Welcome to the world of catnip microgreens, a nutrient-rich and enjoyable treat for your feline friends! In this blog, we will explore what these greens are, their numerous benefits for both you and your cat, and how you can grow them in the comfort of your home.
- Catnip microgreens are young plants grown from catnip seeds that have a mild and pleasant flavor.
- Growing catnip microgreens offers numerous health benefits for cats, including promoting relaxation, aiding digestion, and increasing nutrient intake.
- By following proper planting and care instructions, you can easily grow your own catnip microgreens at home to provide endless amounts of fresh and tasty greens for your beloved pets.
- Apart from offering health benefits to cats, cultivating catnip microgreens is an environmentally-friendly choice as it attracts beneficial insects like bees while requiring minimal maintenance.
Catnip Microgreens Checklist for Cat Owners
- Catnip Seeds: High-quality, organic, or non-GMO catnip seeds for growing microgreens.
- Growing Medium: Recommended mediums like coconut coir or organic potting soil.
- Containers and Trays: Shallow containers or trays with adequate drainage for growing catnip microgreens.
- Lighting Solutions: Grow lights or fluorescent light fixtures for indoor growing.
- Watering Tools: Spray bottles or watering cans to maintain consistent moisture levels.
- Scissors or Pruning Shears: For harvesting catnip microgreens without damaging the plant.
- Heating Mats: Optional for ensuring proper germination in colder environments.
- Small Fans or Ventilation Solutions: To ensure good air circulation and prevent mold growth.
- Cat Toys and Accessories: For using catnip microgreens as a playful stimulant or toy.
- Storage Solutions: Containers or bags for storing catnip microgreens in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Pet Health Books: Guides on the nutritional benefits and uses of catnip microgreens for cats.
- Alternative Microgreen Seeds: Such as wheatgrass, barley grass, and oat grass, offer a variety of health benefits for pets.
- Online Nursery Links: For purchasing catnip microgreens or seeds from reputable sources like True Leaf Market.
What Are Catnip Microgreens?
Catnip microgreens are young, tender plants grown from catnip seeds that have a mild and pleasant flavor.
Benefits Of Growing Catnip Microgreens
Growing catnip microgreens comes with a multitude of benefits, both for your feline friends and your household. Cat owners often find that these nutrient-packed greens are incredibly enticing to their pets, thanks to the presence of nepetalactone – a natural compound known to trigger euphoria in cats.
In addition to the advantages for cats, cultivating catnip microgreens is an environmentally-friendly choice for gardeners. As a hardy perennial plant, catnip requires minimal maintenance yet delivers maximum impact by attracting beneficial insects like bees and butterflies into your garden space.
Growing this versatile herb alongside other plants like collard greens or beets can help establish a thriving ecosystem in your backyard while also offering nutritious rewards for you and your pet.
Nutritional Value And Health Benefits
Catnip microgreens are packed with an impressive array of nutritional benefits that can positively impact both your furry friend’s health and your own. These tiny greens contain essential vitamins, such as vitamin E, which is known for its antioxidant properties and supports skin and hair health in humans.
In addition to their nutritional value, catnip microgreens offer various health advantages thanks to their diverse therapeutic qualities. For instance, the nepetalactone compound found in catnip leaves promotes relaxation and reduces stress not only in cats but also in humans.
Moreover, catnip has been used historically to treat nervous disorders, relieve headaches, alleviate menstrual cramps, speed up wound healing, and aid with digestive issues like diarrhea or indigestion.
Planting And Care Instructions
Growing catnip microgreens for your cats can be a rewarding and fun project, providing them with numerous health benefits. To ensure a successful experience, follow these planting and care instructions:
- Choose a suitable growing medium, such as organic potting soil or coconut coir.
- Select appropriate containers or plug trays that provide adequate drainage.
- Sow catnip seeds indoors 1 to 2 months before the last frost date or after the last frost in spring for direct outdoor sowing.
- Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the growing medium, lightly pressing them into the soil without burying them.
- Maintain consistent moisture levels without overwatering; soggy soil may lead to mold growth and poor seed germination.
- Provide ample sunlight or artificial light (12-16 hours per day) to encourage optimal growth rates.
- Keep temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C) for best results during germination and early growth stages.
- Monitor your catnip microgreens closely for any signs of pests, disease, or other issues that may require intervention.
- Thin out seedlings if they appear overcrowded, allowing approximately an inch of space between plants for proper air circulation and growth.
- Begin harvesting catnip microgreens once they reach about 3 inches in height, typically within 3-4 weeks of planting.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to provide your feline friends with fresh catnip microgreens to enjoy on a regular basis!
