Broccoli Microgreens and Drought. Does it matter for these Tiny Greens?
The summer season is fast approaching, and as years pass, the matter of lack of water becomes more and more apparent. Moreover, people are becoming increasingly aware of the droughts that happen worldwide. This may also mean that your beloved vegetable garden, orchard, or lush piece of land may be at risk if you do not have enough water provided.
In turn, this may also create an increase in your water bill too. Several states in America, such as Texas (our home), Oklahoma, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Oregon, could face this challenge. Despite all that, people are still willing to go the extra mile to preserve their gardens and maintain a healthy dietary plan. After all, gardening is more than just a hobby – it’s a lifestyle.
Have you ever thought about what could happen if you manage to keep up with this lifestyle, get fresh greens, and save money in the process? This is where the subject of microgreens comes to the stage.
Opening this topic up and taking a good look at what it offers can be crucial for all those who wish to maintain a self-sustained lifestyle. We want to show you today that it is a better investment to grow microgreens during a drought due to the difference in water consumption. To build our case, we have shifted our focus to one crop only, where we can prove the requirements for watering microgreens – we decided to go with garden-grown broccoli (mature broccoli) vs. microgreen broccoli.
What is the difference between the two?
Broccoli – mature plants
- They have a higher vitamin K level than their microgreen counterpart
- It takes about 80 to 100 days to harvest it;
- One plant can produce one head of broccoli;
- They need some large space so they can grow;
- You cannot grow it all year round;
- You cannot grow it in any part of the world;
- The entire growth process requires about 5 and a half gallons of water (per broccoli head).
- It is believed it has a higher potency and sulforaphane level than the mature counterpart;
- It is believed it has higher vitamin E & vitamin C levels than the mature plant;
- Depending on the variety, it takes about 9 to 14 days to harvest;
- One tray produces 7-11 ozs of microgreen broccoli;
- It does not take up much space to plant it;
- It does not flower, and it is harvested at the true leaf growth stage;
- All you need is to put it in a shaded area (outdoors) OR it can very easily grow indoors using grow lights and/or natural light;
- You can plant a lot of trays, and it still won’t take up a lot of space;
- You can grow it all year round;
- The entire growth process takes about 1.2 to 2 gallons of water per 1020 tray.
Microgreen broccoli vs. mature plants – water needs
If this aspect piqued your curiosity and you want to know how big the difference is between microgreen and mature plants, we have an excerpt from a study in 2017 about broccoli microgreens for you below:
As you can notice from these findings, it takes a lot less water to take care of the full growth process of microgreens than it takes to grow a single head of broccoli. Taking that into consideration, there is also the factor of timing. It takes much less time to produce microgreens (9-14 days) than to grow a mature head (80-100 days). To conclude – a microgreen tray and a single head of broccoli can give you a similar yield.
When you counter all the points, it makes more sense to turn to broccoli microgreens for several reasons. Let’s take a look at them together.
- A single tray of 1020 broccoli microgreens requires about 1.5 to 2 gallons of water for the entire growing process, starting from seed and ending with a harvest.
- By the time you grow a single head of broccoli (about 80 to 100 days), you can grow a single 1020 flat of microgreens 7 to 8 times, receiving about 70oz of harvest weight, and use roughly 12 gallons of water for that eight grows.
- If you want to get close to the microgreen harvest weight with regular-sized broccoli, you will need to use somewhere between 38 and 48 gallons of water during the same time duration.
Having said all of this, it is easy to see that in this case, growing Broccoli microgreens is the better option for all of us. This is an investment for those who wish to grow healthy foods during a drought and lower their water consumption. Not to mention, across the board Microgreens tend to consume way less water till harvest than their adult counterparts. Which means, during a drought, you can still produce fresh veggies and scratch that gardening itch of yours by simply switching to Microgreens!
However, we are not saying you should stop planting regular-sized broccoli overall! But it is always good to know that you have several options available to you – especially when you can move in the Eco-friendly direction and even lower your monthly bills.
Want to learn how to grow Microgreens? Check out our blog - (click here)