Know Before You Grow Microgreens

Know Before You Grow Microgreens
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Know Before You Grow Microgreens

How to Grow Microgreens

Microgreen Seeds for Sale

Microgreens are harvested from seedlings before they reach full maturity. You can find seeds that are specifically for microgreen growing but you can also harvest microgreens from your “regular” vegetable seeds, too. Here’s what you need to know to harvest delicious and nutritious microgreens.

Choosing Microgreen Seeds

Here are some factors to consider to help you select the seeds for your microgreen growing:

  • Flavor and Variety: Choose a mix of microgreens with flavors that appeal to you. Popular choices include kale, arugula, radish, sunflower, and beet.
  • Nutritional Value: Opt for a diverse selection to maximize nutritional benefits. Different microgreens offer varying vitamins and minerals.
  • Growth Rate: Some seeds sprout and grow faster than others. Radish, broccoli, and mustard greens are known for their quick growth.
  • Availability and Quality: Source seeds from reputable suppliers or specialized microgreen seed sellers to ensure freshness and quality.

When to Start Microgreens

Timing is essential for successful microgreens growth. Factors like temperature and light availability will affect the growth rate. Consider the following:

  • Local Climate: Start seeds indoors year-round, adapting timing based on local climate conditions.
  • Succession Planting: Stagger your seed sowing every 1-2 weeks to maintain a steady supply of fresh microgreens.

How to Start Microgreens

Starting microgreens is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  • Container: Use shallow trays or flat containers with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Growing Medium: Fill containers with a quality potting mix or a seed-starting mix. Moisten the medium before sowing seeds.
  • Sowing: Evenly scatter seeds across the moistened medium. Press them gently into the soil, and cover with a thin layer of growing medium.
  • Watering: Use a spray bottle to water seeds gently, ensuring not to dislodge them.

Special Considerations

For healthy microgreens, keep these factors in mind:

  • Light: Microgreens require ample light. Place them near a sunny windowsill or use grow lights for indoor cultivation.
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature of 60-75°F (15-24°C) for optimal growth.
  • Air Circulation: Promote healthy growth by ensuring good air circulation with a gentle fan.

Growing Tips for Microgreens

To ensure vibrant and robust microgreens, remember these tips:

  • Watering: Keep the growing medium consistently moist, but avoid overwatering to prevent mold and rot.
  • Harvesting: Harvest when microgreens have their first true leaves (7-14 days). Use clean scissors to snip just above the soil.

Pests and Problems to Watch For

Microgreens can face pests like aphids or fungal issues. Regularly inspect plants and address problems promptly. Introduce natural predators if needed.

Types of Microgreens Seeds That Regrow

While most microgreens are typically harvested once and not expected to regrow after cutting, there are a few varieties that have the potential to regrow or be cut and harvested multiple times. Here are a few microgreens that you might be able to cut and enjoy multiple harvests from:

  • Cut-and-Come-Again Lettuce: While not exactly a microgreen, certain lettuce varieties like butterhead or loose-leaf lettuce can be harvested by cutting the outer leaves and allowing the center to continue growing. This process can be repeated a few times.
  • Cilantro (Coriander): Cilantro can be harvested by cutting the outer leaves, and the central part might continue to produce new leaves for another harvest or two.
  • Basil: While basil is typically grown as an herb, it can also be harvested as microgreens. You can cut the stems above the first set of leaves, and the plant might continue to produce new growth.
  • Pea Shoots: While pea shoots are not exactly microgreens, they are similar and can be harvested multiple times by snipping the tender tips. The plant will continue to produce new shoots from the lower nodes.
  • Sunflower Shoots: Sunflower shoots can sometimes produce a second small crop after the initial harvest. Cut the shoots just above the soil level, and new growth might emerge.
  • Radish: Some radish varieties can be harvested multiple times by cutting just above the soil line. The regrowth might not be as robust as the first harvest, but you can still get a second crop.
  • Beet Greens: Similar to radishes, certain beet varieties can regrow after the initial harvest. Cut the greens above the soil line and watch for regrowth.

It's important to note that while these microgreens might have the potential for multiple harvests, the subsequent growth might not be as vigorous or flavorful as the first harvest. Additionally, the regrowth might vary based on growing conditions and the specific variety you're cultivating. Always observe your plants closely and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Tips for Harvesting: Harvesting is a crucial step. Follow these tips for a successful harvest:

Timing: Harvest when microgreens have developed their first true leaves.

Technique: Use clean scissors to snip microgreens just above the soil level.

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