There are different types of micro greens out there, and choosing among them can be overwhelming. With different types of micro greens, with each type having differing microgreens benefits, selecting the right microgreen varieties can be a challenge for some.
Keep reading this article as it has various examples of microgreens with so many purported health advantages, especially because microgreens are enjoying unprecedented popularity among people who prefer more organic lifestyle approaches.
- Types of Microgreens
- Frequently Asked Questions
- – What Is So Special About Microgreens?
- – What Are the Health Benefits of Microgreens?
- – Is It Better to Use Organic Microgreen Seeds?
- – Can I Regrow Microgreens After Cutting?
- – Do We Need to Cover the Microgreen Seeds in the Dark?
- – When Is the Best Time to Expose Microgreens to Light?
- – When Do We Water Microgreens?
- – Can Mold Spots Grow in My Microgreen Trays?
- – What Causes Mold Spots to Grow?
- – How Can I Prevent Mold Spots From Growing in My Microgreens?
- – Can I Reuse the Soil After Harvesting My Microgreens?
- – What Can I Do With the Used Microgreen Soil?
- – Can Microgreens Grow To Full Size?
- – Why Do My Microgreens Germinate Slowly?
- – Why Are My Microgreens Are Turning Yellow?
- – Why are my microgreens wilting?
- – Why do my microgreens smell bad?
- – Why Are My Microgreens Clumping?
- – Why Are There Pests in My Microgreens?
- – How Do I Get Rid of Pests in My Microgreens?
- – How Long Will Microgreens Last?
- – How Do You Know When Microgreens Are Ready to Pick?
- – Do Microgreens Really Need 24 Hours of Light?
- – What Soil Is Best for Growing Microgreens?
- – Do Microgreens Need Heat To Germinate?
- – Can You Grow Microgreens All Year Round?
- – Do Microgreens Need Fertilizer?
- – Does pH Matter for Microgreens?
- – Can You Grow Microgreens in Cold Weather?
Types of Microgreens
|Microgreen Families||Ways of Existance|
|The Brassicaeceae Family||Usually they are herbs|
|The Asteraceae Family||Exist in forms of shrubs, trees, and herbs|
|The Apiaceae Family||Exist as herbs or annuals|
|The Amaryllidaceae Family||Exist as herbs and plants|
|The Amaranthaceae Family||Exist as perennials and annuals|
|The Cucurbitaceae Family||Exist as prostrate herbs|
|The Poaceae Family||Exist as tree-like shrubs, perennials, and herbs|
|The Lamiaceae Family||Exist in forms of annual herbs or perennial herbs|
– The Brassicaceae Family
Brassicaceae boasts some famous plants in its family, they are edible microgreens. Popular varieties include arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, radish, turnip, and watercress. It is one of the most popular microgreens that are often consumed.
– The Asteraceae Family
Best known for its flowering plants, the Asteraceae family also includes many spices and plants that would make wonderful microgreens. Common microgreens under this family include marigolds, lettuce, and chicory.
– The Apiaceae Family
The Apiaceae family has many plants under this unit, with many used as herbs and spices. Some notable spices and herbs include anise, coriander, cumin, and dill. This family also has many plants that are popularly used as microgreens aside from being used as mature counterparts such as carrots, celery, and parsley.
– The Amaryllidaceae Family
The Amaryllidaceae plant family is more famous for its flowers. You would be surprised to learn that chives, garlic, onions, and leeks are part of the Amaryllidaceae family. This plant family has many members that are perfect for growing as microgreens.
– The Amaranthaceae Family
Red is the dominant color of many plants in the Amaranthaceae family. Plants like beets and chard belong to the Amaranthaceae plant family. Over the years, many plants under this plant family have been grown and harvested as microgreens for their nutritious content.
– The Cucurbitaceae Family
The plant family of Cucurbitaceae is from the list of microgreens which include cucumbers, gourds, melons, pumpkins, and squashes. Mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions, plants under the Cucurbitaceae family usually are vining inhabit and known for the fruits which are often large and edible.
– The Poaceae Family
This plant family includes many kinds of cereal and grasses such as barley, corn, oats, rice, and wheatgrass. Many legumes fall under the Poaceae family of plants such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
– The Lamiaceae Family
The Lamiaceae plant family includes many common herbs like basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, and sage. Microgreens grown from these plants provide a stronger and more intense flavor to many delectable dishes. They are one of the common microgreens that you can easily pick up at stores or simply grow at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
– What Is So Special About Microgreens?
Microgreens are nutritious, they are tender young vegetables that are considered baby plants. Microgreens are different from sprouts since sprouts do not have true leaves. Microgreens are usually harvested in one to three weeks, depending on the variety, upon the emergence of their true leaves.
Microgreens are special because typically they have aromatic flavors with concentrated amounts of nutrients. Microgreens come in a diverse range of textures, colors, and shapes. The leaves and stems of these baby plants are the only parts that are harvested. Microgreens have risen in popularity due to the ease of growing them.
