How to Grow Beet Microgreens in Containers
In many countries, micro-sized beet greens are grown commercially for use as microgreens in salads. If you love the crisp bite of baby beet greens, you'll be happy to learn that you don't have to head to the grocery store to get beet microgreens — these petite greens can be grown at home with very little effort. You don't even need a garden as beet microgreens also grow well indoors (even in winter), provided that they get enough sunlight. With their enticing spinach-like flavor, beet microgreens can be used to upgrade regular mixed salads to create a higher level culinary experience. Read on to learn how you can grow your own beet microgreens at home in containers.
Buy high-quality beet seeds. Bull's Blood is the most common beet variety grown indoors as microgreens, but also Detroit Dark and other varieties can be grown successfully at home. Whether you opt for Bull's Blood or another variety, make sure the seeds are from a crop harvested less than a year earlier to ensure good germination. It is a good idea to soak beet seeds in clean water for 8-10 hours before planting. Soaking beetroot seeds will speed up the germination process.
Beet microgreens can be grown hydroponically, but it is very difficult. Therefore, we recommend growing beet microgreens in soil. To grow micro sized beet greens in soil, start by filling a seed-starting tray or another container with high quality potting soil or seed-starting mix to within an inch or so from the top of the container. Remember that good soil is the key to healthy baby beet tops. Sprinkle the soaked beetroot seeds thickly on top of the potting mix and pat them down gently. Sprinkle lightly with a little extra soil.
Cover your indoor beet microgreen "farm" with a dark lid that has plenty of holes or slits in it to allow good air circulation. The lid helps keep the soil and seeds moist during germination. It is a good idea to keep a record of the time that is required for germination to occur. This will help you estimate the time needed for starting off your next crop of beet microgreens. On average, beet seed germination occurs in 3 to 4 days. Once the seeds have germinated, remove the lid.
Move the container to a sunny kitchen counter or window sill – baby beet greens love sunlight! If you are worried that your beet microgreens may not get enough natural sunlight, consider purchasing a "grow light" which emits artificial light designed to stimulate plant growth.
Check on the soil daily and add water as necessary. Watering is basically the only thing you need to take care of while your baby beets are growing. Beet microgreens grow for such a short period of time that they are rarely bothered by pests or diseases.
Beet microgreens take about 2 to 4 weeks to grow, depending on how tall you like them. To harvest beet microgreens, simply cut them carefully with a pair of good scissors. Rinse and use the baby greens immediately, or store them in a resealable bag in the refrigerator.
Fresh beet microgreens can be used to upgrade regular mixed salads. With their spinach-like flavor, beet microgreens can also be used as a substitute for baby spinach in any salad recipe that calls for fresh baby spinach.