Growing Microgreens And Pea Shoots
- Take a container, compost and seeds and some labels. This is a trough which is useful but not essential as a more shallow container will suffice. Fill the container with your growing medium and gently firm the compost. Keep the outer pack or make a label to identify your seedlings.
- Sprinkle over the seeds. You can mix some seeds before sowing or sow half of the tray with one type of seed and the other had with another. The seed can be sown quite thickly for microgreens so aim for approximately 3-5mm between seeds.
- After sowing cover the seeds with a light coating of compost. Water well either using a fine rose on a watering can or place the container into another container with a little water in the bottom to allow water to rise up gradually through the holes in the base to wet the compost evenly.
- If sowing in spring through summer and into autumn you could place the container in a mini greenhouse that sits near your back door. This will give some heat and protection yet makes them convenient to harvest for the kitchen. Alternatively, place the container on a windowsill.
The young seedlings should be ready to harvest after just a week or so.
Top Tip: If sowing in a large pot or trough consider filling the bottom half with some broken up bits of polystyrene and then add just 5cm of compost and sow.
Fresh, young pea shoots give you all the taste of fresh peas, but without the hassle of preparing soil, installing supports, watering and weeding. What is more, they can be ready to harvest in less than a month and can be cropped at least three times.
WHAT YOU’LL WANT
- A pot or container from 13cm upwards
- Any multi-purpose or growing tote compost
- Some pea seeds.
Sow your pea seeds all year round. As with all crops they will grow more slowly in winter than summer, but given a warm, bright windowsill in winter these dry green seeds will produce their delicious shoots within three to four weeks.
Detailed information on this site.
HARVESTING YOUR SHOOTS
Let before picking the shoots to produce two mature leaves. Subsequently pinch out the tips with your finger and thumbnail or snip with scissors, leaving the bottom two leaves behind. These will go on to pride new shoots in the joint between leaf and stem for even a third crop and a second. Your peas may suffer from stem rot, but shouldn’t be overwatered or should remain pest and disease free. Watch out in summer outdoors for slugs and greenfly.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pea shoots contain much of the goodness of freshly harvested peas. Only 50g contains half of our daily requirement of vitamin C and a quarter of our vitamin A. They also contain lots of folic acid and are low in fat, with just 9 calories per 50g of fresh shoots.
SOWING PEAS FOR SHOOTS
- Fill your pot with any fresh multi-purpose compost or growing bag compost.
- Sow your peas over the surface thickly so that they are almost touching.
- Cover with some more compost, perlite or vermiculite to the depth of the seed.
- Water well to soak the compost, label and place the pot in a warm, light place to germinate.