– What Are the Health Benefits of Microgreens?
Most microgreens are notably higher in nutritional content than their mature counterparts. They tend to have increased concentrations of potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Microgreens also provide high levels of antioxidants that help slow down body aging.
Promising studies have shown microgreens can affect degenerative diseases and disorders. Some examples show that the triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels may be lowered by polyphenols.
Some microgreens have been shown to enhance cellular sugar uptake, alleviating diabetic symptoms. Diets rich in antioxidants have been linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancers.
While more studies are required before arriving at strong and certain conclusions, adding microgreens into our diets can certainly help meet our daily nutritional requirements.
– Is It Better to Use Organic Microgreen Seeds?
Using organic microgreen seeds is preferable since their use benefits organic farmlands tremendously. Another benefit to using organic microgreen seeds is their safety. As you will be consuming them so close to their sprouting time, it is generally safer to consume microgreens that are organically produced.
– Can I Regrow Microgreens After Cutting?
Most microgreens do not regrow. However, some microgreens with one healthy leaf left have better chances of surviving and regrowing. The growth rate will be much slower and can result in stunted development under this condition.
Aside from the appearance, the taste will change. It is ultimately better to consume them entirely or, if unavoidable, throw everything away and start from scratch.
– Do We Need to Cover the Microgreen Seeds in the Dark?
Covering microgreen seeds in darkness is necessary to encourage them to grow into long, tender seedlings. This is why most growers will cover the seedlings for three to five days after seed germination but not any longer.
The length can go longer depending on the kind of microgreens that have been selected. Once the cover is removed, the microgreens will start to become thicker, fuller, and leafier.
– When Is the Best Time to Expose Microgreens to Light?
The best time to expose your microgreen seedlings will mostly depend on the variety of microgreens you have chosen. Some take three to five days, while others take longer or shorter time frames.
Follow the instructions based on the variety you chose, and expose them to light as recommended. You will know that they are ready for light exposure by their long, pale, and yellow condition.
– When Do We Water Microgreens?
You will need to water your microgreen trays twice a day just to keep them moist. Depending on your local weather and temperature, you may need to water them more often or less frequently. Make sure that the microgreen growing condition is moist and humid but not soggy.
– Can Mold Spots Grow in My Microgreen Trays?
The presence of dark heavy spots near your microgreen seedlings can be mold. However, you need to make sure that they are indeed mold spots and not root hairs. Root hairs are white and fuzzy, and they have light growths around the base of your seedlings. Mold spots can grow almost anywhere.
– What Causes Mold Spots to Grow?
Mold spots are caused by high humidity, low air circulation, and unclean tray conditions.
– How Can I Prevent Mold Spots From Growing in My Microgreens?
Make sure that you thoroughly wash and clean your germination trays. Make sure your containers have enough ventilation for air circulation. Refrain from overseeding your tray.
– Can I Reuse the Soil After Harvesting My Microgreens?
Many growers discourage reusing microgreen soil due to possible pathogens, microbes, and bacteria that might be present. This can be especially problematic if you plan to grow different new varieties as the pathogens can stunt their growth.
– What Can I Do With the Used Microgreen Soil?
The best option for your used microgreen soil would be as an addition to your compost. The beneficial worms and microorganisms in your compost would greatly enjoy and appreciate the microgreen roots.
– Can Microgreens Grow To Full Size?
Microgreens are grown to be small. Their compact and packed growing conditions mean that they will have difficulties growing into bigger specimens. However, if you grow them to be regular vegetables and not as microgreens, the seedlings will mature to their full size.
– Why Do My Microgreens Germinate Slowly?
Microgreens can develop slowly due to inadequate growing conditions. One of such conditions is not giving them enough darkness in their first few days. Depending on the variety, microgreens will need a certain number of days to germinate under darkness. If you do not give them this condition, germination may take longer or not at all.
Once germination is evident, microgreens will need light. If there is a lack of light, they may not grow properly. Another reason is that there may be too many seeds in one area. When there are too many seeds crowding the area, they will be competing for limited amounts of light, water, and nutrients.
– Why Are My Microgreens Are Turning Yellow?
When grown in the dark, your microgreens will naturally turn yellowish because the chlorophyll has not yet reacted to sunlight. Once your microgreens have some sun exposure, photosynthesis will happen, and they will turn into their appropriate colors.
If your microgreens are still yellowish despite being exposed to sunlight, they could be overwatered. Make sure you water your microgreens as required. Another reason could be the use of fertilizers mixed in with your soil.
Microgreens normally do not require fertilizers, so you may want to check your soil to see if it comes premixed with fertilizers. If you are still intent on using fertilizers, make sure that they are specifically for microgreen use.
– Why are my microgreens wilting?
Microgreens can wilt due to several factors. One of them is that they are underwatered. Try to add more water to see if your microgreens will perk up once they absorb more moisture. Refrain from drying out your microgreens.
