Micro herbs add flavor and nutrition to your food and beauty to your home. You can grow micro basil and other herbs such as cress and dill year round when you grow them indoors as micro greens.
What Are Micro Herbs?
Micro herbs and micro greens are really just seedlings and are harvested well before the plant matures. This makes them ideal candidates for indoor gardening, even if you don’t have a indoor growing area set up.
Micro herbs will be harvested within just a few weeks instead of a few months like mature herbs.
How to Grow Micro Herbs
Micro herbs are grown exactly like micro greens. All you need it a container, some soil, water, and light.
For containers you can use micro green trays but I’ve found that rescuing containers from the recycle work too. The ones that work best are the kind that strawberries or salad greens come in. When they are no longer usable, they can go back into the recycle.
You can also use regular flower pots but you might want to cover them with plastic wrap to create a terrarium for germinating the seeds.
Micro greens don’t need rich garden soil, they need seed starting soil. This soil is loose and will hold water without getting moldy. You could also use hemp mats, if you don’t want to mess with soil.
I like to mix the soil with water before putting it in the growing container. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil and then cover with a thin layer of dry soil. Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly mist the soil.
Place the container where it will get some light. A sunny widow sill is perfect, but if you don’t have that, just look for a place in your home that get some sunlight. If your home is cold during the winter, consider using a heat mat to warm the soil for germination.
You’ll need to mist the soil every few days, the soil should be damp but not soggy. In a few says you should see seedlings popping out of the soil.
You can harvest the herbs anytime after they sprout but before they get leggy, usually about 2-3 weeks after sowing the seeds.
To harvest the herbs, use kitchen scissors and snip the larger ones first. The is will give room for the smaller ones to grow.
Once the plant has been harvested, it will not grow back. When all the herbs are harvested, you can add the soil with the roots and stem in it to the compost pile or directly to the garden.
Where to Find Micro Herb Seeds
While any herb can be grown as a micro herbs, woody herbs such as sage and rosemary won’t work well. The best herbs for growing as micro herbs are tender herbs such as….
You don’t need special seeds to grow micro herbs, the same herb seeds you use in the vegetable garden will work fine in your indoor micro garden. But since you’re harvesting them before they reach maturity you’ll need larger quantities of seeds.
A good place to start looking for seeds is MIGardener. They carry non-GMO, heirloom varieties at very reasonable prices. If you use this link, you’ll receive a 10% discount on your total order. Use the search function and search “micro.”
Mountain Valley also has a large collection, just be aware that you probably don’t need a pound of basil seeds to grow micro basil for the year.
How to Use Micro Herbs
While I preserve some herbs by dehydrating them or freezing them, they really don’t compare in flavor to using fresh herbs. For me, the beauty of growing micro herbs indoors is that I can have fresh herbs to cook with when they really aren’t in season.
This means I can add fresh micro basil to homemade pizza or fresh dill to our homemade salad dressing. Or toss some chives into our morning eggs or into our evening soup.
You can use micro herbs just as you would any fresh herb – you’ll just have them available year round.
Do you grow micro herbs or micro greens? What ones are your favorite?