. Just make sure to give it the proper care and nutrients it needs to help it along.
They’re even healthier than you think they are
Besides adding a ton of eye candy to any dish they touch, microgreens are rich in both health benefits and flavour. In their infant form, these greens often pack quite a bit of nutrients and enzymes (even more than when they’re mature), practically making them a superfood in their own right.
Save some for later
Instead of harvesting all of our greens, we’ll often transplant them to planters, and let them mature further to get more out of them in the long run. Since herbs are best to use as soon as they’re harvested, only pick what you need as you need it to keep everything fresh.