The AquaTree™ makes growing sprouts and microgreens simple, but you may be asking, what’s the difference between the two? If you’re new to indoor gardening, it can be easy to mix them up. Technically speaking, they are both different parts of the growing cycle of any vegetable or herb, however, they are both much more than that! We’re here to describe how unique sprouts and microgreens are and how you can benefit from them both!
What is a Sprout?
A sprout is the initial growth of a plant from a seed. Every vegetable becomes a “sprout” in the growth process, but not all are edible. Just a few of the sprouts that the AquaTree™ can grow include Alfalfa, Broccoli, Clover, Onion, Lentils, and Oregano.
Scientifically speaking, sprouts do not have traditional “leaves”. What we may think are leaves are actually called “cotyledon” or embryonic leaves. The first set of “true” leaves are grown after this pair.
Typically, when growing sprouts for consumption, one must be cautious about the possibility of bacteria growth in the water. GrowLocal is committed to providing If you’re not careful, you may also encounter salmonella, E. Coli and even “slime” in the containers you use to grow your sprouts.
A source of this concern stems from seeds that are contaminated during production. In the fields, seeds can pick up contaminants from water, wild animals, manure, etc. AquaTree™ has employed responsible seed providers who have processes in place to ensure that only clean and uncontaminated seeds are provided in our seed packs.
If you’re using the AquaTree™, you’ll need to clean the trays whenever you think they’re dirty. You can wash them by hand or place them in the dishwasher! The filter needs to be cleaned when the water flow slows down. Use lukewarm water with the filter so you don’t kill the good bacteria. That’s it!
Benefits of Including Sprouts Into Your Diet
Sprouts may be small, but they’re rich in various nutrients. Depending on which sprouts you choose to grow, they can be a great source of calcium, potassium, folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K. They may also help to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and support a healthy immune system.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are very young veggies that are 1-3 inches tall. You can think of them as “baby plants”. They are between the sprout and “baby greens” stages. Another way to note the difference is to remember that microgreens have leaves, while technically, the initial sprouts do not. Also, with sprouts, you can eat the whole plant, and with microgreens grown in soil, you consume the plant part above the soil.
If, however, you’re using AquaTree™ to grow your microgreens, the whole plant is edible! Pick and consume the plant as you would with sprouts. If you’re growing them with the MauMats™, harvest what you can (including the roots) from the tray and enjoy.
Benefits of Including Microgreens Into Your Diet
Microgreens are rich in flavor and can add taste and texture to your next dish effortlessly. Use them simply as a garnish or to add mild, bitter, sweet or sour flavors to your plate. You can eat them raw or cooked, alone, or in sandwiches, smoothes, etc!
Which Sprouts and Microgreens Can I Grow in the AquaTree™?
The AquaTree™ allows you to grow a variety of crops including:
- Kale sprouts
- Broccoli sprouts
- Wheat Grass
- Mesclun Lettuce Mix
It’s always a good time to start growing sprouts and microgreens at home with the AquaTree™. Now that you know the differences between the two, which do you think you’ll grow first? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section, or continue the conversation with us over on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!