Sprouts vs Microgreens: What’s the Difference?

Sprouts vs Microgreens: What’s the Difference?

Sprouts and microgreens have been very popular for the past few years. Lots of people believe the two terms are interchangeable, but there are quite a few differences! We’ll go over nutrition contents, growing methods, and how to prepare them for consumption.

Sprouts consist of just the root and cotyledon (seed) leaves, which contain all the nutrients held within the seed. They’re filled with lots of protein and fibre despite their tiny size. Popular varieties of sprouts include broccoli, alfalfa, and mung bean, but there are plenty of other types for you to explore! Sprouts are a good option if you have little patience; it typically takes less than a week for them to be ready for harvest.

Sprouts are usually grown in a glass jar, so they take up very little space. They require no light, so they’re perfect for a countertop that doesn’t get much sun. There’s no growing medium involved in growing sprouts; they just need water. Because of this, you can eat the seed and root as well as the greens! Since they grow in a damp space with little ventilation, the seeds need to be rinsed and drained at least twice a day to prevent bacterial growth. If you spot mold growing in your sprouts, give them a rinse with some food-grade hydrogen peroxide then rinse thoroughly with water. Even taking these precautions, it’s recommended to cook the sprouts before consuming to ensure no bacteria remains. Sprouts are great in stir-fry!

Microgreens are more mature than sprouts, but still very young — around 1-3 weeks old. They’re old enough to have grown their first true leaves, so they’re more concentrated with nutrients than sprouts. Some microgreen varieties were also found to be up to 40% more nutrient-dense than their mature counterparts. Particularly, they are packed with iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc, as well as containing lots of antioxidants which are excellent for your general health. Popular microgreen varieties include beets, kale, sunflowers, and more.

Growing microgreens is similar to starting seeds. Typically, a tray of seed starter soil or a grow mat, such as the Terrafibre All-Natural Hemp Grow Mat, is used to grow microgreens. They require plenty of light and regular watering to grow properly. Misting several times a day with a spray bottle should suffice. Because they’re usually grown in soil, the seed and root are not consumed. Instead, it’s recommended to snip the greens at the soil line when it’s time to harvest. Microgreens are safer to eat raw than sprouts as they’re grown in light and open air. Some people still recommend to cook them lightly before consumption, but it’s up to personal preference. Microgreens should always be washed with cool water before eating. They’re delicious in salads and sandwiches!

Microgreens also have a more developed flavour than sprouts. Radish microgreens are especially zesty, and herbal varieties such as basil and oregano are quite popular as well. Microgreens can be grown of any plant of which you eat the leaves and stem; however, it’s not recommended to grow microgreens of fruiting plants, especially those in the nightshade family such as peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. The foliage from these plants can make you very sick.

As you can see, there are many differences between sprouts and microgreens. They’re each nutritious in their own ways, and the growing methods differ greatly. They’re both fun and easy to grow, though, so have fun with all the different varieties available!

By Aaron Witherspoon

Photo credit Mumm’s Seeds

Related Products

Terrafibre All-Natural Hemp Grow Mat

Available in:

1 x 10″ x 20″

10 x 10″ x 20″

5 Low-Maintenance Houseplants for Easy Growing

5 Low-Maintenance Houseplants for Easy Growing

5 Low-Maintenance Houseplants for Easy Growing

For those who want plants without all the fuss, we’ve listed a few plants that can survive a bit of neglect. These colourful varieties will brighten up your home!

1. Snake Plants (Sansevieria spp) – These plants come in many shapes, colours, and sizes. Snake plants thrive on neglect. You only need to water every 2-6 weeks, and don’t worry if you don’t notice any new growth for a while; they are notoriously slow growers. Some varieties of snake plant include Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Laurentii, and Twisted Sister. As the name suggests, the Twisted Sister variety has leaves that curl in a spiral!

Sansevieria “Moonshine”

2. Pothos (Epipremnum spp) – Also known as Devil’s Ivy, these trailing plants are very popular for those who have difficulty caring for plants. They do well in most lighting conditions, including the fluorescent light of offices, although you should avoid direct sunlight. Place in an East-facing window for optimal light. They are happiest when they get watered every 1-2 weeks, or when their soil mostly dries out. Known to be very rapid growers, pothos can grow up to 1ft per month! Neon, Marble Queen, and Satin are just a few of the more colourful varieties available.