Benefits of Catnip Microgreens for Cats
If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your pet’s health, catnip microgreens might be just what you need. These tiny plants are packed with nutrients that can benefit cats in various ways.
A Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals for Cats and Dogs
Catnip microgreens are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining good health in pets. For example:
- Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and immune function.
- Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage.
- Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting.
- Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth.
- Iron is needed to transport oxygen throughout the body.
- Magnesium supports muscle function and nerve transmission.
- Potassium helps regulate fluid balance in the body.
By adding catnip microgreens to your pet’s diet, you can ensure they get these vital nutrients without relying on synthetic supplements.
Improves Digestion and Reduces Inflammation
Catnip microgreens contain enzymes that aid digestion by breaking down food more efficiently. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating or constipation.
Moreover, catnip microgreens contain chlorophyll which has been shown to help detoxify the liver. This means that regular consumption of these greens can help keep your pet’s gut healthy by removing toxins from their system.
Boosts Your Pet’s Immune System
Antioxidants found in catnip microgreens can help strengthen your pet’s immune system by protecting cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress leads to cell damage which can lead to chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease if left unchecked.
Chlorophyll found in catnip microgreens can help boost the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.
Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Catnip has long been known for its calming effect on cats. However, catnip microgreens can also have a similar effect on dogs. The plant contains nepetalactone, a compound that acts as a natural sedative.
By including catnip microgreens in your pet’s diet, you can help them feel more relaxed and less anxious. This is especially helpful if your pet suffers from separation anxiety or noise phobias.
Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat
The nutrients found in catnip microgreens can help promote healthy skin and coats in pets. For example:
- Vitamin A helps regulate sebum production, which keeps skin moisturized.
- Vitamin C aids collagen synthesis, which is essential for healthy skin.
- Vitamin E protects against UV damage which can lead to dryness or flakiness.
- Iron helps transport oxygen to hair follicles which promotes hair growth.
By feeding your pet catnip microgreens regularly, you can help them maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.
How To Grow Catnip Microgreens
To grow catnip microgreens, you will need supplies such as potting soil, a container or tray with drainage holes, and catnip seeds; prepare the seeds by soaking them in water for four to six hours before planting.
Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in well-draining soil and keep them damp but not too wet; place them in an area with bright sunlight or under grow lights.
Supplies And Equipment Needed
Growing catnip microgreens requires some basic supplies and equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Catnip seeds: You can purchase catnip seeds online or at a local nursery.
- Growing medium: Soilless growing mediums such as coconut coir or peat moss are recommended for growing microgreens.
- Containers: You’ll need shallow containers to grow your catnip microgreens in. Plastic trays or seed starting kits work well.
- Light source: Catnip microgreens require plenty of light to grow, so you’ll need a bright LED light or fluorescent light fixture.
- Watering can or spray bottle: You’ll need to water your catnip microgreens regularly, so a watering can or spray bottle will come in handy.
- Scissors: Once your catnip microgreens are ready to harvest, you’ll need a pair of scissors to snip off the shoots just above the soil line.
- Optional: Heating mat – if the environment is too cold, a heating mat may be needed to ensure proper germination.
By having these supplies and equipment on hand, you will be able to easily grow and take care of your own fresh and healthy catnip microgreens for your furry friend!
Preparation Of Seeds
Before planting catnip microgreens, it’s important to prepare the seeds properly. Catnip seeds require stratification, which involves exposing them to a period of cold to break their dormancy.
To stratify your catnip seeds, start by placing them in a freezer bag and freezing them overnight.
It’s also important to ensure that you’re starting with high-quality catnip seeds from a reputable supplier. Look for organic or non-GMO options and check the germination rate before purchasing.
Once you have your properly prepared seeds, you can sow them using any of the standard methods for growing microgreens – such as using seed trays filled with potting soil or hydroponic systems like aeroponics – ensuring they have adequate water and light until they’re ready to harvest in about two weeks’ time.
Growing Mediums And Containers
To grow catnip microgreens, you’ll need a good growing medium and container. A shallow tray with drainage holes is ideal for growing microgreens, as it allows excess water to drain away and prevents the growth of mold or other harmful fungi.
You can use any type of soil that drains well or a specially formulated sowing mix for microgreens. When selecting your container, keep in mind that you don’t want it to be too deep – ideally, no more than 2 inches – so that the seeds are close enough to the surface to germinate quickly.
It’s also important to choose a container with enough space for your catnip microgreens to grow without becoming overcrowded, which can stunt their growth.
Light And Watering Requirements
Catnip microgreens require a good amount of light to thrive and should be placed in an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days.
