Microgreens are an easy way to add extra greens to your diet. They also offer instant gratification as you can plant them indoors and harvest them in at least two weeks! If you want easy access to some flavor, fennel microgreens are the way to go.
Fennel has a tangy, peppery flavor that resembles liquorice or anise. Fennel microgreens have a milder flavor and are slightly sweeter than full-grown fennel. It's delicious when added to salads and sandwiches, serves as a tasty and fresh option for herbs to use in fish dishes, or you can mix it into dips and soups. Microfennel is packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and potassium, so you can sneak in extra nutrients when you add them to dishes.
Growing microgreens is quick and easy. You can grow them on a windowsill or under a grow light, and you'll soon have delicious greens to add to your food. Let's take a look at how you can get started growing microfennel yourself.
Fennel Microgreens Brief Info
Florentine fennel makes for tasty anise-flavored additions.
|Taste:||Green, peppery and sweet; mild aniseed or liquorice flavor|
|Germination:||7-14 days (less if soaked)|
|Ideal harvest:||10-14 days after germination|
Cultivation of fennel microgreens
It's easy to grow microgreens if you're careful at every step. Fennel microgreens can be grown hydroponically, but we will cover how to grow them in a growing medium.
You only need a few things to start growing fennel microgreens.
- Seeds: We highly recommend getting your fennel seeds from True Leaf Market. Our favorites are their Florentine fennel seeds. Keep in mind that there are many different fennel seeds to choose from, but if you're buying microgreen seeds you'll need a lot more than most companies offer in a single pack, so look for them in bulk!
- Growing medium: You need a well-draining growing medium to prevent your microfennel from becoming overwatered. We recommend using coconut-coir or espoma-seed starting mix.
- Light: We recommend a T5 grow light, but you can use what you have on hand as long as it provides direct light.
- Shallow Trays: You need two or three trays to grow micro fennel seeds.
- Heat Mats: These aren't necessary, but if you don't have a consistently warm spot to grow your fennel microgreens, heat mats come in handy!
- Spray Bottle: A spray bottle is the easiest way to ensure your seeds are evenly watered for the first few days you grow them. It will be easily moisturized without over-watering the soil you use to grow microgreens.
- Scissors: You will need sharp scissors or scissors to harvest your microfennel.
Microfennel is not too fussy about the growing medium you choose, so you can choose whatever you like as long as it drains well. This is crucial as too much water will cause mold and give your tender seedlings wet feet, causing them to die fairly quickly. Choosing a seed starting mix ensures your microgreens have enough nutrients to grow to their full potential.
You'll need at least two shallow trays, but you may want a third to provide complete darkness while you wait for the seeds to sprout. A tea towel works well if you don't have a third tray. One tray should have drainage holes, but the other two should be solid. To facilitate soil watering, one of the solid trays should be slightly larger than the one with holes. The difference in size makes it much easier for you to add more water since you don't have to lift out the top bowl every time.
Your fennel microgreens need plenty of direct light, so choosing the right grow light is crucial. We recommend T5 grow lights as they don't heat up the room and last a long time.
Fennel seeds are quite large and a soaking process will help speed up germination.
Fennel seeds can be slow to germinate if you don't fully hydrate them before planting. You can expect these microgreen seeds to take up to two weeks to appear. Soaking them for up to twenty-four hours speeds up the process a lot and it only takes a few days!
Pre-soaking your microgreen seeds is entirely optional. If you are using successor plantings to create a constant supply of fennel microgreens, you may prefer a longer germination time so you don't have to use too much at once.
Fennel microgreens take up a little more space than other microgreens, so you only need 1-2 tablespoons per 8" x 10" tray. Scatter them evenly over the growing medium. It's okay if some of them end up close together, but try to avoid clumps.
After sprinkling the seeds, cover them with a light layer of growing medium. Don't bury them too deep; You only need a thin layer of soil on top. Once you've covered them, you can mist them liberally with water from a spray bottle. Don't overflow or you risk the seeds floating and ending up in clumps.
Now it's time for darkness. Cover the surface with your third tray or a towel. Make sure there are no holes in the tray or that the towel is thick enough to create complete darkness. They must remain in the dark for 3-5 days and should be sprayed with water every twelve hours.
It's time to strip the husk off your seedlings as they develop the cotyledons, which are the first little leaves to appear. They will be pale from the lack of sunlight, but they will soon regain their gorgeous green color!
Your seedlings should get at least twelve hours of sunlight each day. A sunny, south-facing window may be able to provide your microgreens with enough light, but you may need to supplement it with a grow light. The light should be directly above the plants so they grow upwards and don't have to reach for them. One of the difficulties with relying on sunlight coming through a window is that they will likely stretch towards the window, resulting in lanky, scrawny seedlings. A grow light will encourage plants to grow evenly.
Once you remove the cover you can switch to sub-irrigation instead of misting. Fill the bottom tray with about an inch of water for the soil to absorb through the drainage holes. This watering method is ideal because it prevents mold from forming on the surface from the seedlings. Check the water level every few days to make sure it's not drying out and they should be ready in about two weeks. Keep an eye on your planted container, however, because if the soil absorbs too much water, you could have fungus or mold problems with your fennel crop.
Try to avoid excessive air movement over your growing microgreens as this can cause your trays to dry out. If a breeze blows over your growing microfennel, regularly mist it as needed to ensure it doesn't dry out in its container.
Microfennel seed coats tend to stick to the cotyledons, but they should fall off when you're ready to harvest. If there are any leftovers, you can remove them by hand just before harvest.
Fennel microgreens should be ready when they are 2-3 inches tall and have grown about two weeks. They can get a bit bigger and longer if you like, but the flavor will change as they grow. It should have a mild liquorice flavor and be slightly sweet. If you accidentally let it grow a little too long, give it a try anyway – you might like it!
If it's microgreens harvest time, do this early in the morning so the plants don't get weakened by the sun or grow bright all day. Most plants taste better in the morning, so an early harvest is a good habit. Use sharp scissors or scissors and cut a half or an inch off the bottom. This will prevent soil from getting onto your harvested microgreens. You can also collect them with a sharp knife, but it must be razor sharp. Otherwise you will rip up the microfennel by the roots and get soil everywhere.
Ideally, you should eat the mild, aniseed-flavored fennel microgreens immediately after harvest so that you can enjoy them to the full. You don't need to rinse them unless they're visibly soiled or unless you've used chemicals or spotted pests.
If you can't eat your fennel microgreens right away, they'll stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week. Store them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag with a paper towel. The paper towel will help absorb moisture so they stay in good condition longer.
If you want to rinse your microgreens, wait before eating them instead of doing it before storing them. The less moisture stored in it, the better.
frequently asked Questions
Other types of fennel without bulbs also work as fennel mics!
Q: Can you eat fennel microgreens?
A: Yes! Fennel microgreens are often used in Italian or Indian dishes. They taste best when cut to 2-3 inches high.
Q: How do fennel microgreens grow?
A: Fennel microgreens grow quickly after germination. As long as you provide them with plenty of light and water, you can be enjoying fresh microfennel in as little as two weeks.
Q: How do you use fennel microgreens?
A: The sweet notes of microfennel go well with fish dishes, salads, sandwiches, soups and many other dishes. It can also be used as a side dish or condiment. Fennel herbs are very aromatic and can add a fresh flavor to a variety of things. When you grow fennel microgreens indoors, you can enjoy them all year round and have the freedom to experiment with them.
Q: Are fennel sprouts healthy?
A: Microfennel is packed with vitamins C, E, and K, as well as fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. They're a great way to add more nutrients to your diet.
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