Microgreens are vegetable greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed. They are grown or purchased by people focused on nutrition, or else are used as both a visual and flavor component, primarily in fine dining restaurants.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.
They different stages of a plant's growth:
Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s development and are generally grown without a growing medium (soil), but are sprouted and rinsed in a sprouting tray, jar or bag. They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate and are delicious and crunchy.
Microgreens are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. Microgreens are harvested at this stage before the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge. Plants in the microgreen stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and have had the opportunity to absorb trace elements and micro nutrients from the soil.
Baby Salad Green are allowed to grow for a week or two beyond the micro green stage when the true leaves have emerged. Baby greens are harvested while they are still juvenile plants. The flavors are much closer to their full adult stage, and they have had ample opportunity to absorb more micro nutrients from the soil.
While we are not certified organic growers, we are working towards it. We do everything in our ability to provide the cleanest and freshest product available for our customers.
Microgreens are one of the simplest approaches of Hydroponics. We've spent countless hours mastering and developing a simplified process for new growers. Take a look at our simple "How To" videos to learn more about the process.
They are not critical, but your crops will need to be exposed to light at the right time. Incandescent, fluorescent, and direct sunlight are all fine. We do use grow lights and prefer LED grow lights as they are light, consume vastly less electricity, produce very little heat, and only give plants the blue and red ends of the spectrum which is what plants absorb. We can’t get greener and more healthy plants even with direct sunlight.
This can be caused by several things. The most likely is poor airflow and/or watering with water that is too alkaline. Check the pH level of your water and adjust how necessary. Rot in a crop can also be caused by sowing seeds too thickly or over-watering.
Living Microgreens, Harvesting and Care
This is, by far, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive. The short answer is, it’s not mold. The white fuzzy stuff is called micro root hairs, a normal horticultural phenomenon with hydroponic microgreens.
Plants use these microscopic hairs to wick up moisture to feed. With proper care, your microgreens should not develop mold or rot. If mold does appear, it will show up as a small ball of slimy fuzz higher and closer to the leaves of the microgreens. Stem rot is typically brown and slimy and occurs at the base of the pad. You can easily identify when your microgreens are beginning to spoil.
Cut your microgreens with a scissor or knife roughly ½” above the grow pad. You can give them a quick rinse if you’d like.
Then add them to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups, or just eat them plain. Get creative with your meals!
We recommend eating a handful (about 1 oz) of microgreens every two days. Although their nutrient contents vary slightly, the majority of varieties are rich in iron, zinc, potassium, copper, and magnesium.
Ultimately it's up to your preference on flavor.
According to the USDA (United States Agriculture Department), it is recommended that all produce should be rinsed before consumption.
Our microgreens are grown in a sterile environment, and we still encourage you to wash before consumption. Try not to soak your microgreens when washing them. Keep in mind that our microgreens are grown in purified water.
Rinsing your microgreens will wash off any seed hulls as well as any coco coir that you might have cut off when you harvested them. The bedding won't hurt you if consumed, but it sure isn't tasty and has zero nutritional value.
Wilt is usually caused by either under-watering or excessive heat.
No, it is not necessary to add fertilizer to your microgreens. Seeds are naturally packed with the crucial nutrients to grow their cotyledon and true leaves. If you chose to do so, please follow the instructions for starting seedling.