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 Baby Blanket, in a Compostable Tray - or for bigger crops you can use a 10x20 Tray, or another of our Growing Trays.
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 Compostable Tray if I am going for Cotyledons (the first leaves), or
a 5x5 Nursery Tray if I want True Leaves.
The Nursery Tray is deeper - which gives the roots more room to grow - so the plants can grow bigger more easily.
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.
Compostable Tray = 1 tsp. - 2 tsp.
5x5 Nursery 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 - like our 5x5, 10x10, or 10x20 inch Nursery Trays.
Spread seeds as evenly as you can - all over your thoroughly moistened Medium.
Do Not Cover your crop, unless you have a clear cover. Basil will actually germinate more quickly (a day or so sooner) in the light.
Place your Micro-Garden in a lighted, room temperature location (70° is optimal).
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 takes place - 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 amazing little plants have a unique root structure. They may show microscopic roots starting a couple days after they germinate. 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?!
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!