Microgreens and Sprouting

with Julia Dimakos

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In this episode of Down the Garden Path, Joanne Shaw welcomes Julia Dimakos back to the podcast to discuss microgreens and sprouting.

Julia Dimakos’ 7000 square foot kitchen garden is in Mono, Ontario, on 25 acres on the Niagara Escarpment. Julia has been growing vegetables and writing about gardening for over 13 years. She was twice published in Canadian Organic Grower magazine and became a published author in July 2022 with her first book, Tea Gardening for Beginners.

Tune in to learn more about microgreens and sprouting.

Here are some of the questions and topics covered in this episode:


  • Sprouting involves soaking seeds, nuts, legumes or grains for several hours, then rinsing at least three times a day until they begin to develop a tail-like protrusion, a cotyledon (aka seed leaf).
  • The first two leaves of the plant grow from the cotyledon.
  • Soaking softens the hull, allowing the sprout to grow.
  • They are usually ready to use when the sprout is ¼ inch.


  • Use glass jar, close to the kitchen sink
  • Sprouting lids can be purchased on line. Metal screen lids are preferred.
  • Jar needs to “hang” at a 45-degree angle to prevent standing water.
  • Jar stand also available online.
  • Rinse them 3 times a day.

A few seed options discussed: dry chickpeas, dry lentils, peas, alfalfa, broccoli, kale, mung beans, fenugreek


  • Microgreens are vegetable greens (not to be confused with sprouts or shoots) harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed with one set of true leaves.
  • They are used as a visual, flavour and texture enhancement.
  • Microgreens are used to add sweetness and spiciness to foods.


  • They need to be grown in a sterile environment like seed starting mix, seed mats or coir.
  • Spread seeds according to seed instructions in large layered trays.
  • Most seeds need to be weighed down to force roots to grow ‘down.’
  • Seeds do not need light until they start to germinate.
  • Once they start to grow, they need to be ‘finished’ with grow lights.
  • Cut stems with a sharp knife or scissors.
  • Greens are clean and do not need to be washed.

Suppliers recommended by Julia:

Mumm’s Seeds
West Coast Seeds

Where you can find Julia Dimakos:

Find Down the Garden Path on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube: @downthegardenpathpodcast.

You can also email your questions and comments to downthegardenpathpodcast@hotmail.com, or connect with Joanne via her website: down2earth.ca

Down the Garden Path Podcast

On Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designer Joanne Shaw discusses down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes.

As the owner of Down2Earth Landscape Design, Joanne Shaw has been designing beautiful gardens for homeowners east of Toronto for over a decade. She does her best to bring you interesting, relevant and useful topics to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.

Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario GardenIn Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden, Joanne and fellow landscape designer Matthew Dressing distill their horticultural and design expertise and their combined experiences in helping others create and maintain thriving gardens into one easy-to-read monthly reference guide. Get your copy today on Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out Down the Garden Path on your favourite podcast app and subscribe! You can now catch the podcast on YouTube.

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