Another reason for wilt is that they are overcrowded. You can thin out your microgreens if you suspect this is the case. Once your microgreens get thinned out, they will have less competition for light, water, and nutrients.
– Why do my microgreens smell bad?
Foul smells can be caused by mold. Mold occurs when microgreens are overwatered. The stagnant water can cause the microgreen stems to rot. Other factors that can contribute to foul microgreen odor are overcrowding, extreme temperatures, insufficient ventilation, and high humidity.
– Why Are My Microgreens Clumping?
Clumping occurs when your microgreens are overcrowded. Always make sure that your microgreens have enough space in between to keep each seedling healthy without competing for essential resources.
– Why Are There Pests in My Microgreens?
Some pests, such as plant lice, thrips, and whiteflies, can sometimes find their way into microgreen trays. This condition can be caused by poor growing conditions that cause unhealthy seedlings to be vulnerable to pests. Pests are attracted to plants that are unable to defend themselves.
– How Do I Get Rid of Pests in My Microgreens?
The easiest way to get rid of pests is actually prevention. Make sure your microgreens are under good growing conditions so that they are healthy. Healthy microgreens are better able to defend against pests, and most pests usually steer clear of healthy plants.
Some gardeners use pesticides, but these can be harmful when consumed. The best course of action when majority of your microgreens have pest infestation is to throw them away safely.
Once you have made sure that the infected batch of microgreens no longer poses a threat to new ones, you can begin again. This time, you can ensure that your microgreens grow under good conditions. Keep your microgreens away from other plants to prevent any cross infestation.
– How Long Will Microgreens Last?
Microgreens usually last for 10 to 12 days, but this will also depend on other factors, such as microgreen varieties and storage methods. Shelf life will always vary depending on the type of microgreen you have and the way you store them.
The most ideal storage method is to place your microgreens in containers with some damp paper towels to keep them hydrated but not soggy.
– How Do You Know When Microgreens Are Ready to Pick?
Most microgreens are ready to be harvested within two to three weeks after they have been planted. This makes them ideal for gardeners who prefer quick crop harvests. Some microgreens take a shorter harvest time, whereas others take longer, depending on the variety.
– Do Microgreens Really Need 24 Hours of Light?
Microgreens actually need a minimum of six hours of light exposure. However, they respond very well when they have 18 hours of light and six hours of shade, low light, or darkness. Some growers prefer exposing microgreens to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of little to no light exposure.
– What Soil Is Best for Growing Microgreens?
Microgreens grow best under ideal soil conditions that are rich and well-draining. The soil should be composed of roughly 80 percent organic materials like coconut coir, peat moss, and sterilized composts. The remaining 20 percent should be composed of perlite to encourage good drainage.
– Do Microgreens Need Heat To Germinate?
Heat does encourage microgreens to germinate and grow faster, although it is not an essential factor. Heat mats can help, especially if you grow microgreens in an area where temperatures can go lower than normal room levels.
– Can You Grow Microgreens All Year Round?
Yes, you can grow microgreens all year round as long as you grow them under ideal conditions. This means providing your microgreens with the correct levels of temperature, light, water, humidity, and ventilation.
– Do Microgreens Need Fertilizer?
Microgreens normally do not need fertilizers to grow healthily. In fact, many healthy microgreens are often grown without fertilizers to prevent unexpected harvests. However, you can include some diluted fertilizer to enhance the amount of nutrition your microgreens will absorb.
You may need to look for fertilizers that are specifically formulated for microgreens. Follow the directions on the label, and you should have an increased harvest yield.
– Does pH Matter for Microgreens?
In a way, yes. Microgreens generally grow better when the growing material is under slightly acidic conditions. The pH level should be between 6 and 6.5 to make sure that your microgreens grow optimally.
Some microgreens can tolerate pH levels that range from 5.5 to 7.0, but the most ideal would lean toward the almost neutral, slightly acidic range.
– Can You Grow Microgreens in Cold Weather?
As long as you provide your microgreens with the ideal growing conditions, you can grow them in cold weather. However, if you grow your microgreens under low temperatures and low levels of light, they might not grow as well as those grown under warmer and brighter conditions.
Microgreens are actually very easy to grow with many healthful advantages for our body.
Let’s go over what we’ve learned about the different types of microgreens and how they can affect our diets and lifestyles.
- Microgreens are baby plants and baby versions of their mature counterparts, and microgreens are identified by their first sets of true leaves.
- Microgreens possess more intense taste and flavors than their grown versions, while also possessing more nutrients than their fully-grown counterparts.
- Eating microgreens is usually considered safe since the risk of food poisoning is very little. However, it is still best to wash any microgreens thoroughly prior to consumption.
- There are over 80 varieties of microgreens suitable for eating, and not all kinds of seeds are suitable to be grown for microgreen harvesting.
- Microgreens can be used extensively in many kinds of food, and growing microgreens can be fun, educational, and tasty.
When growing microgreens, it is important to buy your seeds from a reputable seller who can also provide you with a growing medium that is free of harmful bacterial contamination.
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