Growing full-size Genovese basil can be a time-consuming task. If you want to enjoy the minty and refreshing taste of basil, you need to wait for months to see those seeds blooming into leaves. However, there’s a perfect escape to this solution.
Have you considered growing microgreens basil instead of full-sized basil plants? If you still haven’t, it’s the perfect time to do so! Microgreens are like a treat for your tastebuds and a solution for many health-related problems.
You should also know that the basil microgreens contain 4x more nutrients than the mature basil plants. Is that enough to convince you to grow the basil sprouts?
Perhaps if you’re ready and looking for some guidance to grow Genovese basil microgreens seeds, you’ve come to the right place.
Starting from the health benefits to storage, this article entails everything you need to know about basil microgreens. So, without further delay, let’s get started so that you have another delicious salad ingredient in your pantry!
Table of Contents
What Are Basil Microgreens?
You might have come across basil microgreens for the first time. They sound interesting, don’t they? The basil microgreen is the baby shoot of full-grown basil plants. You can sprout the tiny basil seeds in potting soil. Once you see small leaves on them, you can harvest them.
The growing process of the basil seedlings is just like any other microgreens. As for the taste, they are similar to regular basil plants. The only difference between basil plants vs. basil microgreens is that they grow faster.
A unique thing about basil microgreens is that they come in a bunch of varieties, such as:
- Cinnamon Basil
- Genovese Basil
- Red Rubin Basil
- Colorful Basil Microgreens Mix
- Thai basil
- Dark opal Basil
- Anise Basil
Benefits And Nutrition In Basil Microgreens
You are already aware that the basil microgreens are rich in nutrients, and their microgreens are no exception. Surprisingly, the basil microgreens are packed with a dozen of nutrients.
They contain vitamins A, C, and E and protein, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
These proteins and nutrients add up to a list of benefits, such as:
1. Hormone Regulation
The human body needs magnesium, zinc, protein, and many other nutrients present in the microgreen seed. Sufficient intake of basil microgreens will help you to achieve hormonal balance. As a result, you can have a fitter lifestyle.
Basil microgreens consist of several chemicals. Besides, they are fantastic antioxidants as well. The list of chemicals includes linalool and citronellol.
These chemicals perform an exceptional job of reducing inflammation in the body. Plus, they can help you fight off bacterial infections as well.
All in all, they make a great addition to your meals. Not to mention, you’ll feel refreshed when you mix them up with smoothies and beverages. Many dieticians also recommend basil for controlling aches and pains.
3. Bone Strength
Did you know that these simple-looking microgreens have the power to enhance bone strength? Yes, you read it right! Basil microgreens consist of calcium, and it’s no secret that calcium is always in demand for healthy teeth and bones.
Plus, you can keep osteoporosis at bay by including basil microgreen in your daily meals.
4. Blood Formation & Clotting
The vitamin K and iron that come from basil microgreens will make sure that the blood clots correctly after cuts and wounds.
They also ensure you have the maximum amount of red blood cells available at the moment. Red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen around your body. Thus, they are pretty much important.
A Guide To Grow Basil Microgreens
So, you finally decided to grow basil microgreens in your home garden. In that case, you’ll need some help to do it the right way. This section talks explicitly about the steps to grow basil seeds. Before that, we have a list of supplies to discuss.
Did you think that you’ll grow those basil seeds in a simple pot? Here are all the supplies you need to grow those lovely tasting basil microgreens:
- Basil Seeds: Whichever variety you prefer.
- Sunlight: A spot near the window or preferably an LED grow light.
- Tray/Grower: A medium tray with drainage holes.
- Water: Non-chlorinated and filtered.
- Spray Bottle: For misting the microgreens.
- Growing Media: Potting soil or coconut coir.
2. Steps to Grow: From Basil Seeds to Microgreens
Using these steps, you can grow the basil microgreens in your home garden quickly. We highly recommend using the best variety of basil seeds for optimum results. These detailed steps will solve all your questions about gardening basil microgreen at your home.
Without further delay, let’s get gardening!
- Soaking: You don’t need to soak the basil seeds as they form a gel sack
- Rinse: Not necessary
- Germination Time: 2 to 3 days
- Harvest Time: Around 15 to 20 days
The first step is to fill the tray with potting soil. Make sure you pick a growing tray with a drainage hole. This step will encourage air movement within the tray.
In step two, you have to moisten the soil do dampen it. Make sure that you don’t make the soil too muddy while you water it. After you moisten it, the soil should be 1-inches from the top of the tray.
