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Foolproof growing tips for microgreens

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

Ever feel like growing microgreens  is a bit like being stuck in a blizzard? We promise that these foolproof tips will help you out a lot. Growing microgreens doesn't have to be brain science. It should be like strolling on a tropical island with no worry in the world. Easier said then done right? We sure wish that someone would've told us these tips when we were first attempting to harvest. 

NFT microgreens

Water Quality

At the start of a microgreens crop, an hydroponic system is filled with water. Water is continually being lost from the system, mainly through the leaves of the microgreens crop by a process known as transpiration. The volume of water in the system is, however, maintained constant by the automatic replacement of the water that is lost. This is achieved by a float valve in the catchment tank, which allows water to flow into the microgreens system from an external source as required. This make up water will normally contain dissolved substances in it. The nature and quantity of the substances in solution in the water will differ with locality. If these substances are not removed from the water by the microgreens crop plants at a faster rate than they are being supplied in the make up water, then their concentration in the recirculating water in the microgreens system will increase, until a concentration of one ion will be reached at which growth is adversely affected, and eventually a toxic concentration will occur. The best water for growing microgreens is rainwater or water condensed from moisture laden air. Water from these two sources has virtually no dissolved substances in it. Consequently, there is no build up of excess ions coming into an hydroponic installation with the make up water. 

inline filter


Very little filtration should be required in an microgreens hydroponic system. If the make up water does not contain solid particles in suspension, and if the method of supporting the young microgreens plants does not release solid particles into the recirculating solution, then filtration will not be necessary. The only precaution to take would be to site the inlet of circulation pump in the catchment tank, as far as possible from any solution returning from the microgreens hydroponic system to the tank, and also near the surface of the solution in the tank. the tank will act as a sedimentation tank and the solution recirculated by the pump will thus be drawn from the clear solution near the surface. Yet, if there is a problem with solid particles in suspension, a course filter should be fitted over the outlet end of the catchment pipe so that the returning solution discharges into the tank through the filter.

microgreens root mat

Root Death

In an microgreens crop, the root system can be inspected readily. Consequently, if any roots should die. their demise is quickly seen and observed in all its tragedy. Roots are so basic. If too many roots should die, will not the whole microgreens plant die? In soil grown microgreens crop, the death of roots cannot be seen. The phenomenon of root death has been most extensively studied in tomatoes. Three english research workers at the Chestnut Experiment Station (Leonard, Head and Cooper) in the 50s, using glass sided inspection trenches dug besides rows of soil grown tomatoes, recorded the root growth visible through the glass. All three workers studied plants from December sowing dates, because at the time, most commercial tomato crops in southern England were not sown before December. They all reported a sudden and marked loss of roots in the month of May; from 50% to 90% of the roots visiblein the glass panel suddenly died and decomposed. The phenomenon was given the name of the 'May Check', because there was also a reduction in the growth rates of the tops of the plants.

Without these tips you'd possible be stuck in These tips are foolproof. If you follow these basic guidelines you can't possibly go wrong. These are the essentials needed to grow microgreens.  Remember consistency is key! 

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