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How to master the toughest microgreens

Microgreens are popular for their intense flavor and concentrated nutrients in a compact package. However, not all microgreens are created equal. While some, like radish and pea shoots, practically sprout overnight, others demand a bit more attention to detail.

Here, we tackle the 5 toughest microgreens to grow and equip you with the knowledge to cultivate these greens.

The Notorious Few
Amaranth: They are packed with protein and boast a slightly bitter flavor. However, their tiny seeds and specific temperature requirements (warm days, cool nights) can be tricky.

Beets: Beet microgreens add a vibrant ruby-red color to your dishes and a delightful earthy taste. The challenge? Their seeds are encased in a hard outer shell (called a glomerule) that needs scarification (scratching) to encourage germination.

Basil: Beloved for its aromatic leaves, basil microgreens are stubborn. Their delicate seeds require high humidity and consistent warmth to germinate successfully.

Cilantro: These fragrant greens add a zesty touch to many dishes, but their journey from seed to harvest can be frustrating. Cilantro seeds have low germination rates and prefer cooler temperatures, making them a test of patience for novice growers.

Popcorn: Who knew popcorn could be a microgreen contender? While offering a fun twist, popcorn kernels are notoriously slow to germinate and require constant moisture.

How to Deal With These Microgreens
So, you're up for the challenge? Here's how to conquer these tough microgreens:

Seed Preparation
Amaranth: Soak seeds for 8-12 hours before planting to soften the seed coat.
Beets: Gently scratch the glomerule with sandpaper or a nail file to break through the shell and promote germination. Basil: Soak seeds for a few hours in warm water to increase their success rate.

Sowing and Germination:
All: Use a shallow container with good drainage. Sow seeds sparsely on a damp (not soggy) growing medium.

Basil and Cilantro: Create a mini greenhouse by covering the container with a clear plastic dome to maintain high humidity. Popcorn: Mist the seeds daily to keep them consistently moist throughout the germination period.

Light and Temperature
Amaranth: Provide 12-14 hours of indirect sunlight and maintain a daytime temperature of 70-75°F (21-24°C) with cooler nights (around 60°F/15°C).

Beets: Start with warm temperatures (70-75°F/21-24°C) during germination, then gradually lower to 60-65°F (15-18°C) for growth. Provide moderate light.

Basil and Cilantro: Aim for 6-8 hours of daily sunlight and maintain a consistent temperature range of 65-70°F (18-21°C).

Popcorn: Keep the temperature around 70-75°F (21-24°C) and provide moderate light.

All: Maintain consistent moisture in the growing mat, but avoid overwatering. A spray bottle can be helpful for gentle watering.

Most: Harvest microgreens when the first true leaves appear (usually within 7-14 days for most challenging varieties).

Popcorn: Be prepared for a longer wait (up to 2 weeks) before harvesting these slow starters.

Remember: Patience and attention to detail are key when tackling these tough microgreens. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to sprouting these microgreens.

For more information:
Tel.: (646)-247-1783
Email: [email protected]

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