Preventing Mold Growth in Microgreens:📚Complete Guide with Tips and Tricks
Welcome to a thrilling journey through the world of microgreens seeds, trays, substrates and MOLD! Yes, we know, mold isn't exactly a very welcome topic, but even if nobody likes it, it's an important one when it comes to growing microgreens.
In this article, we'll explore why microgreens get moldy and how you can prevent it from happening. But don't worry, we won't be all doom and gloom – we'll sprinkle 🛁 in some humor along the way. So, let's dive in, shall we?
- What are Microgreens?
- Why do Microgreens Get Moldy?
- How to Prevent Mold on Microgreens
What are Microgreens?
👨🏻🌾If you are a professional grower, jump to the next paragraph.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of mold, let's make sure we're all on the same page about what microgreens actually are. Microgreens are young, tender plants that are harvested when they're just a few inches tall. They're packed with flavor and nutrition, making them a popular ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes🍵🥗. Plus, they're super easy to grow at home!
Why do microgreens get moldy?🤔
Mold on microgreens is that little white coat appearing in the trays. Do not mistake it with the little roots growing out from the seeds!
Mold on microgreens can make them impossible to sell and eat. We dont't want it! Therefore, it is crucial to understand why microgreens can get moldy and how to prevent it- especially if you are a professional grower because it can cause financial losses💸. In this paragraph, we will discuss some of the reasons why microgreens can get moldy. Going straight to the point what can cause molding:
If seeds are old, they lost their power for germination. Instead of germinating, part of them is rotting.
Dirty/contaminated seeds. 🦠
If seeds get some disease, or dirt their “skin” is covered by the rotting bacterias which cause higher risk that in some phase of growing mold will appear. It may happen even if a small part of microgreen seeds are contaminated- other seeds while growing will catch the flu as well.
Poorly stored seeds. 🏚
If seeds are stored in a humid and unventilated place. Microgreens with big seeds like:
have a lot of power inside and they are stronger and more resistant for worst conditions- they will forgive you more. Microgreens with small seeds like:
are delicate and need to be stored carefully, in temperatures under 10 celsius degrees.
Dirty/contaminated supplies. ✂️
If the supplies used for cultivation microgreens are dirty, or have some bacteria on itself they pass it to the substrate and seeds- applied mainly to the trays for growing microgreens.
Mold on sunflower sprouts⬇️
How to avoid mold on microgreens?😎
Washing the trays. 🧽🧹
We know that keeping all supplies used to grow microgreens is not easy and may be problematic, and time consuming. Especially if we have to do it after each harvesting, but it is totally necessary if we want to exclude every possible thing that may cause molding. Clean trays are fundamental for microgreens cultivation!
Chlorine based cleaners. 🧴
For cleaning the trays use cleaners based on chlorine. It is approved for organic farming to maintain purity, and what is the good information chlorine decomposes over time. You do not need to worry about your or your consumers health using it. Trust us, this is the best and the most effective cleaner.
PRO TIP: Using it you may use some hydrogen peroxide, but here remember that to kill all germs of bacteria it’s working the most effectively in 60 celsius degrees. Good luck!
Rearranging trays during blackout. ⬆️⬇️
Too high of a germination temperature causes the sprouts to simply 🥵“boil themselves”. As we wrote before, small seeds=little energy, big seeds=a lot of energy inside.
High temperature can result in destruction of the energy stored in the seeds, which is necessary for germination. ⚡️Energy for germination is used for something else that it should do. Therefore, it's very important to maintain the optimal temperature🌡 during germination.
Mold on sunflower seeds⬇️
How to do that? Remember to rearrange the trays during germination if they are stacked on top of each other to ensure that each tray receives ventilation and they are not like in the closed sauna room. We love saunas, but seeds don’t.
Additionally, it's essential to avoid exposing the sprouts during the blackout phase to direct sunlight in hot places. This can cause the temperature to rise rapidly and cook the sprouts.
Seeding in right proportions. 📏
Poorly sewn seeds can cause moldy problems in microgreen cultivation. One of the common issues is sowing too many seeds in one place, which can lead to overcrowding. To avoid this, it's essential to sow the seeds evenly and without too much in one place.
It's crucial to ensure that the seeds don't touch each other, allowing each seed to have its space to grow and access to light, and air in the later phase when leaves develop.
If the seeds are sown too densely, it can lead to dampness in the plants due to lack of 💨💨ventilation, which can result in mold growth. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that each seed has enough space to grow and that the tray is adequately ventilated to avoid any unwanted mold growth.
Watering seeds from the bottom. 🐳
Microgreens can be a little finicky when it comes to watering, and they definitely have some preferences. One thing they don't appreciate is watering from the top. You might think they'd enjoy a refreshing sprinkle, but nope - they're not big fans of getting their stems wet💦.
Instead, it's best to water from the bottom so that the roots can absorb the water they need. This will help ensure that your microgreens grow up healthy and strong, with roots that are perfectly hydrated and stems that are delightfully dry. So, next time you're tempted to give your microgreens a little shower from above, remember: bottoms up!
Check the growing substrate. 🧱
It's important to make sure that the substrate you're using for your microgreens isn't causing mold growth. If the soil is contaminated, you can try all you want, but nothing nice will grow on a dirty substrate😣. Except for mold! And let's be honest, nobody wants that.
Using compost or substrates from unknown origin can often result in mold growth, so it's essential to be cautious while selecting the substrate for your microgreens. Professional substrates are usually cleaned, disinfected, or pasteurized to prevent the occurrence of putrefactive compounds, which can lead to mold growth.
So, if you want to avoid any unwelcome surprises, it's best to opt for professional substrates for your microgreen garden💚. After all, who wants to deal with mold?
Conclusion about how to get rid of mold from microgreens✍️
This article covers some of the common reasons why microgreens can get moldy and how to prevent it. It underlines the importance of using fresh, high-quality seeds, maintaining the optimal temperature during germination, and sowing the seeds evenly to avoid overcrowding. It also highlights the significance of selecting a clean substrate and using clean cultivation trays to avoid mold growth. By following these precautions, one can grow healthy and mold-free microgreens.