About Micro Greens
The sprouts of many vegetables are used as food and in many countries are considered a gourmet item. Mix magenta beet sprouts with these greens for extra eye appeal. Alfalfa sprouts might be the best-known, and mung bean sprouts are common in Asian foods. Other vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, chard and beets also make good micro greens. Even cole crops like broccoli and cabbage can be used.
How to Grow Beet Sprouts
Although many sprouts are grown in a jar, beet micro greens offer more flavor, color and crunch if grown in soil. A good potting soil or gardening soil with organic compost will provide necessary nutrients. Plant the seeds about ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Don’t worry about thinning or fertilizing; you’ll harvest before it’s necessary.
You can grow beet sprouts indoors or out. The seeds germinate best at temperatures between 50°F (10°C) and 80°F (27°C). Planting in containers allows you to move them for best temperature and light conditions. Full sun is best, but as long as they get at least six hours of sunlight, your sprouts will color nicely. Keep soil slightly moist.
Varieties for Beet Sprouts
You could plant pretty much any beet for sprouts, but two varietiesare especially popular.
- Early Wonder Tall Top is a variety bred more for greens than roots. Its leaves are dark green with red stems and veins.
- Bulls Blood is an heirloom beet with very deep reddish-purple leaves, striking in a salad.
- Other possible varieties: Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder, Golden or Chioggia.
Harvesting Beet Sprouts
You can harvest your beet sprouts as soon as they start to show some color, but most people harvest between the second and fourth week. Cut them with a good pair of scissors. You can rinse and use immediately or store in the refrigerator for a day or two. Succession planting will help ensure a regular harvest.