Pothos “Neon”

3. Air Plants (Tillandsia spp) – No soil required! Air plants are epiphytes, meaning they attach themselves to other plants and receive their water and nutrients from the air and humidity around them. You can place them on a shelf and they’ll be happy! They also enjoy a good misting every once in a while. They are happiest in bright, indirect light. All Tillandsias are flowering plants, and they like to change colours from silver-green to bright pink and red when they’re about to bloom. However, it might be a few years before you see any flowers; they are very slow growers. Some interesting varieties of Tillandsia include Maxima or Huamelula, Fuego, and Bulbosa.

Tillandsia xerographica

4. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp) – These plants are known for their ability to grow in nearly any light conditions, including fluorescent light and even shade! They thrive in moist soil; you can water them thoroughly every 1-2 weeks. Aglaonemas tend to grow rather slowly. They are beautiful plants with boldly patterned foliage. There are many varieties including Siam Aurora, White Calcite, and Lady Valentine.

Aglaonema “Siam Aurora”

5. Peperomia spp – These plants are very forgiving! Their round, thick leaves store plenty of moisture that they can use if you forget to water. Ideally, it’s best to water them every 1-2 weeks. Their growth rate is moderate, with trailing varieties growing around 2-4 ft per year. Bright to medium indirect light is where they’ll be happiest. Varieties of peperomia all look very different, with some examples being Rubella, Incana, and Caperata “Schumi Red.”

Peperomia caperata “Schumi Red”

Now that we’ve introduced you to these low-maintenance plants, you don’t need to worry about neglecting your greenery. Have fun brightening up your home with all the colourful varieties available!

by Aaron Witherspoon

Creating a Cat-friendly Garden

Creating a Cat-friendly Garden

Related Products

Holland Greenhouse Poultry Wire

Available in:

24″ x 25′ with 1″ or 2″ mesh

36″ x 25′ with 1″ or 2″ mesh

36″ x 10′ with 1/2″ mesh

American Nettings & Fabric Inc. Garden Netting

Available in:

6′ x 50′

6′ x 20′

6′ x 12′

Skeddader Cat Deterrent 310g

Skeddader is a convenient, effective natural pet deterrent product used to change animal behavior in a kind, gentle way. Skeddader pet deterrent is all natural, made right here in Canada. It is biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and safe to use for your vegetation and plant life. And, it is safe for your pets and 2-legged loved ones.

Fall Bulbs – What Should I Know?

Fall Bulbs – What Should I Know?

Fall Bulbs – What Should I Know?

By Kyrah Whyte & Julia Bowen

Some bulbs are best suited for planting in the fall. This is usually done between late-September to November. Bulbs benefit from the cold ground temperatures and this makes for a better bloom in the spring.

TIPS & TRICKS

Moisture can cause bulbs to rot. A well-draining soil can prevent this – a peat moss or compost can help to remedy this. Similarly, a warm environment may cause these plants the begin their blooming process too early. Ensure that your bulbs are going in at the right time. It is also important to consider the location that you will be planting your fall bulbs. Sunny areas will help your bulbs do best.

When fertilizing the bulbs, it is key to choose a mix that is low in nitrogen. Some options include GardenPRO Bulb Food 2-9-6 and GardenPRO Bone Meal 2-11-0.

Popular flowers to plant in the fall include allium, tulip, amaryllis, daffodil, crocus, hyacinth, fritillaria, snowdrop, narcissus, and scilla bulbs.

Tulips

Which country producers most of the world’s tulips? If you guessed Holland, you’d be right!

Tulips are spring-blooming perennials. Their roots develop in the early fall and then go dormant until early spring. Leaves can start emerging from the soil as early as February or as late as May. These come in a variety of shapes including ruffled, single, double, fringed, and more.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 5-7” deep and 4-5” apart, placing them in the ground with their pointy ends up. Water well once and wait until spring. After flowers have bloomed, do not trim foliage.

