Microgreens are the highly nutritious seedling versions of leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs. They are a few days older than "sprouts", and require a growing medium such as soil or hydroponic mats in order to take root. Microgreen seeds are grown to the cotyledon stage or to the true leaf stage, rarely ever beyond that. Cotyledons are the first set of baby leaves, and true leaves are the second set of leaves, which will take on the shape that the full-grown plant will begin producing. Growing microgreens past the true leaf stage is considered either an herb or a babygreen.
No. Microgreens don't require much light. Any room with moderate indirect light will work. You may notice your greens "reaching" for the window, so be sure to rotate your tray often. And some direct sunlight towards the end of the growing cycle is great, but not required
No. Some seeds have root hairs which will emerge on day 2 or 3, and it can look a lot like mold. Have no fear, this is normal.
Root hairs are bright white and always appear to congregate around the root itself. Remember, they radiate out from, and are attached to, the central root. Mold on the other hand can be many different colors including gray, black and even blue. If the mold is white, it actually won't be as bright white as root hairs are and will actually have a grayish tint.
The most important factor when determining whether you are dealing with mold or root hairs is the fact that mold will spread instead of staying central to the root. If you see something that's spreading across your microgreens tray or it looks more like a grayish spiderweb then you are in fact dealing with mold.
To avoid mold:
1. Don't over seed your tray. Our kits come with pre-measured packets designed exactly for the tray size in your kit. Only use the the pre-measured amount of seeds.
2. Don't over water. The hemp growing mats should be moist but never allow excess water to build up in your tray. Be sure to pour off any excess water after saturating your growing mat, and only use the bottom watering method once your humidity cover has been removed.
3. Hemp is ph neutral and naturally mold and rot resistant which is why we choose to use the hemp mats in our kits. To avoid mold, we don't recommend any other growing mediums other than soil.
Time to harvest depends on the plant and the growers preference. Some should be harvested at the cotyledon stage (broccoli, kale, cabbage) while others should grow until true leaves emerge (mustard, cilantro). The main reason is flavor. Most microgreens will be ready to harvest in 7 - 8 days, while some can take quite a bit longer. Each of our kits come with complete growing instructions and recommended times to harvest.