Leek tastes like a mild spring onion, being a relative of both Garlic and Onion. One major benefit versus an onion though...they won't make you cry when you cut them!
Note: Leeks, and all Alliums, are unique in that the sprout they produce is actually the plant - as opposed to the root - which is what almost all other seeds produce during the sprouting process. These plants look like - and are - tiny little Greens.
Slow to grow, either as a microgreen or a sprout, so patience is required but well worth the wait!
How to grow Leek Microgreens Seeds as Sprouts:
Wide mouth jars
Leek microgreen seeds
Soak the seeds in water at room temperature - there should be enough water to cover the seeds. When choosing a container to soak your seed in bear in mind that seeds swell up to 4 times their original size during this period. The seeds should be left for roughly 12 hours as a guide, beans and grains need at least this length of time and smaller seed may need less. Soaking is how we begin the sprouting process in most cases. Then drain the seed and follow the instructions below.
- Make sure that the jars are super clean and sterile
- Use a screw top lid and simply drill or punch several holes in the lid but not too large, the water needs to be able to drain, but not the seed!
- An alternative could be Muslin cloth secured with a rubber band around the neck of the jar
- Replacement lid with fine sieve built-in
Place seeds in the bottom of the jar and cover with water
2. Use water that is at room temperature water that is either too hot or too cold can shock the seeds. Coldwater can also slow the germination process
3. Don't put too much seed in the jar, allow the seed sufficient room to expand insufficient space will lead to mould issues as air cannot circulate sufficiently
- After the initial soak of 8-12 hours, the water needs to be emptied and filled back up with room temperature water
- Turn the jar upside down and let the water drain out, the seeds should be left damp and not swimming in the water
- Rinse 2-3 times per day with room temperature water
- Place sprouter away from direct sunlight and in a warm environment
- Rinse and drain again Leeks take A LONG TIME to germinate. Continue rinsing and draining thoroughly, 2-3 times a day. You will be dinsing and draining this crop for 10-15 days. You should see some sprouting action in between 4 and 7 days. Don't give up - EVER - they will sprout!
- Greening - Once you see sprouting, Relocate your sprouts - if necessary. If you've been keeping them away from light for some reason, move them. Avoid direct sun - it can cook your sprouts. Indirect sunlight is best but virtually any light will do.
- Continue to rinse and drain 2-3 times per day with room temperature water
- Sprouts will be ready between days 10 and 15. The majority of sprouts will have long thin micro-onions, which will be green if you exposed them to light. You can eat them at any length but if you let them get to an inch or more the seed itself will be more tender.
Leek sprouts can not be De-Hulled like some crops, but you can use a dehuller or a salad spinner after the final rinse. Doing so will allow the seeds that have fallen off the sprouts, to fall to the bottom - and hopefully, through the device's mesh, as well as allowing you to go directly to refrigeration with your crop - after spinning it dry. If you are not using such a device... Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final rinse. After the final rinse, you need to drain very thoroughly and let the sprouts dry a bit. If we minimise the surface moisture of the sprouts they store much better in refrigeration, so let them sit for 8-12 hours.
Culture for Growing Leek as a Microgreen:
- Sow 2-3 teaspoons of seed for a half seed tray on thoroughly moistened medium
- Cover your crop with another tray - to keep light out and moisture in.
- Keep your compost moist by watering lightly as needed. Don't drench!
- Use Coconut Coir and you likely won't have to water at all after planting
- When your plants have begun to show leaves, remove the cover and move your crop to a well-lit location.
- Harvest when the leaves are open and 2cm - 7cm tall (day 5-14).
- Cut just above the medium, with scissors or a sharp knife.
Did You Know?
We now stock growing essentials for Microgeen and Sprouting growers, you can find the full range HERE
Feeling daunted by the world of Microgreens and Sprouting and don't know where to start...then why not have a look at our starter kits for inspiration:
And don't forget to join our Microgreen Club and enjoy year-round benefits HERE
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