Here's how to keep your living microgreens in tip top shape.
Where to keep your living microgreens?
A good place to keep your living microgreens is on a dish or plate on a kitchen bench. That way they're nice and close for snipping into your meals.
Living microgreens are best kept out of strong sunlight. For one thing, they may wilt if you don't water them enough, plus it will encourage them to keep growing. Many microgreens aren't so nice when they grow too big - for example, the stems on pea shoots get woody. And most varieties change in flavour once the true leaves appear.
It's absolutely fine to put your living microgreens in a shady spot. And indoors is great, as they're less likely to get eaten by caterpillars, snails, slugs, rabbits, birds, possums, etc. Just keep them out of strong sunlight.
The benefit of keeping microgreens outside is that they'll have better airflow. If you do keep them outside, have them undercover (out of the rain and blasting sunshine); elevate them off the ground; and protect with chickenwire or similar.
If you really want them to stop growing, put the microgreens in a box with an open top in your fridge! The box prevents the living microgreens from being blasted with too much cold air, while the open top still allows for all-important air circulation.
Water your microgreens daily. Either top watering or bottom watering is fine. The amount of water will vary according to the environmental conditions: i.e. they'll need more water if they're in the sun and wind, than if they're in a sheltered, shady spot. Water them evenly, making sure the growing medium is moist.
Broccoli is a variety that likes plenty of water (and doesn't mind sitting in a small puddle of it), but radish microgreens hate this. So just watch and observe; and if something looks dry and wilting, give it more water. Or if something is over-saturated, make sure it's not sitting in water.
How long will the living microgreens last?
You can expect your microgreens to last a week or so - unless you eat them more quickly, of course! You may like to consider taking out a regular weekly subscription, with them delivered to your door. See here for details on microgreens subscriptions and delivery.
Will the microgreens re-grow?
No, most microgreens won't regrow (apart from pea shoots, if you don't snip them too low down). But you may get some slow germinators come through.
Can I plant them out?
Microgreen seeds are selected for being great microgreens, rather than good fully-grown plants. While some varieties can be planted out as seedlings (e.g. rocket), most do not lend themselves to it.
For example, Red Radish Rambo doesn't actually form radishes. Organic Broccoli doesn't form big heads. And while Pea Shoots have lovely sweet, tender stems, the actual peas they produce are horrible! So enjoy your microgreens as they are. :)
Your microgreens are spray-free, and that means that insect pests can occur from time to time. Humans aren't the only species that finds microgreens tasty and delicious!
The most common insect pests are fungus gnats, who live off the growing media that the microgreens grow in. Fungus gnats are a frequent issue with plants grown indoors where there are high humidity and moisture levels. You might see these insects flying around - they look a bit like fruit flies. Your microgreens are still safe to eat, but as always, wash them first.
Yellow sticky traps are a good non-spray method of controlling fungus gnats.
Mould can occur if your microgreens get too hot/humid and don't have enough air flow. You can still snip and use unaffected plants (be sure to wash them before use), but do not eat the mould. One-off cases of mould can occur - if your microgreens get mouldy shortly after purchase, please send me a photo and I'll provide a refund or replacement. We stand behind the quality of our products. If you have repeated issues with mould, then please reconsider where you are storing them, and your watering regime.
Also, don't confuse mould for root hairs on your microgreens - the two can look very similar! If in doubt, email a good quality, close up photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When green microgreens start turning yellow, it's generally a sign that they have run out of nutrients. After all, they are growing in a very shallow amount of growing media. They are still fine to eat. So, use them up, and order your next batch, which will be luscious and green. :)
Remember to wash your microgreens before use
Once you've snipped your living microgreens (above the soil - you don't want to eat that, or the seed), be sure to wash them.
Why? It's good food safety! Even though our microgreens are spray-free, things like compost, insect residue, etc. aren't that yummy or healthy to eat.
Enjoy your healthy, living microgreens! They are so versatile. Throw them into your morning smoothie. Add them to an omelette, wrap, or sandwich. Use them as garnish for any dish - they will make just about anything look fancy! (This is why microgreens are sometimes nicknamed 'chef confetti'.) You can even sauté them lightly with some garlic.