Microgreens alphabet for microgreeners👨🏻🌾- all you need to know when starting your microgreen journey🚂
Starting your journey as a microgreens grower can be an exciting, yet difficult and bringing-some-questions experience. You may find yourself wondering, "What does germination mean?" or "What is a blackout?" Don't worry, you're not alone. We have been there, we have done that. We are meeting greenhorns which we are making up for green thumbs👍.
With the help of our alphabet for microgreens growers, you'll be one step ahead and well on your way to growing beautiful and delicious microgreens. Our alphabet covers everything from A to Z (almost), providing you with easy-to-understand short descriptions and tips for basic aspects of microgreens growing.
So, whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, our alphabet will help you navigate the world of microgreens with confidence and ease.
Hey, ho, let’s go!⬇️
The Alphabet for Microgreens Growers👩🏼🏫
A - like Antioxidants:
Microgreens are known to have high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
B - like Blackout:
Blackout is the time when soaked or not soaked microgreens seeds are resting under the cover, without any light. It is needed because it is pretending to be a natural process by covering it with soil in a natural microgreens environment. Blackout stimulates “searching for light”☀️ and the growing process.
How to do blackout? After sowing your seeds, cover the tray with another tray, blackout dome or a piece of cardboard to encourage germination. You can leave the seeds in a dark room as well, but it is good to press them from above to guarantee contact with the wet substrate.
Check how long of blackout is needed for a particular variety of microgreens on the product description.
C - like Coco mat:🥥
A natural fiber mat made from coconut husks that can be used as a growing medium for microgreens. It makes the microgreens cultivation process clean and easy, coco mats has good water retention, drainage and aeration properties, making it an excellent alternative to traditional soil or peat moss. Remember to use fertilizer while using it.
C - like Coco coir:
A popular growing medium for microgreens, made from the fibrous husks of coconut shells. It is an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to peat moss, and has excellent water💦 retention and drainage properties. Coco coir is also pH neutral, which makes it an ideal choice for a variety of microgreens. Remember to use fertilizer while using it.
C - Cotyledons:🌱
The first set of leaves that appear on a microgreen are called cotyledons. These leaves provide the plant with its initial source of energy until the true leaves start to grow. Take a look at the cultivation tips on every product cart- sometimes cotyledons are the sign when to harvest the microgreens.
E - Edible Flowers:🌸
Some microgreens, like nasturtiums and violas, produce edible flowers that can add a pop of color and flavor to your dishes. And let me tell you something! Restaurant chefs love it!
F - Fertilizer:
Some microgreens grow quickly and do not need fertilizer and some of them require fertilization. Usually we do it once in the beginning of the growing process.
PRO TIP:You need to use the fertilizer when you are using coco coir or coco mats because usually they are washed in the preparation process so they are clean from dirt but from natural vitamins as well.
Choose a fertilizer that is specifically designed for microgreens.
G - Germination:
This is the process of the seed sprouting and the plant starting to grow. It is connected or even the same as blackout, so jum to blackout description.
H - like Harvesting:✂️
The process of cutting mature microgreens from the growing medium. Harvesting at the right time is important for obtaining the best flavor and nutrition from the microgreens.
Generally, microgreens are ready to harvest when the first true leaves have appeared. Harvesting can be done using scissors or by a very, very sharp knife. Once harvested, the microgreens should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days for optimal freshness.
M - like Mold:
A common problem that can occur during microgreen growing, especially if the growing conditions are not optimal. Mold can lead to poor growth and even the loss of the entire crop. It is important to maintain proper ventilation, moisture levels, and sanitation to prevent mold growth.
If you want to know more about mold, 📚check the guide: How to prevent mold with tips and tricks.
R - Roots:
The roots of your microgreens are crucial to their growth and development. The roots of microgreens should be totally white🏳- this is a sign that microgreen is healthy. Make sure to provide them with enough space to grow by using shallow trays.
S - Soaking:
Soaking your seeds before sowing them can help to speed up the germination process. The rule is simple here: big seeds (Pea, ChickPea, Nasturtium) = soaking, small seeds (Amaranth) = no soaking.
How to soak the seeds? Simply soak them in water💦 for a few hours before sowing. If you want to know more about soaking, read the article: to soak it or not to soak it.
PRO TIP: Sometimes you may use the warm water to soak the seeds.
S - Seeds:
Choosing high-quality seeds is key to a successful microgreens harvest. Make sure to purchase your seeds from a reputable supplier🥇. Check the purpose of the seeds that you are buying: if they are good for microgreens only or for sprouts as well.
T - Trays:
You'll need trays to sow your microgreens in. Use the tray that fits your growing methods and space. It is best to buy trays in pairs: with holes and no holes so they are perfectly matching each other. Make sure to choose trays that are shallow and have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
T - True leaves:
The second set of leaves that appear on a microgreen are called the true leaves. This is when the plant starts to photosynthesize and grow at a faster rate. Some microgreens should be grown to this early phase.
V - Vitamins:
Microgreens are packed with vitamins and nutrients, making them a great addition to any dish. The most interesting thing is that microgreens contain multiple times more vitamins than their grown counterparts which makes them very, very special!
In summary, the "Alphabet for Microgreens Growers" is a collection of basic but important words related to microgreens growing, each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Each word has been explained in easy-to-understand way, covering topics such as germination, blackout, fertilization, or harvesting. For those interested in learning more, links to additional information have been provided.
If there is anything missing or readers have questions, they are encouraged to let us know.