When grown outside, they also like shade in the afternoon. If you are growing them indoors, make sure to place them near a sunny window or use grow lights to provide adequate lighting for growth.
It is important to maintain even moisture when watering catnip microgreens. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering will cause the soil to dry out and stunt growth.
Bottom watering or misting is preferred to prevent the sowing mix from splashing on the seedlings. Remember not to let the sowing medium dry out completely before rewatering, as this may harm your plants’ growth and development process.
Catnip Microgreens Require Good Air Circulation to Prevent Mold Growth
Another important factor to consider when growing catnip microgreens is air circulation. Good air circulation is essential for preventing mold growth, which can be a common problem with indoor gardening.
To ensure good air circulation, consider placing a small fan near your growing area or opening a window if possible. You should also avoid overcrowding your plants as this can restrict airflow and increase the risk of mold growth.
How to Grow Catnip from Cuttings
Growing catnip from cuttings is an easy way to propagate this herb. Follow these steps:
- Cut a stem of catnip that’s at least four inches long.
- Strip the leaves off the bottom two inches of the stem.
- Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone powder.
- Plant it in well-draining soil and water thoroughly.
- Keep it in bright, indirect sunlight and maintain consistent moisture levels.
How to Make Catnip Grow Faster
To make catnip grow faster, you can follow these tips:
- Use a high-quality potting mix with good drainage.
- Add organic fertilizer to your soil before planting or transplanting seedlings.
- Keep your plants in direct sunlight or under grow lights for at least six hours a day.
- Water consistently, but avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot.
Where Does Catnip Grow Best
Catnip grows best in full sun or partial shade with well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. It prefers slightly alkaline soil with a pH level between 6-7.
Caring for Your Catnip Microgreens as They Grow
Regular Watering is Key
Watering your catnip microgreens is essential to their growth and overall health. These plants require consistent moisture, so it’s crucial to water them regularly. One way to ensure that your catnip microgreens get the right amount of water is to use a spray bottle or misting wand. This method allows you to control the amount of water that you apply and prevents overwatering.
Another important thing to keep in mind when watering your catnip microgreens is that they need good drainage. Make sure that the container you’re growing them in has drainage holes at the bottom. This will allow excess water to escape, preventing root rot and other issues.
Optimal Sunlight Exposure
Catnip microgreens thrive in sunny locations, so it’s best to place them near a window where they can receive plenty of natural light. If you don’t have access to a sunny windowsill, consider using grow lights instead.
When using grow lights, make sure that they are positioned at the right distance from your catnip microgreens. Too much light can damage or burn the plants, while too little light can cause stunted growth and weak stems.
Harvest Frequently for New Growth
Harvesting your catnip microgreens frequently not only provides fresh greens for your feline friends but also encourages new growth. When harvesting, use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut off the top portion of the plant just above its second set of leaves.
By cutting off this top portion, you’re stimulating new growth from lower down on the stem. This results in bushier plants with more leaves overall.
It’s also important not to harvest too much at once; otherwise, you risk damaging or killing your plant altogether. Instead, aim for small harvests every few weeks and monitor how quickly your plant regrows before harvesting again.
Harvesting and Storing Your Catnip Microgreens
When to Harvest Your Catnip Microgreens
Harvesting your catnip microgreens is an exciting moment as you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But when exactly should you harvest them? The ideal time to harvest catnip microgreens is when they are around 2-3 inches tall. This usually takes about 10-14 days from the day of planting. At this height, they have developed their first set of true leaves and are ready for harvest.
How to Harvest Your Catnip Microgreens
Once your catnip microgreens reach the desired height, it’s time to harvest them. To do this, use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the stems just above the soil line. Make sure not to pull them out by their roots, as this may damage the remaining plants in the tray.
How to Store Your Catnip Microgreens
After harvesting your catnip microgreens, it’s essential to store them correctly so that they remain fresh for longer. One way to do this is by storing them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. The damp paper towel helps keep the greens hydrated while preventing excess moisture from building up inside the bag.
Storing in Refrigerator
Keep your bag of catnip microgreens in the refrigerator at a temperature between 32°F and 40°F (0°C – 4°C). This will help extend their shelf life for up to a week.
Freezing Your Catnip Microgreens
If you want your catnip microgreens to last even longer, consider freezing them. You can freeze your harvested catnip microgreens in an ice cube tray with water and use them as needed. Here’s how:
- Wash and dry your harvested catnip microgreens.
- Fill each section of an ice cube tray with roughly chopped greens.
- Add water until each section is full.
- Freeze the tray overnight or until the cubes are solid.
- Pop out the cubes and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to three months.
When Can You Eat Catnip Microgreens?
