It may be too late in
the year to put in the full fall garden I crave, but there are always
experiments to be undertaken. For example --- growing sunflower
A little internet research suggests that the tasty tidbits we purchased at the farmer's market are a lot like sprouts...but not quite. To replicate our experiment, start with raw oilseed sunflower seeds --- the black kind with no stripes, often intended for birdseed. Soak a handful for multiple days (changing the water every twelve hours), then spread the barely sprouted seeds in a seed-starting flat atop a thin layer of Potting Soil. Finally, it's just a matter of waiting for the cotyledons to emerge.
We put our flat on a
Heat Mat for the first couple of days to hurry things along. After
that, though, I felt like the seeds were getting too hot. So I turned
off the mat and let them linger at room temperature, watering every day
or two but keeping the humidity dome in place most of the time. (I did
tend to air them out once a day, especially when the heat mat was
It took about a week and a half from first soak to first harvest, and I expect to keep cutting microgreens at the soil line for up to a week after that. When this flat is done, the used potting soil and roots will go in the compost pile --- a bit wasteful, but not terribly bad since the organic matter will all end up back in the garden.
And then it's time to start soaking seeds for another flat. It sure is nice to have something fresh and green growing inside while the snow flies outside our trailer!
(This experiment has been supported by David Hicks. Thanks, David! If anyone wants to join our monthly donor program, you can sign up near the bottom of the page here.)