Thyme microgreens are a fantastic addition to any home garden. These tiny greens not only add a burst of flavor to your dishes but also pack a nutritional punch. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of growing thyme microgreens from scratch. Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need
To grow thyme microgreens, you’ll need the following:
- 10″ x 20″ gardening trays (preferably 1-inch-tall), one with holes and one without. Alternatively, smaller microgreen trays will work just as well.
- High-quality organic starting soil mix
- Parchment paper or unbleached paper towel (optional)
- Dome lids (clear or black) or plastic sheet
- Organic thyme seeds
- Mister bottle, cup measures, garden spray nozzle (optional)
- Scissors or a sharp knife
Step 1: Preparing the Seeds
When working with small or medium-sized seeds like thyme, it’s best not to soak them. Soaking the seeds may make it harder to sprinkle them evenly on top of the soil.
Step 2: Preparing the Soil
Before planting, hydrate the soil by adding water to the bag or tray 12 hours in advance. The soil should be almost fully hydrated but not dripping with water. If you can only get a drop of water out of squeezed soil, then you’ve achieved the perfect moisture content. However, if you plan to mist the seeds after sowing, reduce the hydration slightly.
Step 3: Filling the Trays with Soil
Take a tray with holes and fill it with 3/4 to 1.5 inches of soil. The closer the soil level is to the top of the tray, the better the air circulation. Smooth and flatten the soil without compacting it using a block, your hand, or the back of a tablespoon or spatula. You can either add the tray without holes to the bottom or wait until after unstacking/uncovering.
Step 4: Sowing the Seeds
Evenly sprinkle the thyme seeds over the soil in the tray. For one-week microgreens, start with approximately 15-28 grams (1.5-2 tablespoons) of seeds. Use slightly less seed for two to three-week microgreens. If the soil has enough moisture, there’s no need to mist the seeds. However, if more moisture is required, mist the soil lightly using a spray bottle or a garden spray nozzle set to a light mist.
Step 5: Covering the Seeds
To expedite the growth process, you can skip using soil as a seed cover. Instead, place a cover directly on the seed, such as parchment paper, a plastic sheet, or a wet unbleached paper towel layer. If you choose not to stack the trays, protect the seeds from drying out by using a dome/lid. For smaller trays, you can create a cover using folded unbleached paper towels with or without a plastic sheet on top.
Step 6: Stacking Trays or Using Covers
Stacking trays has many benefits, including promoting root growth, providing darkness, and ensuring even germination and growth. If you choose to stack, place 2-5 filled trays on top of each other with an empty tray on the top with a weight inside. Check daily to see if the trays need watering.
If you decide not to stack, cover the trays with clear or black-out plastic, a lid, or a dome. Again, check daily for any water requirements.
Step 7: Exposing to Light
After 2-5 days, it’s time to introduce the microgreens to light. If you notice that the microgreens are becoming tall and leggy, it’s a sign that they may need more light.
Step 8: Watering the Growing Microgreens
Check the microgreens once or twice a day and water as needed. Keep the soil moist, but avoid making it too wet. If you unstack the trays, add water from the bottom into the tray without holes as necessary.
Step 9: Harvesting
When the microgreens reach 1-3 weeks of age, they are ready to be harvested. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the microgreens. Ensure that the microgreens are dry before storing them. If needed, you can use a small fan or a salad spinner to dry them before placing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Instead of harvesting all at once, you can begin harvesting as soon as the first two leaves spread out. Take only what you need for your meal and allow the rest to continue growing. Alternatively, you can cover the tray and store it in the fridge for future use. Remember to water as necessary.
Growing thyme microgreens is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. These versatile greens are a great addition to any dish, and their vibrant flavors will undoubtedly elevate your culinary creations. So, go ahead, have fun growing thyme microgreens, and enjoy the process of nurturing these little green powerhouses!
- To moisten your soil, add water to the bag in advance.
- If your tray has holes, watering from below or beside the soil works well.