Catnip microgreens can be eaten as soon as they are harvested. They have a slightly bitter, minty flavor that pairs well with salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Catnip microgreens also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Reasons To Grow Catnip Microgreens For Your Cat
Growing catnip microgreens for your feline friend is not only easy and fun but also beneficial. These miniature plants can promote relaxation, aid digestion, and provide essential nutrients for your cat’s health.
Promotes Relaxation And Reduces Stress
Catnip microgreens can be an excellent addition to your cat’s diet if you want to promote relaxation and reduce stress in them. Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone that has a soothing effect on cats who have a passive response to it.
This compound binds with receptors in the brain, leading to feelings of calm and reduced anxiety levels.
Apart from promoting relaxation, catnip also has sedative properties that can induce restful sleep in cats suffering from insomnia or other sleep-related problems.
Helps With Digestion And Appetite
Catnip microgreens can be very beneficial for your cat’s digestive issues and appetite. They contain an essential oil called nepetalactone that acts as a relaxant, which may help reduce stomach pain in cats.
Catnip is also effective in aiding other digestive issues in cats, such as constipation, bloating, and cramping.
Growing catnip microgreens at home can provide a source of fresh catnip for your feline friend. Offering fresh greens to their diet may help improve their digestion and appetite.
However, it is important to note that some cats may not respond to catnip or may experience a decrease in appetite due to its mellowing effect.
Provides Vitamins And Minerals
Catnip microgreens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that can help boost your cat’s overall health. These tiny greens contain a high concentration of essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and zinc.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and promotes healthy skin and coat.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth in cats, while zinc plays a vital role in cell growth and repair. By incorporating catnip microgreens into your cat’s diet or as a snack, you can provide them with these important vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and happy.
Serving Catnip Microgreens To Your Cat
To serve your cat catnip microgreens, you can offer them fresh or dried, mix them with their food or treats, or even use them as a toy. But before serving, make sure to check out the precautions in section 6 to avoid overuse and potential allergic reactions.
Fresh Or Dried
Catnip can be given to cats in either fresh or dried form, and both have their benefits. Fresh catnip is more potent than dried, which may be a better option for kittens or cats who don’t usually respond to catnip.
Feeding your feline friend either fresh or dried catnip can cause them to behave like playful kittens again, rolling on the floor and playing with toys. It’s a great way for you to bond with your pets and keep them happy indoors.
Mixing With Food Or Treats
There are different ways to serve catnip microgreens to your feline friend, and one of them is by mixing it with their food or treats. Simply sprinkle a small amount of fresh or dried catnip microgreens over their dish to give them an extra kick of flavor and nutrition.
Mixing catnip with treats can also be a fun way for your cat to enjoy its benefits. You can create homemade snacks using simple ingredients like tuna, chicken, or salmon combined with ground-up catnip microgreens for an added twist.
Using As A Toy
Catnip microgreens can be a fun and safe toy for your cat to play with. The nepetalactone found in catnip is what triggers the playful behavior in cats, but it’s important to remember that not all cats will respond to it.
To use catnip microgreens as a toy, you can either offer them fresh or dried. You can sprinkle the greens on the floor, put them in a toy, or rub them on your cat’s scratching post.
It’s important to keep moderation in mind when using catnip as a toy for your furry friend. While safe for most cats, overuse could result in an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Additionally, some cats may become aggressive when playing with toys containing catnip, so always supervise their playtime.
Precautions When Giving Catnip Microgreens To Your Cat
It is important to note that some cats may not respond to catnip, and overuse can lead to potential allergic reactions or behavior issues. To ensure the safety of your furry friend, it’s best to introduce catnip microgreens slowly and in moderation.
Possible Allergic Reactions And Overuse
It is important to note that while catnip microgreens are generally safe for cats, overuse can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Additionally, some cats may develop an allergic reaction to catnip.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty walking and dizziness. It is also worth noting that the sensitivity to catnip is hereditary, and about 50% of cats do not react to it at all.
Therefore, it’s crucial to give catnip in moderation and monitor your furry friend’s reaction closely.
Some Cats May Not Respond To Catnip
It’s important to note that not all cats may respond to catnip, as the gene responsible for the catnip response is estimated to be present in only about one-third of cats.
So if you’ve given your fur baby some catnip microgreens and they don’t seem interested, don’t worry! It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with them. Keep in mind that each cat is unique and may have different preferences or reactions to certain scents or herbs.
Culinary And Medicinal Uses Of Catnip Microgreens
Catnip microgreens have a unique flavor profile that can add an interesting twist to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
Flavor Profile And Recipe Ideas
Catnip microgreens have a sweet, minty flavor that’s similar to the adult catnip plant. Here are some ideas for incorporating them into your cat’s diet:
- Sprinkle fresh catnip microgreens on top of wet or dry food for an added burst of flavor.
