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Departments » UW Extension » Urban Horticulture & Natural Resources
General Information

Welcome to Brown County UW-Extension's

Urban Horticulture
Natural Resources Pro


Article of the Week
(Originally published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on February 4, 2018)

Easy Growing Greens

Microgreens are simple and easy to grow in mid-winter. You don’t need a greenhouse or special grow lights to grow these greens. A small space near a bright sunny window to place a couple of shallow trays filled with potting mix is all needed. Microgreens add unique flavor, texture, nutrition, and colors to your salads and other dishes. A research study has shown that nutrient contents in sprouting greens like red cabbage, cilantro, amaranth, and radish microgreens are so rich that they are equally comparable to fully grown vegetables.

Microgreens are broadly grouped as fast growing and slow growing greens. Fast growers take about 10-15 days to reach harvesting stage and slow growers takes about 16-25 days for harvesting. Common fast growing greens are red cabbage, Chinese cabbage (Kogane), kale (Red Russian), kohlrabi (purple), mustards (Golden Frills, Garnet Giant, Scarlet Frills, Ruby Streaks), pak choi (Rosie), cress (Persian, Cressida), radish (Daikon), spinach, and lettuce.

Slow growing greens are amaranth (Garnet Red), arugula, carrot, chard (Rudy Red), mustard (Red Giant), pak choi (Red Pac), basil (Red Rubin, Lemon, Italian Large Leaf), cilantro, fennel (green). Based on their growth rate, you can schedule the seeding time of those varieties individually, and after harvest blend the greens to your desired flavor.

For flavor combinations used in common cuisines, try the following microgreen mixes recommended by Johnny’s seed company:

Asian – basil, cilantro, lemon basil, scallion, saltwort, shiso
Mediterranean – scallion, basil, fennel, parsley, dill
Earthy flavor – kale, tatsoi, Chinese cabbage, collard, beets/chard, purslane, amaranth
Hot/spicy – mustard, cress, radish, arugular
Dessert – fennel, basil, sorrel, shiso, lemon balm
Fish/sea food – fennel, scallion, parsley, basil, dill, cilantro

To start a microgreen garden, use a shallow plastic container or seed tray that has adequate drainage holes. If you plan to reuse old flats, make sure to disinfect them with a combination of 10% bleach and water, and allow to air dry for few hours. Fill the flats with moist potting mix (largely filled with peat) to about a half inch below the rim or your shallow plastic container to about 1.5 to 2 inches. Scatter the seeds densely or with a spacing of ¼” to ½” apart and cover it lightly with potting mix. Using a spray bottle, moisten the media again and place a clear plastic dome or saran wrap on top of the flat to increase humidity around the seeds. Place the flats near a bright sunny window or you can set it under fluorescent bulbs for 16 hours. Once the seeds start to germinate, remove the dome or wrap. As the seedlings start to grow, check the soil moisture once a day. To water the seedlings, use a spray bottle to mist the plants or water the bottom of the flats.

Harvest the greens when they are 2 inches tall. Use a clean scissors to snip the base of the greens. Lettuce and spinach can be allowed to re-sprout for a second harvest. You can refrigerate the harvested greens for 4-5 days in plastic storage bags or containers.

For horticulture-related questions and advice, contact Brown County UW-Extension’s Horticulture Help Desk at 920-391-4615 or

2018 Master Gardener General Training

Master Gardener Volunteers are trained volunteers who aid the University of Wisconsin-Extension staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment. This national program was introduced to Wisconsin in 1977. Today, the Master Gardener program is available in all 50 states and several countries. When you become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, you will be automatically enrolled as a member of the NEW Master Gardener Association. The Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to horticulture education in affiliation with Brown County UW-Extension. The NEW Master Gardener Association is a chapter of the WI Master Gardener Association which connects you to a statewide network of Master Gardener Volunteers.

Click here for more information and class dates.
Click here for an application!
2018 Garden Series

NEW Master Gardeners and Brown County UW-Extension are hosting a 2018 Garden Series. The series is comprised of three different sessions with renowned garden speakers who will share their expertise to enhance your gardening experience.

The series will be held at the Neville Public Museum, 210 Museum Place, Green Bay, and is open to the general public. You may choose to attend one, two, or all three of the featured sessions. Sign up for the full series by Friday, December 22, to receive a discounted registration fee!

Click here for the program brochure.

2018 Spring Horticulture Classes

Brown County UW-Extension and NEW Master Gardeners are hosting Horticulture classes for a wide variety of topics this upcoming spring. For class descriptions and information, view the flyer here. To pay class fees, please click here and choose "Horticulture" as the Program Area. For more information, contact Brown County UW-Extension Horticulture Department at 920-391-4650 or


Horticulture Help Desk Services
We offer free consultations on lawn care advice, insect and disease diagnosis, and plant and insect identification. We also address tree and shrub problems as well as help you select the plants that are best suited to your needs and site. Soil tests and advanced diagnosis services are available for a fee.

Bring your live or digital specimen to the Horticulture Help Desk:

210 Museum Place, Green Bay, WI 54303
Hort Help Desk Phone: 920-391-4615

The UW-Extension Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
If a horticulture staff member is not available when you call or visit, messages and samples can be left with UW-Extension reception, and a staff member will contact you.

We are here to serve you by connecting the University system, Master Gardener volunteers, and you - Northeast Wisconsin residents - to help things grow.

Contact:  Vijai Pandian - Horticulture Educator
Phone: 920-391-4611
Fax: 920-391-4617
Click here to email
Mailing Address:  Brown County UW-Extension
210 Museum Place
Green Bay, WI 54303
Hours:  Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM
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