Yields approximately three times as many Micro-Greens (by weight) as seed "planted"
We put quotes around Planted because the seeds are spread atop a medium - not planted under.
PLEASE read the contents of Notes Tab (to the right)
for variations and a whole lot more information.
Grow these on the ultimate medium -
Coconut Coir, soil, or a soilless medium like Hemp Felt, in a Compostable Tray - or for bigger crops you can use a Growing Tray, like our Half-Crop Tray Set - or go round with our Stainless Steel Sprouter, or its smaller sibling, our small Stainless Steel Sprouter, or - grow them upon a flat Hemp Bag, or in our gorgeous Euro-Sprouter.
I know - too many choices. That's our biggest problem here at Sproutpeople. Choices!
So I'm going to tell you the way I (who have every possible option available) grow Micros.
I always use Coconut Coir!
I mix Earthworm Castings into my Coconut Coir for added nitrogen (which is very good for green plant growth), at a rate of 25% Castings to 75% Coconut Coir.
I grow in our Stainless Steel Sprouter, or its smaller sibling, our small Stainless Steel Sprouter - though I do still like to grow in Trays, like we did when we were professional growers. When I do, I use our Half-Crop Tray Set - because it fits in our (small) kitchen. It's 10x10 inches. Whether I'm growing Cotyledons (my general preference) or going for True Leaves - all these Trays are 2 inches deep. That's the way I grow. I like a deep medium.
Thoroughly moisten the Medium upon which you are going to grow.
Measure your seed
For a thick crop of Cotyledon (first leaf) Micro-Greens plant the larger amount. For bigger, True Leaf Micros plant the smaller amount.
Stainless Steel Sprouter = 1 - 2 Tbs.
small Stainless Steel Sprouter = 1/2 - 1 Tbs.
Compostable Tray = 1 tsp. - 2 tsp.
5x5 Tray = 1 tsp. - 2 tsp.
10x10 Tray = 1 - 2 Tbs.
10x20 Tray = 2 - 4 Tbs.
Hemp Bag = 2 - 4 tsp.
Euro-Sprouter = 1 - 2 tsp.
If you are going for True Leaves you really must use a Growing Tray that is at least 2 inches deep, and plant on Coir with Castings.
Spread seeds as evenly as you can - all over your thoroughly moistened Medium.
If your growing on a pad, like our Hemp Felt, mist the seeds with a Spray Bottle to provide them more water to soak up.
Cover your crop: If you're planting in a 5x5 Tray use another identical tray - up side down. Same thing with other Trays. If using a Compostable Tray snap the clear lid on for the first 2-3 days. If using a Hemp Bag, or another medium - be creative. If it's on a plate then use an identical plate (upside down) as a cover. For the Euro-Sprouter - use the cover that comes with it. It is not mandatory when growing Micro-Greens to cover them at all. Experiment for yourself and see what works best in your climate/location. I covered everything for 27 years- but I now have questions thanks to growing in our Stainless Steel Sprouter - about whether covering helps every crop. It doesn't hurt - I KNOW that, but - well - watch this movie if you care about this fine point, otherwise grow on...
Place your Micro-Garden in a low-light, room temperature location (70° is optimal).
If your growing on Hemp Felt, mist the seeds with a Spray Bottle once or twice a day, until the roots bury themselves in the hemp.
If growing on Coconut Coir - your seeds will get all they need from the Coir, but mist once a day if it pleases you to do so.
Growing and Greening
You are working with mucilaginous seeds. Every seed will take up water from the thoroughly moistened medium and will surround itself with a gel sack. That sack has all the water the seed needs to germinate. You won't need to water again until germination begins.
Once germination occurs - keep the medium moist by watering gently or misting with a Spray Bottle every day or three. The deal with watering is that the deeper your medium, the less you need to water, and the plants won't require a lot of water until they get growing big - at which point you may need to drench the medium every day. When using our Compostable Tray (which has no drainage) you can pour off excess water by tipping it.
Note: These wonderful little Brassica plants have a unique root structure. Brassicas will show microscopic roots starting on day 2 or 3. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before watering - when the plants are at their driest. These root hairs impress many people as mold - but they are not. When you water your crop the root hairs collapse back against the tap root. Viola! No root hairs! Now you know. Isn't learning fun?!
When your plants grow up and begin to shed their hulls they are ready for light so move them (if necessary) to a well lighted location. If you go with sunlight - water more frequently. Room light will usually do quite nicely - and will not dry out your medium as quickly. One consideration here - if you are going for True Leaves you should definitely use sunlight in a warm place.
The most beautiful Micro-Greens we have ever seen were grown in a greenhouse in Burlington, Vermont (in summer) by our friends Spencer and Mara at Half-Pint Farm. Just had to mention that. They taught me and Lori a lot!
Keep the medium moist by watering regularly. Water from the side if possible to prevent injuring the tiny plants.
When your plants have open leaves which are green, they are done - unless you're going for True Leaves, in which case you need to keep watering and tending for another week or more.
Cut the plants just above the medium upon which they have grown. During the final 8-12 hours minimize the surface moisture of your plants - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch. So if you water try to keep the water off the plants - just water the medium.
When you are ready to store them (I'll remind you that these degrade fairly quickly, so eat them instead of storing them if you can), if they are still damp - lay them between some paper towels or anything you prefer, and dry them very gently. Transfer your crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice - glass is good. We sell an amazing Produce Storage Bag that actually extends the shelf life of produce, if you're interested in the best of the best =;-) Whatever you store them in; put them in your refrigerator - if you must.
Great Job Sprout farmer!