- Mix dried catnip microgreens with meat or vegetable treats for a healthy snack.
- Brew fresh or dried catnip microgreens into tea and let them cool before serving them to your cat.
- Use fresh catnip microgreens as a garnish for homemade pet food.
- Add minced fresh or dried catnip microgreens to homemade pet-friendly cakes or biscuits.
Remember to only serve small amounts of catnip to your cat and always monitor their reaction to it. Some cats may experience gastrointestinal upset or become overly excited when exposed to too much at once.
Benefits Of Catnip For Humans
Catnip isn’t just for cats; it has several benefits for humans too. One of its most significant benefits is its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. The plant contains nepetalactone, which can improve overall mood and help individuals manage anxiety or sleep issues.
In addition to its calming effects, catnip has been traditionally used to treat digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, and cramping. It stimulates the production of saliva, gastric juices, and bile in the stomach and liver, making it an excellent natural remedy for these ailments.
Lastly, catnip has a unique flavor profile that makes it a great addition to culinary dishes such as soups and salads. Its leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas or cooking recipes alike.
Other Types Of Microgreens For Cats
Aside from catnip microgreens, there are other types of microgreens that your cat can benefit from as well. Wheatgrass, barley grass, and oat grass are among the most popular options for pets.
Wheatgrass, Barley Grass, And Oat Grass
Wheatgrass, oat grass, and barley grass are all nutrient-rich options that you can consider growing for your cats. Here are a few important facts to know about each:
- Wheatgrass seeds are widely available and easy to grow at home. This microgreen is known for its nutritional benefits, such as chlorophyll, antioxidants, and vitamins. However, some people may experience side effects like nausea or headaches when consuming large amounts of wheatgrass.
- Oat grass is high in fiber and contains the antioxidant tricin, which has been recognized for its potential health benefits in humans. Growing oat grass at home requires a bit more attention than wheatgrass, but it’s still fairly easy to do.
- Barley grass is another nutrient–packed option for your cat to enjoy. This microgreen contains vitamins A, B, and E, as well as minerals like iron and potassium. Like oat grass, it requires a bit more care when growing compared to wheatgrass.
Consider giving these other types of microgreens a try alongside catnip microgreens to provide your furry friend with a variety of healthy options!
Where To Buy Catnip Microgreens
If you’re interested in buying catnip microgreens, you can check out online stores or local nurseries that specialize in selling microgreens for pets.
Online Stores And Local Nurseries
If you’re looking to buy catnip microgreens for your furry feline friend, there are a number of options. Here are some online stores and local nurseries where you can purchase catnip microgreens:
- The Seed Collection: This Australian-based company offers organic and non-GMO seeds, including Nepeta cataria (catnip) seeds for growing your own catnip microgreens.
- West Coast Seeds: Based in Canada, West Coast Seeds offers a variety of organic and non-GMO seed options, including Nepeta cataria seeds for growing catnip microgreens.
- Local nurseries: Check with your local nurseries to see if they carry catnip microgreen plants or seeds. Supporting local businesses can also help reduce the carbon footprint associated with shipping products long distances.
- Amazon: You can also find catnip microgreens on Amazon from various sellers. Be sure to read the reviews before purchasing to ensure quality and customer satisfaction.
- Etsy: If you’re interested in supporting small businesses, Etsy offers several options for purchasing catnip microgreens from independent growers.
No matter where you choose to purchase your catnip microgreens, be sure to ask about their growing practices and ensure that they do not use pesticides or other harmful chemicals that could harm your pet’s health.
Final Thoughts: Why You Should Consider Adding Catnip Microgreens to Your Cat’s Diet
Growing catnip microgreens is a great way to provide your furry friend with a natural and healthy treat. With their high nutritional value, these greens offer numerous benefits for both cats and humans alike.
Adding catnip microgreens to your pet’s diet can provide numerous benefits. These tiny greens are packed with vitamins and minerals that can help boost your pet’s overall health and well-being. Growing catnip from seed to harvest is relatively easy, and with the right soil and container, you can have a fresh supply of catnip microgreens in no time.
Caring for your catnip microgreens is also simple, requiring only basic maintenance such as watering and trimming. When it comes time to harvest, be sure to store them properly to maintain their freshness.
By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily grow your own catnip microgreens at home, providing endless amounts of fresh and tasty greens for your beloved cats. Incorporating catnip microgreens into your cat’s diet can not only provide nutritional benefits but also add variety and excitement to their meals. So why not give it a try?