Some commonly grown microgreens are listed in Figure 1. Yields per tray below are the average yields observed from 14 to 28 crop cycles during 2016-17. Photos: Francesco Di Gioia, Penn State, Mustard microgreens – from seeding to harvest. Usually, a window on the south side of the house or apartment will receive more sunlight than one exposed north. When seeding by hand, we have found that it is helpful to start at the edges of the tray and then seed the middle to help ensure complete and uniform coverage of the tray. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement, En el Camino: Granja Orgánica de Toigo 2018, En el Camino: Agricultura Urbana en Philadelphia. Changing temperatures can result in condensation, which can decrease post-harvest life. Di Gioia, F., Renna, M. and Santamaria, P., 2017. Self-Watering Microgreens Growing Trays - Reusable. In addition to the clamshell method mentioned here, you can sell microgreens in seeding trays to eliminate harvest costs. This page lists our offerings for Growing Mediums and Organic Fertilizers. Restaurants are the primary market, but microgreens are also available in grocery stores, farmers' markets, and as part of some Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions. Besides the fear of infection, psychologists are observing a negative impact on mental health during this period of social isolation. To achieve this humidity you can cover the seeds or you can make sure to put them in a room with the right humidity. Remove trays from the tub once the potting soil has been wetted. An alternative could be to bag and store microgreens at low temperatures and wash them right before they are used. Then you need to prepare the growing medium, growing tray and test your water. Please check the ABCs of Microgreens to learn more about what microgreens are, how they are used, the species that are suitable to grow as microgreens, and where to source seeds. Microgreens are growing on a seeding mat in a vented clamshell. Second only to sprouts, microgreens are the quickest food crop we urban gardeners can grow! Micro Mat confetti from Handy Pantry are perfect for those looking to grow wheatgrass, barley grass, microgreens, or other plants, without … Figure 1. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. The most popular media used are peat-based mixes, coconut coir, as well as mats constituted of natural (cotton, kenaf, hemp) or synthetic fibers (rockwool). Selecting the best media – Soil vs Soilless vs Hydroponic Seeing the Light – Blacking out, exposing to light, best sources of light. Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you. Microgreens are grown in a thin bed of potting soil or hydroponically in a pellet of the substrate like peat, but with a little bit of liquid fertilizer, and they can be sprouted and grown on a mixture of vermiculite and perlite or even on a few layers of paper towel. Photos: Francesco Di Gioia, Penn State. However, to make good profits out of your farm, you need the maximum yield. Seeding rates vary depending on germination rates, seed size, soil and air temperatures, and light in the growing environment. We may be adding some other items here, so do check back. Di Gioia, F. and Santamaria, P., 2015. Microgreens won’t be able to grow in coarse soil, selecting a fine soil is highly recommended. If you plan to grow microgreens continuously, for a more efficient production, it might be convenient to buy some growing trays and small tools specifically designed to produce microgreens. Over the past few years, we have been growing microgreens as part of the Hydroponics and Aquaponics course we co-teach at Pennsylvania State University. By doing this, he gets more precise cuts and prolongs the post-harvest of his microgreens while harvesting quicker. Most of the microgreen's seeds do not require any treatment. Photo: Francesco Di Gioia, Penn State, Left: Growing trays may be stacked to put some weight on larger seeds and kept in the dark. Once those are planted in the field, he starts growing a variety of microgreens in the tunnel to sell to restaurants and through the farm's vegetable subscription service. As the microgreens start growing, if the light is limited you will see the shoots leaning toward the light. And, like everything else in agriculture, the answer is... it depends. The Microgreens germinate easily on a felt mat with the right humidity (90%). Sub-irrigation, such as with ebb-and-flow systems, works well for watering microgreens trays. This disease is favored by warm, humid conditions. In class, we have used a seeding mat inside 11-inch long x 71⁄8-inch wide x 5-inch tall vented clamshells, which were seeded with a mix of microgreens with similar growth rates. Students in the Hydroponics and Aquaponics course tested an electric garden clipper, and the harvest was much quicker. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. Keep in mind microgreens will grow under less than ideal conditions because they only need a short growing period. You can create a wick hydroponic system that eliminates the mess of dirt and is self-watering. The confetti conforms to any container making it the perfect hydroponic grow medium for microgreens and wheatgrass in non-traditional containers. Water should be provided only if necessary, avoiding excess moisture and allowing drainage to prevent the development of mold. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended amount of vegetables in a 2,000-calorie diet is 2½ cup-equivalents of vegetables per day. For the microgreens we have been growing, we have had success using 10 to 15 grams of seed per standard 12-inch x 20 inches 10-row seeding tray. What are the most popular microgreen crops, and which ones are the easiest to grow. Microgreens-Novel fresh and functional food to explore all the value of biodiversity. The main recommendation is to make sure you are using material that is suitable for food production, that is clean, and that the trays have drainage holes at the bottom, which will allow to water the trays from the bottom without letting the water get in contact with the greens while enabling the excess of water to drain. If you do fertilize, using a solution with 50 to 100 ppm nitrogen is generally sufficient. His name is Darko, and he lives in Slovenia. View our privacy policy. This is because electric clippers and knives tend to tear stems. You can grow microgreens on soil, coconut coir, hemp mats, burlap, and more! At this point, besides the light, the only thing to do is to check that the seedlings have enough water. Springer, Boston, MA. Not just for protection … Given their high nutritional value and the variety of species that you can grow, microgreens have the potential to provide you with nutrient-dense greens, and the de-stressing experience of working in your home garden. The potential for using microgreens in meals is endless. Microgreens may provide you a new opportunity. Your market will determine price, quantity, and packaging, for example, in clamshells or plastic bags. Left: Day 1. If you want to speed up the growing process, use a seed starting mat for this step. One farmer mentioned that he replaces the blade on his electric knife frequently. They have an aromatic flavor and concentrated nutrient content and come in a … You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. If you are new to microgreens, these may be good ones to start with. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Microgreens growing in a greenhouse. They are a low light crop (DLI below 20 mols/m2/day). In our experience, this step promotes uniform moisture around the seed and results in more uniform stands of microgreens. Planning. In the case of sunflower and other species, maintaining the weight on top of the shoots during the germination process also facilitates the detachment of the seed hulls from the cotyledons. In selecting a place to grow your microgreens, consider that like any other plant microgreens benefit from good exposure to sunlight, therefore place them where you have more light. After distributing the seeds on the growing medium surface, it is not necessary, and it could be better to not cover the seeds with soil so that the sprouts remain clean. Complete germination. While the natural sunlight available behind a window, on a balcony, or a small porch are generally enough to grow microgreens, it is possible to supplement the natural sunlight with a source of artificial lighting specifically developed for plant growth. Microgreens production for self-consumption in a household does not require the use of any special tool and besides the seeds, you should be able to find everything you need at home or in any household-product store (Figure 1). That isn't to say that it's terrible to grow microgreens in a peat-based soil. You see, he’s always been into growing microgreens hydroponically, but wanted to test and see if there were better ways to grow microgreens. Photo: Elsa Sánchez, Penn State. After harvesting your microgreens, if your growing medium is organic you can compost it, while you can wash and re-use your planting trays or containers. Even though production time is short, microgreens are very labor-intensive, with most labor needed during planting and harvesting. Photo: Francesco Di Gioia, Penn State. The key here is to create a semi-controlled environment to achieve the best growing conditions for your greens. Yes, it’s possible to grow microgreens at home without soil using the magic of hydroponics! After selecting the species of microgreens you would like to grow and purchasing microgreens seeds, calculate the amount of seeds you need for your square, rectangular, or circular planting trays following the instruction provided here or using the Microgreens Seed Density Calculator  developed to make things very easy for you. When harvesting microgreens, cut the seedling stems, leaving the roots behind. We wouldn't call any of the trays bad. The moisture of the medium will help small seeds to stick to the surface and will keep the seeds moist during the germination process. You can also use electric knives or garden clippers. Research shows that storing at 41°F in dark storage can increase shelf-life up to 10–14 days, compared to 2–4 days in ambient conditions. For commercial sales, farmers commonly grow microgreens in protected structures like greenhouses and high tunnels. You can determine how many grams fit in a tablespoon and use it to apply seed by volume. Microgreens can grow indoors and outdoors, on a kitchen bench, on a windowsill, or on your balcony. Left: Brassica germinated seeds kept in dark 3 days after seeding. When planting most microgreens, sow seeds thickly. Bari: ECO-logica srl. You can select any organic soil mix available at your local gardening store. One advantage of using seeding mats is that they grow on almost kinds... 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