Growing Microgreens & Leafy Greens
The number of companies growing microgreens has increased tremendously in the last decade. These tiny plants produce up to 40 times more nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and K, than their mature counterparts. Their color, texture and intense flavor have made them very popular with consumers.
A clean, soil-free product at harvest is important both in terms of appearance and food safety, which is why stabilized growing media is so popular with microgreen growers. However, most of these products are made of synthetic materials. Quick Plug North America has spent many years developing biobased alternatives for this crop. The resulting brands, BioStrate and PUREgrown, are both very suitable for a wide range of microgreens and growing methods.
Some aspects to growing microgreens:
What to Consider When Choosing a Growing Medium:
- The growing environment: greenhouse, vertical farm, a garage as well as your geographic location.
- How you water: Ebb/Flow, NFT, by hand?
- Is product sold cut or live?
- Is your operation certified organic?
Quick Plug North America has a selection of media types and thicknesses for the growing of microgreens. Our sales staff can work with you to find the one that performs best in your production program.
- BioStrate 185 GSM (microgreens)
- BioStrate 300 GSM (microgreens and leafy greens)
Organic Use PUREgrown hemp- felt:
- PUREgrown hemp/flax-felt 450 GSM* (for professional growers only)
- PUREgrown hemp-felt 750 GSM (micro greens and leafy greens)
- PUREgrown hemp-felt 1300 GSM (leafy greens)
Keys to growing healthy Micro and Leafy Greens:
- Dampen the growing medium so it is saturated but not waterlogged.
- Seeding: Use a 10 x 20 sheet, and sow the seeds across the top, aiming for a ratio of roughly 10 seeds per square inch with smaller seeds and about half of that with larger ones.
- Mist the seeds uniformly: Large seeds are more challenging to grow in stabilized media. Make sure the entire seed stays moist.
- The Microgreens germinate easily on a felt mat with the right humidity (90%). To achieve this humidity you can cover the seeds or you can make sure to put them in a room with the right humidity. Take the cover off as soon as you see that the seeds have germinated. The ideal germination temperature is roughly 72°
- The ideal temperature to grow is around 70° F (68 to 72) although many growers are able to grow a nice product at higher temperatures.
- Keep the growing medium moist until harvest.
- Seeds for 40 10×20 flats: ¼ pound total
- Maximum yield per 40 10×20 flats: About 40 pounds total for each two- or four-week growing cycle
Examples of production time for a variety of microgreens.
Fast-Growing Varieties (2 weeks):
- Pea Shoots
Slow-Growing (3-4 weeks):
- Lemon basil