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Microgreens Gardening

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Post  trolleydriver on 12/31/2016, 4:24 pm

After just one day my microgreens are showing signs of germinating. The photo shows some of the radish seeds. The arugula are sprouting as well. I need to get the lights ready. 

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Post  sanderson on 12/31/2016, 6:04 pm

Very Happy

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Post  trolleydriver on 1/2/2017, 9:51 am

The microgreens (Daikon Radish and Arugula) are now under the lights and doing well.

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Post  trolleydriver on 1/3/2017, 10:00 am

I separated the egg cartons onto their own trays for better use of the grow light. I am amazed at the length of the roots and how they have grown through the egg cartons.

Daikon Radish on the left and Arugula on the right.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 IMG_3483_zpsskukvjkt


Daikon Radish roots.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 IMG_3486_zpsmrhhmbcq


Arugula roots.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 IMG_3485_zpsuvbkkjbm
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Post  sanderson on 1/3/2017, 1:48 pm

Nice use of the egg cartons.

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Post  trolleydriver on 1/8/2017, 2:36 pm

I think the Diakon Radish microgreens are nearing harvest time. They still do not have their first set of true leaves although some are showing signs of those leaves. The Arugula microgreens have not done so well.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/8/2017, 2:46 pm

Wow!  Nice, TD!  When are you supposed to harvest them?
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/8/2017, 4:06 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  Nice, TD!  When are you supposed to harvest them?
My understanding is that they should be harvested once they get their first or second set of true leaves. I usually don't wait that long.  Very Happy
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Post  yolos on 1/8/2017, 5:15 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  Nice, TD!  When are you supposed to harvest them?
My understanding is that they should be harvested once they get their first or second set of true leaves. I usually don't wait that long.  Very Happy
I agree with TD.  I usually harvest them just as the first true leaf on at least one of the microgreens just starts to show.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/8/2017, 10:37 pm

Just saw a portion of Ask This Old House where a guy was growing & selling about 500 containers of microgreens per WEEK out of a space about 10' x 12'...
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Post  yolos on 1/19/2017, 2:50 pm

My latest microgreen growing and harvest.

Buckwheat - soaked for 48 hrs, planted 1/12, harvested 1/19, before first true leaves
Sunflower - soaked for 48 hrs, planted 1/12, harvested 1/19, 1st true leaves just started to appear.
Peas - soak for 48 hrs, planted 1/12, harvested 1/19
Daikon Radish - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19 before 1st true leaves, they were tall and long shoots
Broccoli - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19, fairly small sized and should have waited a while to harvest.
Sango (purple radish) - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19  before 1st true leaves, they were tall and long shoots, colorful plants
Savory Mix - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19, fairly small sized and should have waited a while to harvest
Umami Asian Blend - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19, fairly small sized and should have waited a while to harvest
Red Russian Kale -  planted 1/10, harvested 1/19, fairly small sized and should have waited a while to harvest
Red Stem Radish - planted 1/10, harvested 1/19 before 1st true leaves, they were tall and long shoots

A few of these would have been better to wait a few days longer before harvest.  Next time I will plant them 2 days before I plant the other varieties.  I have eight 5 inch x 5 inch flats with holes in the bottom.  I set them in a 10x20 tray with no holes. For some of the smaller varieties, I plant two different varieties in each 5x5 tray.  The small trays allow me to plant these at different times to try to have them all at the right size at one time to be harvested.  
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 Microg10

microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 Microg11

For those who asked about what I do with the soil after I harvest - I cut the plants down and then allow the soil in the flats to dry out.  Then I shake them and beat them so the soil comes loose in a large throw-away aluminum pan.  I put the roots in my compost bucket.  Then I put the pan in the oven to re-sterilize the soil (the smell does not bother me much and I open the door if it is strong). I tried putting the soil in the worm bin but seeds kept sprouting in the worm bin and would grow up thru the air holes so I stopped doing that.
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/19/2017, 3:11 pm

yolos ... thanks for your wonderful description and photos. One thing I noticed with my daikon radish microgreens was that the flavor was not as intense the longer I waited to harvest them. I need to get some more microgreens started. In addition to arugula and daikon radish, I think I will try some sunflower seeds.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 1/19/2017, 4:26 pm

Try broccoli, too, TD. They make great sprouts for me!
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Post  yolos on 1/19/2017, 5:38 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:yolos ... thanks for your wonderful description and photos. One thing I noticed with my daikon radish microgreens was that the flavor was not as intense the longer I waited to harvest them. I need to get some more microgreens started. In addition to arugula and daikon radish, I think I will try some sunflower seeds.
I will have to try a few as they grow to see when they have the most flavor.  Thanks.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/19/2017, 9:34 pm

@yolos wrote:

For those who asked about what I do with the soil after I harvest - I cut the plants down and then allow the soil in the flats to dry out.  Then I shake them and beat them so the soil comes loose in a large throw-away aluminum pan.  I put the roots in my compost bucket.  Then I put the pan in the oven to re-sterilize the soil (the smell does not bother me much and I open the door if it is strong). I tried putting the soil in the worm bin but seeds kept sprouting in the worm bin and would grow up thru the air holes so I stopped doing that.

So do you then feed & reuse the soil to start another batch, Yolos? Or just toss it in the compost?
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Post  yolos on 1/19/2017, 9:45 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
@yolos wrote:

For those who asked about what I do with the soil after I harvest - I cut the plants down and then allow the soil in the flats to dry out.  Then I shake them and beat them so the soil comes loose in a large throw-away aluminum pan.  I put the roots in my compost bucket.  Then I put the pan in the oven to re-sterilize the soil (the smell does not bother me much and I open the door if it is strong). I tried putting the soil in the worm bin but seeds kept sprouting in the worm bin and would grow up thru the air holes so I stopped doing that.

So do you then feed & reuse the soil to start another batch, Yolos?  Or just toss it in the compost?
After the soil dries, I remove the roots, then moisten, cover and bake the soil, then reuse it for more microgreens.  I only put the roots in the compost.  I don't usually use any fertilizer.  The seeds should provide all a small plant needs and I harvest them just before the 1st true leaves.  On occasion, I have used a liquid fertilizer if things don't look good enough.
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/27/2017, 5:42 pm

Starting another set of experiments with microgreens.


I bought some unbleached paper towel (expensive here in Canada) to use for example when growing mcirogreens without soil.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_160442_zpsiku45j58


I bought seeds for microgreens from Mumm's Seeds last winter.  From left to right are Arugula, Daikon Radish and Sunflower.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_161344_zps1thkdl8e


I'm starting the sunflower in an egg carton. The paper towel strip at the back is covering two holes in this egg carton top so that the soil will not fall out.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_161222_zps5k122e4i


I'm using this organic seed starting mix for the sunflower seeds since I already had it in the house.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_161531_zpsokae5frm


I put in a layer of soil and wet it down.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_161805_zpseqrazdls


Here are the sunflower seeds.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_162244_zps2ojpkxn8


Sunflower seeds on top of the soil and wet down again using a spray bottle.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_162345_zpsjqcrfhtb


A thin layer of soil on top of the seeds and wet down again.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_162718_zpsemo5aiig


I put another tray on top to keep the seeds in the dark and to keep in moisture until they sprout.  I should have pre-soaked the sunflwoer seeds for up to 48 hours so we will have to see how well they do without the pre-soak.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_162853_zps9s8e0cy9


I prepared two small trays for the arugula and radish. This is a no-soil experiment so I just layered some unbleached paper towel on the bottom of the trays and wet it down with the spray bottle.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_163750_zpsakzn4ouw


Arugula seeds in the tray on the left and radish seeds in the tray on the right.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_164138_zpszccqkkjw


I put trays on top to keep keep in the moisture until the seeds sprout.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_164309_zpsvkr2f7nq


Then covered the whole thing with a towel to keep out the light.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170127_164513_zpsevr0blrs

Let's see what happens.  Very Happy
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Post  sanderson on 1/28/2017, 2:39 pm

The second method looks like something I could try. Embarassed

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Post  trolleydriver on 1/29/2017, 3:31 pm

The mad engineer continues his microgreens experiments.

This is day 2 of these experiments. A few of the sunflower seeds sown in potting mix in an egg carton have started to sprout (no photo).

Here are the Arugula (left) and Daikon Radish (right) nicely sprouted. I have removed the coverings and am now exposing them to light.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170129_150818_zpsqpyk3c91


I am concerned that the paper towels on which the Arugula and Radish are sown will quickly dry out. So another experiment is needed. I am using an unbleached paper towel as a wick to transfer water from a container of water to the container which has the radishes.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170129_151416_zpscpra0h3x


And here is my setup.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170129_151702_zps5jhq1rrc
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Post  yolos on 1/29/2017, 7:25 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:The mad engineer continues his microgreens experiments.

I am concerned that the paper towels on which the Arugula and Radish are sown will quickly dry out. So another experiment is needed. I am using an unbleached paper towel as a wick to transfer water from a container of water to the container which has the radishes.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170129_151416_zpscpra0h3x

Ingenious.  That is using your head for something other than a hat rack.
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/30/2017, 11:18 am

@yolos wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:The mad engineer continues his microgreens experiments.

I am concerned that the paper towels on which the Arugula and Radish are sown will quickly dry out. So another experiment is needed. I am using an unbleached paper towel as a wick to transfer water from a container of water to the container which has the radishes.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170129_151416_zpscpra0h3x

Ingenious.  That is using your head for something other than a hat rack.

The wick worked "too well". It transferred (siphoned) water out of the reservoir into the bottom of the container which has the radish seeds. That container has drainage holes on the bottom.  When I looked this morning there was a lot of water in the tray under the container and a lot of water had drained out of the reservoir. The seeds are sitting in a lake.  I have abandoned this setup. If may try it again but I will place the top of the water reservoir at the same height as the tray underneath the seeds. I am hoping this will stop the siphoning of the water out of the reservoir and will water the seed container from underneath. I'll post photos.
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/30/2017, 12:22 pm

Here is the new experimental self-watering (wick) setup. I moved the growing arugula and radish sprouts out of their small plastic containers and put them (along with more paper towel) on a shallow plastic tray. The water reservoir is in front of and below the level of the tray. The wick can be seen coming out of the reservoir and going up into the tray. I disturbed the microgreens while moving them so I expect I will be eating them as sprouts rather than microgreens.

microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170130_120952_zps5sthkgxx


The sunflower seeds are sprouting in their egg carton container.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170130_120945_zpskx8ucsxc
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Post  trolleydriver on 1/31/2017, 6:13 pm

Day 4 

The Arugula and Daikon Radish microgreens with their paper towel wick watering system which is working very well.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170131_175649_zpsshnu7ywv


The Sunflower microgreens in their egg carton container and manual watering system.
microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 20170131_175654_zpsr8hyvrs8
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/31/2017, 9:21 pm

Nice!
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Post  yolos on 2/1/2017, 9:31 am

I experimented - I cut down my pea microgreens about a week ago.  I cut them down but left one joint/branch at the bottom.  I was testing to see if they regrew.  Yep they did.  Here is a picture.

microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 8 Microg12
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