Alfalfa greens are rich in a wide variety of nutrients including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorous, Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Carotene, and Potassium among others.
Alfalfa has been used for decades across different cultures in the world to support good health and for medicinal purposes. For instance, it was used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve appetite and to alleviate digestive system disorders.
How to Grow Alfalfa Microgreens Indoors
Alfalfa microgreens are easy to grow. They can be grown all year round with peak seasons being during fall and spring. They tolerate a wide range of climates. Since alfalfa roots develop quickly and do not grow deep, you can grow them at home in pots, containers or trays.
The microgreens are propagated from seeds. Within 3-5 days of planting, the microgreens will have sprouted. Water them and ensure they have adequate light and they will be ready for harvesting within 10-14 days. After planting, maintenance includes weeding and pest control which can be achieved organically or using pesticides or herbicides.
Growing Alfalfa Indoors
Alfalfa microgreens are some of the easiest plants that you can grow indoors. Since they grow fast, you can repeatedly plant them for a continuous supply throughout the year. All you need is a surface for planting such as a tray or a pot, and adequate light – you can place the tray/pot near a window or use a gardening bulb during the winter season.
GROWING ALFALFA IN TRAYS
Step-by-step Guide to Growing alfalfa in trays
- Find a shallow tray (1.5 – 2.5 inches deep).
- Fill the tray with potting mix or soil up to a level of one-half inches.
- Spread the soil/potting mix evenly to form a flat surface.
- Scatter the alfalfa seeds evenly over the soil surface.
- Sprinkle a thin layer or the soil/potting mix over the seeds.
- Using a spray bottle, sprinkle water over the sowed seeds.
- Place the tray near a window or near a source of light.
- You may cover the tray with a piece of cloth or a perforated plastic bag to create a humid and warm environment that promotes germination while allowing adequate flow of air into the soil and the seeds.
- Daily mist or sprinkle water on the germinating seeds.
- Once the seeds begin to germinate, remove the cloth or paper bag that was covering the tray as the shoots grow up to 4 inches high.
- Within 10-14 days the microgreens will be ready for harvesting. If you allow them to continue to grow, they will develop into seedlings and later into alfalfa plants.
- To harvest the alfalfa microgreens, hold a section on the one hand and snip the stems just above the soil with scissors.
- You may store the fresh microgreens in a jar in the refrigerator for about a week. Otherwise, you may dry them and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Growing alfalfa pots
The procedure for growing alfalfa in pots is similar to growing alfalfa in trays; only instead of using a shallow tray, you’ll use a shallow pot or small containers. This has the advantages of allowing you to grow in small batches and to put the pots in smaller sunny spots around the house.
How to Use Alfalfa at Home
Alfalfa microgreens are a great option for adding green vegetables to your diet. You can use them in:
- Vegetable stocks
- Sandwiches • and salads.
They can also be juiced or blended with fruits. Growing alfalfa indoors ensures that you have a constant supply of the microgreens throughout the year.