We’ve been learning to grow microgreens from a variety of edible plants, so why not broccoli? You might be imagining tiny, seedy trees but the broccoli microgreen is just like any other young plant: all stem, root, and cotyledon. It may not look like a full-grown vegetable, but these broccoli plants have the same nutritional value and health benefits without the season-long commitment.
Growing broccoli microgreens at home is an easy and remarkably short process. From start to finish, it only takes 1-2 weeks! This is possible because microgreens are harvested while in the early growth stages, usually just days after germination. Their crunchy, earthy taste is the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, or any food that needs a quick nutrition boost.
Just like their mature counterparts, broccoli microgreens have an abundance of Vitamins A and C as well as iron, calcium, fiber, and more. The broccoli microgreen also contains sulforaphane, which is believed to help fight against cancer, diabetes, and aging. The best part though is that you’ll actually get more nutrients from eating broccoli microgreens than mature crowns. This makes them a great nutrient source for kids who turn up their noses at grown broccoli.
So whether you want to try a new method of growing food, need their health benefits, or are craving fresh, home-grown broccoli sprouts, microgreens are a fantastic choice. Let’s get started with these microgreens that are fast and easy to grow at home.
Good Products For Growing Broccoli Microgreens:
- Plant Growing Trays
- Espoma Organic Seed Starter Potting Mix
- Urban Worm Coconut Coir
- Agrobrite T5 Fluorescent Light
Broccoli Microgreens Quick Info
|Flavor:||Earthy, mild broccoli taste|
|Germination:||2 days – 3 days|
|Ideal Harvest:||1-2 weeks|
Growing Broccoli Microgreens
Like we said, growing broccoli microgreens at home is super easy. Once you get the hang of it, your kitchen will be stocked full of this high-nutritional-value food.
Let’s start by gathering the essential materials. Here’s what you need to grow broccoli microgreens, indoors or out:
- Seeds: There’s a variety of types of broccoli, and all of them can be grown as microgreens! The classic Waltham 29 is always a good standard, but if you’d like to broaden your horizons, there’s plenty of other options. We recommend True Leaf Market’s Waltham 29, Ramoso Santana, Green Calabrese, Purple Sprouting, or Di Cicco broccoli microgreens seeds.
- Containers/trays: grow microgreens in shallow trays with drainage holes, like these (you need at least 2).
- Growing medium: we’re loving this seed-starting mix. Coconut coir is also a great option for growing broccoli microgreens at home.
- Light: we highly recommend using the Agrobrite T5, featured in our Grow Light Guide.
- Misting bottle: these bottles will help with early microgreen watering
- Watering dish: a shallow dish or container that’s larger than the growing tray.
- Heating mat (optional)
The broccoli seeds you choose to plant don’t have to be specifically advertised for growing microgreens or sprouts. We do recommend that you use a quality, organic brand though. The containers and seed soil are just as important. Since we’re going to grow broccoli seeds in larger quantities than usual, you need a fine-grained soil that the roots can easily navigate (seed soil is usually the best). The microgreen container must be shallow and have drainage since we’ll be watering from the bottom.
You can definitely choose to use natural sunlight when you grow microgreens indoors, but you’ll get the best results with a grow light. The microgreens will grow more uniformly and be much less likely to etiolate. You’ll also be able to control the exact time the plants get light.
You’re off the hook here! Broccoli seeds are small, so they don’t need much help breaking open. Soaking isn’t necessary to soften that outer seed hull. Instead, you can skip to the next step of growing broccoli microgreens at home.
Growing microgreens requires deviating from traditional gardening methods. Before you plant, fill your microgreen tray to just below the brim with soil. Then, spread the seeds as evenly as possible across the entire surface. We want to cover as much soil as possible so a dense mat of broccoli sprouts will grow. Microgreens are pretty small, so you need a lot to get a decent-sized harvest. Don’t cover up the seeds – they’ll be just fine laying on top.
Give the seeds a good misting of water, being careful not to scatter them. Then, place the second tray on top of the first – essentially tucking them in. For the next couple of days, the seeds will use the water and darkness to germinate.
If you want to speed up the process, place a seed mat under the tray. This will raise the temperature and help the seeds grow faster. Without the mat, the temperature should be at least 70° F. For some more general information, check out our article on planting microgreens.
For the days after germination, we’re going to focus on giving the broccoli sprouts plenty of water to grow. Fill your watering dish and place the tray on top. After the soil has taken its fill of water, remove the tray so the broccoli sprouts don’t get waterlogged and allow excess moisture to drain out. Water this way as often as necessary to keep the soil consistently moist.
When growing broccoli microgreens, don’t mistake the root systems on the sprouts for mold, as they’re just extra fibrous root matter. In time, they’ll settle into the soil and grow your broccoli sprouts. As long as you keep watering from the bottom, you shouldn’t have any problems with bacteria growth.
As the broccoli sprouts grow into microgreens, they’ll push up the tray cover (usually within 7 days). This is your signal to remove the cover and give the broccoli sprouts some much-deserved light. Aim for 16-18 hours of light each day. The broccoli sprouts may be discolored at first but should produce more chlorophyll once they get some sun.
When each microgreen is 2-3 inches tall, they’re ready to harvest (this is anywhere from 7 days to 14 days). This should be before the true leaves grow in, which will drastically affect the flavor. Stop with the water about 12 hours before you plan to harvest (this will help with storage later). Then, grab some scissors and get to work!
Cut the microgreens in bunches just above the soil level. You can harvest them all at once or just take what you’ll use. However, plan to harvest the entire crop before it’s grown too old.
You’ll get the tastiest results and best nutrition if you eat your fresh harvest right away. Wash the microgreens in cold water, pat them dry, and get cooking! Use them in any food you like, though we don’t recommend microgreen ice cream…
If you harvested them all at once, you’ll have to store the microgreens correctly until you’re ready to eat. Broccoli microgreens store best when they’re dry, which is why we stopped watering before the harvest. To absorb excess moisture, fold the broccoli microgreens in a paper towel. Then, seal them in a container or bag and keep it in the fridge. The home-grown microgreens stay fresh to eat about 3 days to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do broccoli microgreens regrow?
A: No. Most microgreens are one-and-done, so you’ll have to plant more broccoli seeds for another crop. Luckily, these nutritional sprouts are super easy to grow.
Q: Why are my microgreens falling over?
A: When you grow broccoli microgreens, this usually happens when they’re underwatered. A good drink should perk those broccoli sprouts back up, easy. If not, it could be that the broccoli sprouts are etiolated, meaning they are stretching out to search for light. Adjust their lighting as needed to give them better light coverage.
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