Picking the Best Seeds to Grow Microgreens
You can make all the preparations perfect for growing microgreens.
But like my business partner Stephen keeps saying, “If you don’t have good seeds, well, don’t expect anything but bad microgreens.”
Keep in mind that the seeds used to grow microgreens are the same seeds used to grow full-sized herbs, leafy greens, and vegetables.
Microgreens are just harvested earlier.
There are hundreds of vegetables and herbs that can make good microgreens.
You can grow microgreens from almost any kind of edible vegetable or herb seed.
When I tasted my first microgreens, there were so many flavors.
Some were bland, others spicy or bitter.
I haven’t had sour-tasting microgreens yet, but my friend Stephen is working on it.
Farmers categorize microgreens based on the plant family they belong to.
The grouping gives you a broad idea of what kind of taste they’ll have, their preferred growing conditions, and nutrient content.
|Plant Family||Genera / Type|
|Amaranthaceae||Amaranth, beets, chard, quinoa, and spinach|
|Amaryllidaceae||Chives, garlic, leeks, and onions|
|Apiaceae||Carrot, celery, dill, and fennel|
|Asteraceae||Chicory, endive, lettuce, and radicchio|
|Brassicaceae||Arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and watercress|
|Cucurbitaceae||Cucumbers, melons, and squashes.|
|Lamiaceae||Most common herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano|
|Poaceae||Grasses and cereals like barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheatgrass. Legumes including beans, chickpeas, and lentils.|
How to Choose Your Microgreens Seeds
When I first started growing microgreens, I used regular seeds I bought at the local hardware store.
And my first few batches weren’t exactly stellar.
To tell you the truth, most of them I had to throw away.
Nonetheless, get some good-quality seeds and avoid GMOs (genetically modified).
Also, ensure the microgreens seeds are not chemically treated.
Look for the Certified Naturally Grown or certified organic label on the produce.
When you begin the growing process for microgreens, think of which plants you would like to grow.
Choose a few seeds that look or sound interesting to you.
But also choose seeds that will take no more than 7-10 days from sowing to harvest.
I recommend trying an easy one first that doesn’t require you to soak them before planting.
Best Seeds for Growing Microgreens
Here are my five best seed recommendations for growing microgreens in the kitchen, windowsill, indoor garden:
- Burpee Wild Arugula Selvatica (click to check price on Amazon). I love my Burpee seeds. These wild Arugula seeds are perfect if you’re starting out. Easy and quick to grow.
- Mountain Valley Seed Company Store Ruby Queen Beet Seeds (click to see the price on Amazon). Mountain Valley is another company I have tried. They have been around since 1974, and their beet microgreens are just delicious!
- Mountain Valley Seed Company Store Waltham 29 Broccoli Seeds (on Amazon). Want easy peasy? Then order and grow these seeds today. Perfect with any dish, soup, or sandwich.
- Burpee Sweet Success Slicing Cucumber Seeds. That’s all I can say, really. These seeds produce some of the sweetest and tastiest microgreens on the planet.
- Mountain Valley Seed Company Store Red Acre Cabbage Seeds. Crisp, tender, and fresh to taste, these red cabbage microgreens have an earthy and peppery flavor that adds spice to many dishes.
Arugula is a famous green (like lettuce) used in salads.
It has a peppery, mild bite to it and adds a nice punch of flavor to any dish.
If you are buying the Burpee Wild Arugula Selvatica seeds (on Amazon) to grow on your own, here is what you need to know:
- They are a smaller, wilder form of arugula that is heat tolerant.
- These seeds are certified organic and non-GMO.
- Each packet contains 500 seeds, good for at least five or six harvests.
- It does grow faster than most types – 6 to 8 days.
- You can find it in an organically grown variety.
- Use it in smoothies, cooked recipes, including stews and in salads.
In terms of health benefits, arugula, in its full-grown size, has a high level of antioxidants.
With more than 125 years of farming and seed production, Burpee seeds are my go-to for microgreens growing.
You know the health benefits of eating beets.
Your mother probably made you eat them when you were younger.
The Ruby Queen Beet Seeds from Mountain Valley (on Amazon) are often called micro beet tops, have long, red stems and green, oblong-shaped leaves.
- They are an excellent option for including in salads for their color.
- They add a beautiful addition to a vacation dish.
- The flavor is subtle and not overpowering in any way.
- A softer beet flavor is typical with beet top microgreens.
Beet microgreens are incredible for your health.
Their ingredients help regulate blood pressure, fight inflammation, improve digestion, and help fight chronic diseases like cancer.
Broccoli is a very popular microgreen.
And the Waltham 29 Broccoli Seeds (on Amazon) seeds provide some of the best you can grow.
They have a milder taste than that of fully-grown broccoli.
But you can still tell they are in the same family.
Broccoli makes an excellent microgreen and is one of the easiest crops to grow.
Consider the following:
- NON-GMO and certified organic
- Delicious mild, fresh cabbage flavor.
- Use in salads, as a garnish, or in a smoothie for a subtle but tasty flavor boost.
- These Micro-greens grow at a moderate rate.
High in sulforaphane, broccoli has a high level of heart-disease-fighting antioxidants.
The Burpee Cucumber Seeds (on Amazon) from cucumbers are fresh and light.
- Add to protein dishes or to add flavor to fish.
- The flavor is succulent and still tastes significantly like cucumbers.
- 30 per packet, non-GMO organic or regular
These microgreens are very sweet with dark green, almost purplish leaves.
Cucumber microgreens have loads of potassium and vitamin C.
They also include vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamin A.
They may promote weight loss, help with hydration, and may also lower blood sugar levels.
They make a great addition to any meal when you want a soft addition of flavor.
Red cabbage is small and has heart-shaped leaves that are broad and flat.
The leaves are dark green with a trace of purple at the edges.
The Mountain Valley Red Cabbage Seeds (available on Amazon) are easy to grow.
Non-GMO and certified organic, they are also resistant to disease.
Red cabbage is one of the fastest-growing microgreens.
It takes 5-14 days to germinate after sowing.
After planting, ensure to keep the soil moist for the first few days.
Red cabbage needs adequate sunlight or artificial lighting to germinate properly.
On the 14th or 15th day after sowing, red cabbage microgreens will be ready for harvest.
Red cabbage has some great health benefits, including:
- Promoting gastrointestinal health,
- Preventing neurodegenerative disease,
- Maintaining a healthy weight range, and
- Boosting immunity.
They are crisp, tender, and fresh to taste.
Red cabbage has an earthy and peppery flavor that adds spice to various dishes.
Where can I find microgreens seeds if I don’t live in the United States or Canada?
The husband and wife team over at React Greens, Saša, and Boštjan from the small European country of Slovenia, have done some excellent research on this.
Read their article here: Microgreens Seeds Suppliers Around the World.
Wondering what microgreens taste like?
“Tasting” involves more than just the five (or seven depending on who you listen to) basic tastes that your tongue is sensitive to sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami.
Read my blog post, What Do Microgreens Taste Like? to learn more.
How do I start growing microgreens and incorporating their health benefits into my nutrition?
I’ve learned a lot about microgreens, how to grow them, how good they are for you, and what you can do with them.
Check out my guide, “The Beginner’s Nutritional Guide to Incredible Microgreens.”