Cabbage is a staple garden vegetable, so including cabbage in a microgreens garden only makes sense. This classic cole crop is super easy to grow either way, so it's perfect for beginning microgreen growers. Even impatient gardeners will be happy, because these tiny plants grow incredibly fast. With some basic instructions, you'll be harvesting your own cabbage microgreens in just two weeks!
If you're growing cabbage microgreens, don't expect those big, compact heads. Instead, you harvest the plant's cotyledons, which are the first leaves to unfold from the seed. These baby plants don't look anything like cabbage, but they still have the same flavor and nutrients (actually even more). Just a handful of cabbage micro-veggies benefit your heart health as much as their mature counterparts.
In addition to all the nutrients, cabbage microgreens are some of the prettiest there is. If you're after looks, try a red cabbage variety like Red Acre. They have beautiful lavender stems topped with thick, deep green cotyledons. Red cabbage microgreens not only decorate your dishes, but also bring life and color to your indoor garden.
Cabbage Microgreens Brief Info
Red Cabbage Microgreens.
|Taste:||cabbage, broccoli flavor|
|Ideal harvest:||5-14 days|
Health Benefits of Cabbage Microgreens
If you love your garden, your garden will take care of your heart—especially your cardiovascular health! Microgreens contain significantly more nutrients than mature cabbage, and red cabbage microgreens are among the best. A 2016 study found that red cabbage microgreens are high in glucosinolates and polyphenols, which are known to lower bad cholesterol. Red cabbage microgreens have also been shown to lower triglycerides and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The health benefits don't end with your heart health. Red cabbage microgreens have a nutritional value that seems to address almost every health concern. Further research has found that red cabbage microgreens may help with gastrointestinal health, reduce inflammation, decrease weight gain, and even prevent cancer and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Red cabbage microgreens also contain anthocyanins, which are not only responsible for that beautiful color pigmentation, but also help deal with oxidative stress and fight carcinogens.
To top it off, red cabbage microgreens are also high in vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, and beta-carotene (again, much more than a mature cabbage). So when you eat your veggies, why not make them red and micro?
Cultivation of cabbage microgreens
Golden Acre Cabbage Microgreens.
Before you start growing cabbage microgreens, make sure you have these supplies on hand. These microgreens grow quickly, so don't look for last-minute supplies.
- Seeds: Choose high-quality microgreens seeds of any variety (we prefer True Leaf Market's organic red cabbage seeds)
- Container: two shallow seed trays, one with drainage holes and one without
- Growing Medium: Epsoma Seed Starter Mix or Coconut Coconut
- Light: a working grow light (we're into T5 grow lights)
- A fogged floor
- kitchen scissors
If you look for seeds, you might find some that are specifically labeled as microgreens for growing. While these are often good options because they are good plants to microgrow, any type of seed will work. There is no real difference between regular cabbage seeds and microgreen cabbage seeds.
That said, we have a list of our favorites from True Leaf Market that we highly recommend!
Small seeds thrive most easily in fine-grained soil, since dirt will not block their growth. Some seeds, including cabbage, also grow well in coco coir, which is notable for its water retention. You can also experiment with hydroponic soil substitutes like grow pads.
One of the best things about red cabbage microgreens is that you don't have to worry about fertilizer. The seedlings get all their nutrients from the seed embryo. If this stock runs out, we've already harvested! With the nutrients taken care of, we can only choose our growing medium for its texture and drainage.
Some types of seeds need soaking before planting and germinating, but cabbage is off the hook. The round, red-brown seeds are small and soft enough to germinate without extra help.
Let's start planting by grabbing the plant tray with drainage holes. Fill it ¾ full with your choice of Microgreens growing medium. Smooth the soil surface and spray well with water.
Next, plant the cabbage seeds by scattering them over the surface of the soil as evenly as possible. The seeds should cover the entire soil surface without overlapping. It takes about 4 teaspoons of seeds to cover a 10×20 tray. Gently press down the surface of the soil and finish by spraying.
Instead of covering the seeds with a thin layer of soil, we use a blackout cover. Take the holeless tray and place it directly on top of the seeds (the bottom should touch the surface of the earth). To encourage strong roots, place a small weight on it (up to 5 pounds).
Cabbage seeds germinate at temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees F. For best results, soil should be between 60 and 70 degrees F. Since these temperatures are relatively low, a heating mat is not necessary for this plant.
Keep your microgreen cabbage seeds in their dark place for at least 2-4 days. We call this the blackout period. Once the majority of the seeds have sprouted and sprouted, they will collectively push up the blackout cover. This is your signal to shed the weight and move on to the growth phase.
Once you've removed the cover, place the cabbage microgreens 2-4 feet directly under a grow light. The grow light, unlike natural light, ensures that the greens grow evenly and straight up. This is the key to beautiful microgreens (and freeing up your window boxes for more plants!). Turn on the lights for at least 12 hours of direct sunlight per day and the seedlings will quickly take on a healthy color.
Now we want our growing microgreens to be well watered, but they are so close together that moisture on the plants is an invitation for bacterial growth. The perfect solution? soil irrigation!
Here our cover trough takes on a different role. Fill it with a few inches of water and place the seed tray inside. The soil absorbs water through the drainage holes without a single splash falling on the green leaves. After the soil has filled – about 10 minutes – remove the watering tray. Because you can grow cabbage microgreens so quickly, you probably only need to water the soil from the bottom once.
Glory Of Enkhuizen Cabbage Microgreens.
In just 5-14 days after planting, your cabbage microgreens will be ready to harvest. Their flavor changes as they mature, usually becoming more bitter with age. You might want to harvest grapes at different times and decide which flavor you prefer.
When ready to harvest, cabbage microgreens are 1 to 3 inches tall with fully open cotyledons and rich coloring. They should always be harvested before the first real leaves grow back.
To harvest, use your kitchen shears to cut the stems in clumps about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the ground. To keep them as fresh as possible, only wash the microgreens when you are ready to use them. In fact, some gardeners don't wash their crops at all, provided they know the plants haven't come into contact with anything unsavory.
After harvesting, place the spent soil in your compost bin. If you want to reuse it, you must remove all the seeds and roots. Make sure to wash the trays well before using them for your next microgreen plant (they can be grown all year round, after all!).
As previously mentioned, your harvested cabbage microgreens need to be kept dry. Wrap them in paper towels and place the bundle in a sealed container. Stored in the refrigerator, they stay fresh for a few days. However, red cabbage microgreens always taste best when eaten immediately after harvest.
When deciding what to cook with your red cabbage microgreens, remember that they have a classic brassic flavor. So if you were to add cabbage or broccoli to a dish, these fresh microgreens might be one of them! Popular options for this nutritious addition include salads, rice bowls, and stir-fries.
frequently asked Questions
Q: How do red cabbage microgreens taste?
A: Well, like ripe red cabbage! Red cabbage microgreens can also taste like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, or other edible plants in the cabbage family.
Q: Are Brussels sprouts healthy?
A: Absolutely! These baby plants, especially red cabbage microgreens, are great for lowering bad cholesterol, boosting metabolism, destroying cancer cells, boosting the immune system, and many other significant health benefits. Red cabbage microgreens are also known to help modulate weight gain during a high-fat diet.
The green thumb behind this article: