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Hello Guest!
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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Microgreens Gardening

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Post  CapeCoddess 10/19/2015, 4:20 pm

This new microgreens experiment is very exciting! Thanks for including us. Makes me want to pull out my saved daikon seeds and make some plain ol' sprouts in a jar.
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/19/2015, 5:48 pm

Hmm you just gave me an idea what to do with some of my saved seeds too!
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Post  trolleydriver 10/19/2015, 6:16 pm

It's 22 hours since the seeds were taken out of the packet and put into water to soak for a few hours and its about 19 hours since they were transferred to the paper towel.  Here is what they look like as they "break out". It will be interesting to see how they root into the paper towel.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 10/19/2015, 6:26 pm

FUN!  An-ti-ci-pation ...


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 10/19/2015, 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : It was anti-cipation, which is against cipation.....)
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Post  yolos 10/19/2015, 9:14 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:This new microgreens experiment is very exciting!  Thanks for including us.  Makes me want to pull out my saved daikon seeds and make some plain ol' sprouts in a jar.  
CC

+1  I have been googling and watching you tube videos so I will be ready to start when my company leaves.
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Post  sanderson 10/20/2015, 4:08 am

Just curious, how do those cracked seeds taste. It seems they would be a good additive to certain dishes.

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Post  trolleydriver 10/20/2015, 9:03 am

I tried a couple of the cracked sprouted seeds this morning. They tasted a bit crunchy with a radish flavor. Quite good actually. But now I have to leave the others to become tasty microgreens.

This is an interesting experiment since they are growing in soilless conditions on paper towel soaked only in ordinary tap water. It's a bit like hydroponics without the additives or is it going to be "hydroponics gone wrong"?
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Post  CapeCoddess 10/20/2015, 11:46 am

sanderson wrote:Just curious, how do those cracked seeds taste.  It seems they would be a good additive to certain dishes.

They are used in a Trader's rice mix and are SO yummy! But I make sure to eat that for breakfast or lunch, and not dins, since they work as a diuretic on me.
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Post  Yardslave 10/20/2015, 12:34 pm

Half sprouted grains that are roasted dry are the basis for the maltose found in beer and sprouted rye is which is used for rye whiskys. Guinness beer's dark color comes from over-toasted barley sprouts.  microgreens - Microgreens Gardening - Page 3 3170584802
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Post  trolleydriver 10/20/2015, 1:13 pm

Thanks Yardslave. I'm not much of a beer drinker but I do like a Guinness once in a while.
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/20/2015, 1:47 pm

Don't eat the seed covers from beans. They can be toxic.
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Post  trolleydriver 10/20/2015, 3:00 pm

Thanks for the warning Marc.
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Post  trolleydriver 10/20/2015, 6:18 pm

Experiment #2 after almost two days.

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Post  yolos 10/20/2015, 6:59 pm

TD, how is the wicking paper towel working out.  Does that paper towel stay damp or do you have to spray it a little.
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Post  trolleydriver 10/20/2015, 7:05 pm

yolos wrote:TD, how is the wicking paper towel working out.  Does that paper towel stay damp or do you have to spray it a little.

It's really hard to say since I am spraying lightly twice per day. But the paper does not seem to be drying out between sprays.
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Post  trolleydriver 10/21/2015, 5:13 pm

This morning I moved Experiment #2 out of the dark and placed it in front of a window. By late afternoon the microgreens had greened up nicely.

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Post  trolleydriver 10/22/2015, 12:28 pm

yolos ... Today I left the top off the mini-greenhouse for a few hours and did not spray the microgreens. The moisture clinging to the inside of the top has all evaporated and the top is dry. However, the paper towel on which the microgreens are growing is still very wet. So it looks like the wicking process is working and sucking up the water from the container to the top paper towel.
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Post  yolos 10/22/2015, 10:33 pm

Thanks for the update TD.  My house guests are leaving on Sunday so I will still have to wait a while to get started in microgreen growing.
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/23/2015, 3:15 am

You can sprout in virtually anything, though, and then just transfer the sprouts.
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Post  trolleydriver 10/23/2015, 8:32 am

Marc, sorry but I'm not sure what you mean and how it relates to my experiments with growing microgreens

I first soaked the seeds in water and some were already starting to crack open (sprouted) when I transferred them to the paper towel. Now they are rooting into the paper towel. I can hold onto the microgreens by their leaves/stems and pull the wet paper towel right of the top of the container. This will make it easy to clip off the microgreens near the paper towel which is easier and cleaner than trying to cut them just above the soil or MM when grown in that soil.

BTW this paper towel method is working OK for radish microgreens but I don't think it would work for larger seeds such as sunflower. Those I will grow in MM. As well, since their are no added nutrients in the water (unlike with true hydroponics) growing this way most likely does not produce the best microgreens since they only get the nutrients they started out with in their seeds.

Here are some good explanations of sprouts versus microgreens.

http://steamykitchen.com/32446-grow-microgreens-sprouts-and-baby-greens.html

http://theherbman.ca/5-differences-between-microgreens-and-sprouts/

http://www.cuesa.org/article/raw-truth-about-sprouts-and-microgreens
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Post  trolleydriver 10/23/2015, 9:51 am

First of all my apologies to Marc if my comment in the previous post did not come across in a kind way.

After I wrote the previous post I started thinking about combining the methods from experiments 1 and 2.  My idea was to use MM as the soil and to cover it with paper towel. That way I get the best of both worlds ... a good nutrient laden soil for the roots and a clean surface which makes it easier for both sowing and harvesting.

Then I went to the kitchen to make a green smoothie. I often put flax seeds in my smoothies. The light bulb went on in my head! Why not grow flax microgreens? With that in mind I went to YouTube to see if anyone was growing flax microgreens.

What I found was a video on growing flax microgreens on soil covered with paper towel! Someone had already implemented my ideas. Here it is and this will be Experiment #3 for me starting today. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj1QszEkQ28

The bottom line for growing microgreens is that it is easy and does not have to be expensive. You do not need fancy containers or expensive grow lights.

Onward then to Experiment #3 of this journey. I will also start Experiment #4 which will be sunflower seeds grown in MM with no paper towel.
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Post  yolos 10/23/2015, 12:03 pm

Here is a video from the same guy as TD linked to above.  He talks about where he buys his microgreen seeds.  Wish we had a whole foods store near us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXsWOD4YvVQ
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Post  Marc Iverson 10/23/2015, 2:39 pm

trolleydriver wrote:Marc, sorry but I'm not sure what you mean and how it relates to my experiments with growing microgreens

I was actually responding to yolos, in the post right above mine. Maybe I should have used the quote feature.

She said she's waiting for her guests to leave before starting her microgreens. My response was on the order of, Why wait?

... since you can start most seeds so easily, it should only take a few seconds, some tepid water, and something to put it in. Then transfer them however and wherever.

No harm, no foul.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 10/23/2015, 4:02 pm

[quote="trolleydriver"]This morning I moved Experiment #2 out of the dark and placed it in front of a window. By late afternoon the microgreens had greened up nicely.

OK, I know nothing about any of this; could you harvest the whole plant, including seed pods and they would be sprouts at that point?
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Post  trolleydriver 10/23/2015, 4:38 pm

SR ... yes I think you could do that but this would not be the most efficient way of growing sprouts. Some people grow sprouts in a jar with a mesh over the mouth of the jar. You need to be careful about mold using the jar method. The mesh allows you to frequently wash the sprouts and drain off the water to help prevent mold. In addition, food grade hydrogen peroxide is sometimes added to the water.

Marc ... thanks for that clarification. You are absolutely right about starting them that way.


Here is a tutorial on growing flax seed sprouts/microgreens on a simple terracotta plate. So simple!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui15nggHauI
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