Growing Korean Perilla Microgreens: Healthy and Delicious | Enhanced Garden&Life
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
Perilla microgreens are a new and exciting way to get the benefits of perilla without even having to cook it. They're packed with nutrients, have an amazing flavor, and can be added to almost anything! Perilla is a plant that has been grown in Korea for centuries as one of its staple vegetables.
In this blog - Growing Korean Perilla microgreens: Healthy and Delicious we will talk about how to grow perilla microgreens indoors or outside (depending on your climate), how they're nutritious, healthy, and delicious!
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are plants that have been harvested at a young stage of life. Microgreen seeds grow into tiny sprouts and are used in salads, sandwiches, soups, omelets, garnishes, or dips.
There's no strict definition of what microgreens should look like, but some common traits include: small leaves with visible veins, stems without flower buds (called cotyledons). Microgreens are typically harvested in the first three weeks of growth, with a harvest time between one and four weeks.
Nutrition and Health Benefits
Perilla is an herb native to Asia, Korea, and Japan in particular. It has been used for hundreds of years as a medicinal plant by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.
Perilla seeds are rich in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) which helps support skin health and growth. The leaves contain flavonoids that have antioxidant properties but also help to promote recovery from illness and help maintain healthy immune function.
Perilla seeds(to read about harvesting the seeds click here, https://www.bgcs-as1.com) are also rich in Omega-s, which is important for brain health and support.
What's great about this herb? It's loaded with nutritional benefits! I've grown it indoors on my windowsills using pots all winter long without any artificial light (growing microgreens).
Growing Perilla Microgreens:
First, I'll add the growing medium into the microgreen tray, which is coco coir for me. I add very little to the tray, about a quarter-inch of coco coir. It's best to moisten the medium before adding it to the tray. Once you have added your moistened medium to the tray, press the medium down nice and firm and evenly, then add your Perilla Microgreen seeds to the tray. Spread the seeds as evenly as possible reasonably densely.
Once you have added your seeds, spray the top of the tray with food-grade hydrogen peroxide and water your seeds. After that, you should cover with something to keep your seeds in the dark, or placing them into a dark room will work well also.
Continue to water daily on the tray's top until you can see the roots through the soil on the bottom of the tray. Once the roots started shooting out of the soil, I started to bottom water. Perilla is a slower-growing microgreen, but won't take long to start bottom watering. Watering on top too long into the process can destroy your whole tray because of the planting density. Mold may take over your tray. There is not enough airflow to allow the microgreens to dry out on the top, so it stays moist and makes a perfect environment for mold to grow.
Once your perilla has reached the height that you like, then place them into your light source. I use a timer that I set to 12 hours, so 12 hours on and 12 hours off. You don't need that long a period to have your lights on but that is what I choose to do. I would suggest at least 8 hours of light. Continue checking daily and bottom water as necessary.
You'll want to harvest them when you see the first true leaves. When a plant sprouts, the first two leaves are called cotyledons. The following leaves that come are called the true leaves. I harvest when I see the first true leaves start showing. Use a very sharp knife and cut them as close to the soil line as possible. After harvesting then rinse and enjoy the minty perilla Microgreens that you have grown!
How To Grow Perilla Leaves From Seed:
Starting perilla plants from seed is easy and doesn't require any special equipment. All you need are perilla seeds, potting soil, a container (to grow in), water, and something to cover the pots with until they're ready for use.
Growing Shiso from Cuttings:
To grow your Shiso from a cutting, you will need a perilla cutting (or a small section of the plant with at least three leaves on it), potting soil, and water. Ideally, you would take this cutting in spring or summer where there is plenty of light coming through windows or open doors to provide enough warmth for your plants to grow indoors without requiring any other special equipment.
Can I Grow Shiso Indoors?
Shiso is a fairly hardy plant that will grow indoors with some light. It should be placed near windowsills to get the most amount of natural sunshine possible (or close to fluorescent lights).
Growing Perilla in Pots:
The Perilla plant is a hardy perennial that's native to Korea. The leaves are edible and can be grown in pots or on the ground, as long as they have plenty of sun exposure and good drainage.
To grow them indoors(indoor perilla), try using an indoor hydroponic system with natural light sources such as windows. It will require some trial-and-error before you find what works best for your conditions, but it’s worth taking care of perilla plants because they're so versatile.
How To Grow Perilla Leaves:
The first step is to prepare your seeds. For the initial planting, you can use a seed packet purchased at most garden stores or start with fresh perilla leaves from the store that have been discarded for various reasons such as browning edges or wilting. Rinse and gently pat dry all of your seeds or leave before proceeding!
The next step is to make your potting mix. Mix together about one-third peat moss, one-half perlite, and the remainder of a standard bag of composted manure (either cow or chicken). This will provide good drainage for the seeds as well as nutrients that can be used by both seedlings and mature plants in need of an organic boost.
If you don't have access to all three ingredients, start with two parts peat moss, four parts perlite and six parts composted manure until you get more items on hand. Adding some sand to this mixture also helps give it a better structure so less clumping occurs when water is applied.
Whether you want to grow them for yourself or purchase from a local farm, perilla microgreens are an excellent addition to your diet. Hopefully this post has been helpful and I encourage you share it with friends who may be interested in growing their own food! ? What other tips do you have for someone just starting out? Do you have any questions about how the process works? Comment below and let me know what’s on your mind. I'm ready and waiting to help answer all of your gardening questions!
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