Microgreens are small in stature but offer a whole heap of antioxidants. They are nutritious, tasty, and also add a colorful boost to your plates. Since microgreens are so fragile, however, they are very expensive, especially when out of season. Many gardeners grow microgreens to add to their healthy diet without breaking the bank. Choosing the right seeds as a gardener will save you time and money in the long run.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Seeds
- If you have decided to try your hand at gardening, choosing the right seeds is of the utmost importance. You will be investing time, money, and energy into this enterprise, and so you need to make sure you make the best possible investment. Several criteria go into making a quality choice:
- Know your source. Choosing a reputable seed company will give you confidence that you are buying the best possible product.
- Check the germination rate. If you are spending money, you want all the seeds you plant to grow, not just a scant few.
- Look for untreated seeds. Seeds are often treated with fungicides and insecticides, which are fine for growing large plants but are a hindrance to growing microgreens.
The Benefits of Untreated and Organic Seeds
When you are growing microgreen seeds, your only choice really is to use untreated seeds. In planting the full version of broccoli or radishes or cilantro, often the seeds are treated with fungicides or insecticides. When buying seeds to plant microgreens, you need to use only untreated since the growth time is so short and the microgreens are so small.
These seeds are held to a higher standard and you should seek organic seeds whenever possible. Organic seeds are certified as to the fact that they have not been grown with pesticides. These would make healthier microgreens.
The Importance of Choosing Quality Seeds
Quality seeds are imperative for microgreen growth. Since the microgreens grow so quickly and are harvested so early, there is little room for error. Healthy germination is the key issue. If you buy organic or untreated seeds from a reputable establishment, you are more likely to have a bountiful harvest.
Buy in Small Quantities Until You Find the Variety You Like
Not only is there a wide variety of microgreens you could choose to grow, (broccoli, mustard greens, turnips, cabbage, radishes, and many others,) but there is also a wide variety of companies from which you can purchase your seeds. A good rule of thumb is to buy a few types and a few seeds and experiment with the types and companies you like. Do the experimenting before you invest too much money in seeds you don’t want or a company that is not at the top of its game.
Once You Find the Variety You Like, Buying in Bulk Will Save You Money
As is the case with many items, you will save money if you buy microgreen seeds in bulk. Bulk supplies are cheaper for several reasons, including packaging and advertising, and businesses can pass on the savings to you. Additionally, there is often free or reduced shipping associated with bulk purchases that can help your bottom line.
The Importance of Taking Care of your Seeds
Just like the microgreens themselves, the seeds of microgreens are extremely delicate and susceptible to many problems.
If microgreen seeds are not taken care of, they will not be able to germinate properly.
- The rate at which they germinate will be negatively affected.
- This is vital because when you plant seeds they should all grow at the same time, not in a patchwork situation.
- Seeds are susceptible to mold, and this is especially true if different types of seeds are stored together.
- Microgreen seeds are extremely fragile. The bottom line is that if not stored properly, the seeds will perish.
How to Take Care of Your Microgreen Seeds
Luckily, there are many things you can do to protect your seeds as you store them, in order to guarantee a more productive harvest.
Seeds should be stored in darkness. Since light is a key to photosynthesis, storing seeds in darkness will keep them from sprouting prematurely.
- Seeds need to be kept cold, and the magic number is below 50 degrees. They can also be stored in a refrigerator or freezer, but do not take them back and forth from each place.
- The humidity, or moisture in the air, is especially important to keep your seeds in great shape. A humidity rate of 19-27% is ideal.
- Keep your seeds in an airtight container.
- Seeds need to be kept dry. To this end, keep them away from condensation as well as open water.
5 Easiest Microgreen Seeds to Grow as a Beginner
The following five microgreen seeds are easy to get started with, and you will quickly see results, as well as nutrient-rich sprouts on your dinner plates! Planting seeds in trays will yield great results, as you keep an eye on the amount of light and water you offer them. These are easy to grow and do not require any fancy equipment or tricks.
- Red stem radishes are extremely easy to grow and germinate very quickly. The seeds are large so they are easy to plant, and the radish microgreens can be on your table in 7 days.
- Kohlrabi, a cabbage type vegetable, also grows in as little as 7 days. The kohlrabi seeds are small and round (and sometimes bounce when you plant them,) but they grow quickly and taste delicious.
- Broccoli microgreens are harvested before the first leaves grow, and have a delicious crunch to add to any plate.
- Basil is easy to plant and you will be eating the antioxidant-rich microgreens in about 15 days.
- Cilantro adds a peppery bite to your foods and takes just over two weeks to grow.
No matter which variety of seeds you choose to start with, the key is to use untreated or organic seeds, and take care of them before planting. This will ensure proper germination, a bountiful harvest, and a healthy plate for you and your family.