Step three requires you to place the basil seeds on the soil. Try to spread them evenly so that they have plenty of space to grow. Seeds should be about 1cm close or apart.
To grow basil microgreens correctly, you have to cover them with a bit of growing medium. It’s okay if the soil is not completely covering the seeds. Seeds that are on the top of the soil will grow well too. Growing basil with this trick will enhance the basil leaves.
Next, you have to water the soil gently. Ensure that the soil’s top layer is appropriately saturated. The basil seed should be in contact with the water. You can also tamp down the growing medium/soil with your fingers.
In this step, you have to place the basil seed tray in a warm spot. Doing this will help the seeds in germination. The warmth ensures that the basil seed receives the ambient temperatures to grow. Many people prefer keeping the microgreens in grow light.
Keep the soil moist and warm to allow the seeds to germinate and grow into basil seedlings. If the environment is too dry, you could have germination problems. Dry soil cannot support germination.
Basil seeds generally take longer than any other seed to germinate. You can grow some quick microgreen crops like peas to fasten up the process. You can grow basil microgreens faster with these quick plants.
You have to water the microgreen regularly. Also, don’t go too overboard with the watering. Overwatering could kill the plant. Too much water will restrict the airflow in the growing tray.
Once the sprouts establish themselves, you can reduce the watering. At this point, your microgreens will almost be ready.
Once the plant grows several inches high from the tray, it’s ready for harvesting. In case you have too many basil seedlings left after harvest, you can transfer them from tray to larger pots. You can pot them up and gift them to your friends.
See, growing basil at home is not as overwhelming as you thought. Pick the right seeds and tray, ensure water and airflow, give optimum light, and your microgreens are ready!
Using Genovese Basil Microgreens
You can use the micro basil in more than hundreds of ways. In this section, you can learn some of our favorite ways to use the delicious basil microgreens. Please take note of these, and use them for your next family dinner!
- One of our favorite ways of using the basil microgreens is crushing them into a smooth homemade pesto sauce. You can use this fresh pesto sauce for cooking up delicious pasta.
- You can sprinkle some finely chopped basil microgreens on salads. They’ll add an extra crunch and fantastic flavor shades to dull salads.
- You can also use the basil microgreens in egg dishes. The basil’s flavor will elevate the bland taste of the egg.
- Finally, you can shop and add some basil microgreens to grilled cheese as well.
Pro Tip: Basil microgreens are most beneficial when you eat them raw. It is because the plant loses its nutrients when you cook them. Besides, their crunchy texture will feel like a party in your mouth.
How to Harvest Basil Microgreens
On average, basil microgreens will take about 20 days to reach the harvest stage. However, at times, they can take lesser time. Therefore, we advise you to keep an eye on your baby basil microgreens.
After all, if you don’t harvest them on time, they’ll end up as fully-grown basil plants, and we don’t want that.
Generally, with most microgreens, you have to clip them during the cotyledon stage. However, basil microgreens are an exception. Growing basil microgreens is slightly different than growing the rest of the microgreens.
If you want your baby basil microgreens to have their classic lovely taste, wait till the leaves spring up. The basil cotyledons have a shape similar to half circles. On the contrary, the mature basil plant is wrinkly and ovular. Also, the microgreens are maximum of 2-3 inches.
Once you know that they’re ready, stop misting and water them. This step will help the leaves dry. Grab your kitchen sears, and brace yourself for a quick harvest. Cut the greens just above the soil.
Also, you don’t need to harvest all your microgreen stock at once. You can continue growing the microgreens in their shallow tray for about a month or so. Post that, you need to transfer them.
Storing The Basil Microgreens
If you want to store the basil microgreens, you have to keep them in a container. Make sure not to wash them beforehand.
Washing them beforehand can fasten the rotting process for the microgreens. Also, the microgreens store best when they’re dry.
You can place the microgreens basil in a dry container and store it in the refrigerator. You can also put a paper towel on them to suck up the moisture. With this home storage trick, your basil microgreens should last for about a week.
However, with time, leaves might lose their lovely green color and sweet taste. Therefore, make sure to consume them fresh whenever possible.
Now, you are all ready to taste the minty and sweet basil flavor fresh from your garden! These microgreens are not only easy to grow but a superb ingredient to add to your daily diet.
However, you should know that basil microgreens are amongst the slowest microgreen crop.
Also, make sure to add only high-quality basil microgreen seeds to your cart. With this epic gardening guide, you’ll see your basil microgreens blooming in no time. This article covered everything you need to know about basil microgreens from seed to plate.
We are sure that you and your family will love the fresh basil sprouts and cherish them. Happy home gardening!
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.