Alliums

Allium flowers grow on the end of leafless stalks. Alliums are close relatives to onion, garlic and scallion. They are also known as “ornamental onions.” The clumps of bulbs can also be separated and replanted separately to multiply after flowering is over. These bulbs are relatively low maintenance and could be grown in a deep pot when needed, too.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 4-8” deep and 6-8” apart. They thrive in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Alliums are not fussy about soil, but they will not survive in soggy conditions.

Crocus

Crocuses grow 2 to 4 inches tall. Their blooms offer a variety of different vibrant colours. Many produce strong fragrances that attracts pollinators. They are small clump-forming perennials. Saffron spice comes from saffron crocus flowers. The spice is the red stigmas of the flower. Each flower will only produce approximately 3 stigmas. These flowers generally come up 6-8 weeks after planting, but occasionally wait until the 2nd fall to appear.

Planting tips: plant bulbs 3-4” deep, pointy end up. After planting, water well. Plant them in groups or clusters rather than in a single line, about 3-4” apart.

Daffodil (Narcissus)

Narcissus flowers, commonly known as daffodils are one of the most popular bulbs. They bloom for weeks on end, aren’t bothered by deer, thrive in both the garden and in pots, and are easy to plant and care for. These flowers are named after the Greek mythological story of Narcissus who fell madly in love with his reflection in the water. He was found next to a bright yellow flower, which later was named after him.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 3-6” deep and 4-5” apart, placing them in the ground with their pointy ends up. Water well once and wait for spring. Do not cut foliage once they have bloomed.

Hyacinth

Did you know Hyacinths belong to the same family as asparagus? It was also named after the Greek god Hyakinthos. These fragrant flowers make a great addition to flower beds and tend to be avoided by rabbits.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 4-6” deep and 6” apart. They thrive in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Ensure that soil is well-draining. After the flower has bloomed, cut off the stalk of the flower.

Muscari

Muscari are commonly known as grape hyacinths due to the clusters of bell-shaped flowers. Rarely disrupted by deer and rodents, these make a great choice if you live near a forest or river valley. Muscari typically flower mid- to late-spring. These will multiply on their own.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 4” deep and 3” apart. These can be planted in full sun or partial shade. Only water if conditions are particularly dry.

Fritillaria

The variety Fritillaria Meleagris is also known as Guinea Hen Flower or Snake’s head fritillary. These varieties need only be planted a couple inches deep. It is important to note that the planting depth and spacing varies among some varieties. For larger varieties like Crown Imperials, plant 6″-8″ deep and about 12″ apart. On the other hand, the Fritillaria Michailowsky should only be planted about 4″ deep and 6″-8″ apart.

Since fritillarias vary so much in their planting instructions, a good habit is to plant them about 3 times deeper than the size of the bulb. Space these apart more than you would other bulbs. Just about double the planting depth should suffice.

 

Snowdrop (Galanthus)

‘Galanthus’ means milk flower in Greek and gracefully describes these drooping, delicate flowers. Interestingly, a compound called galantamine can be extracted from these flowers. This is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Planting tips: plant bulbs about 3″ apart and 3″ deep. These may take over a year to be established, so don’t fret if your snowdrop does not flower for a while.  Choose a spot that is partially sunny to shaded.

Garlic

Fall garlic is hard necked and can be overwintered. It is commonly believed that fall garlic has a stronger flavour and grows larger than soft necked garlic. It is best to plant at least three weeks prior to first frost.

Planting tips: plant individual cloves, peels intact, pointy end up, 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. A good rule of thumb is to not plant garlic until after the autumnal equinox.

Related Products

Related

GardenPRO Bone Meal 2-11-0 1.2kg, 5kg

GardenPRO’s Bone Meal is a 2-11-0 mix derived from fish bone meal. Provides a great source of phosphorus for trees, shrubs, flowers, and bulbs.

GardenPRO Bulb Food 2-9-6 1.8kg

GardenPRO’s Bulb Food contains kelp and potash to help with winter survival. Use on all bulbs to help increase disease and pest resistance.

Sea Soil Compost 32L Bag

Sea Soil Original Compost is an excellent choice for amending your soil. It is OMRI certified and can help break up heavy clay soils, retain moisture, and provide necessary nutrients for growing plants. It contains a mix of 2 year composted fish and forest fines for a rich, dark compost with no unpleasant odour.