Microgreens seeds, although tiny in size, pack a nutritional punch. These superfoods come packed with high nutritional value and are a great addition to your cuisine and fine dining restaurant.
So, what are microgreens? Good question!
For those who are not familiar, microgreens are young, nutrient-rich seedlings of various vegetables and herbs that are harvested when they are just a few centimeters tall. Microgreens seeds, therefore, are the seeds used to grow these mini-versions of fully grown plants.
Key Takeaway: Microgreens seeds are incredibly versatile and offer numerous benefits. They are packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, they are easy to grow, making them an ideal addition to any kitchen or restaurant business menu design.
In this article, we will explore 10 different uses for microgreens seeds, how to grow microgreens seeds, and where to buy these super seeds from. Let’s get started!
Top 10 Uses for Microgreens Seeds
Wholesale microgreens have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their nutrient-dense properties and versatility in the kitchen. These tiny greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
But did you know that microgreens seeds can be used for more than just growing nutritious sprouts?
Here are the top 10 uses for microgreen seeds:
- Adding flavor to meals
- Growing fresh sprouts at home
Microgreens seeds can be used to grow fresh sprouts in the comfort of your own home. This is an excellent option for those who want to grow their own food but have limited space.
- Enhancing salads and sandwiches
Microgreens make a great addition to salads and sandwiches. They add texture and flavor while also increasing the nutritional value.
- Making homemade juice or smoothies
Microgreens can be used to make healthy and delicious juices or smoothies. They provide a concentrated source of nutrients and can help boost your immune system.
- Creating unique and visually stunning garnishes for dishes
Microgreens make a great garnish for any dish, adding color and texture to the presentation.
- Growing microgreens for commercial use
Many restaurants and chefs use microgreens in their dishes, making it a profitable business venture to grow and sell them commercially.
- Using microgreens for edible landscaping
Microgreens can be grown in outdoor gardens and used as an attractive and edible landscaping option.
- Teaching kids about gardening and healthy eating
Microgreens are a fun and easy way to introduce kids to gardening and healthy eating habits.
- Sprucing up your home decor
Microgreens can be grown in decorative containers and used to add a touch of greenery to your home decor.
- Trading or selling microgreen seeds for profit
Microgreen seeds are in high demand, making it a viable option to trade or sell for profit.
How to Grow Microgreens Seeds in 9 Steps
Here is what you need to grow microgreens seeds:
- Seeds: Choose a variety of seeds that are suitable for microgreens, such as arugula, broccoli, mustard, kale, or sunflower. You can find them at your local garden store or online.
- Growing medium: Microgreens can grow in soil, compost, coconut coir, or even paper towels. Whatever you choose, make sure it is moist and well-draining.
- Containers: You can use plastic trays, planting pots, or even recycled containers such as yogurt cups, egg cartons, or takeout boxes. Just make sure they have drainage holes.
- Light source: Microgreens need plenty of light to grow, so place them near a window or under grow lights.
Now, let's get started on growing microgreens at home:
Step 1: Fill your container with growing medium, leaving a little space at the top.
Step 2: Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the surface of the medium, about a quarter-inch apart. You can mix different types of seeds for a colorful and flavorful blend.
Step 3: Cover the seeds with a thin layer of growing medium, just enough to barely cover them.
Step 4: Water the container gently with a spray bottle or a watering can, making sure not to wash away the seeds. Keep the medium moist but not soaking.
Step 5: Place the container in a bright, warm spot with good air circulation. Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect and to retain moisture. Alternatively, you can use a dome or a grow light to create optimal conditions.
Step 6: Check the seeds daily for germination, which usually takes 2-7 days depending on the type of seed. Once the seedlings emerge, remove the cover and place the container under direct light for 12-16 hours per day.
Step 7: Water the microgreens as needed, keeping the medium moist but not waterlogged. You can use a spray bottle or a watering can with a gentle showerhead.
Step 8: Harvest the microgreens when they reach the desired size, usually 1-3 inches tall, depending on the type of seed. Cut them with sharp scissors or a knife just above the medium, leaving the roots behind.
Step 9: Rinse the microgreens in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Store them in a container with a damp paper towel or in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.
Here are some tips for caring for microgreens and troubleshooting common problems:
- Don't overwater or underwater your microgreens, as this can lead to mold, rot, or wilting. Check the moisture level of the medium with your finger or a moisture meter.
- Avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides, as microgreens are delicate and can absorb toxins easily. Use organic or natural products instead.
- Rotate your containers daily to promote even growth and prevent bending or leaning toward the light.
- Watch out for pests such as aphids, spider mites, or thrips, which can damage your microgreens. You can remove them by spraying them with neem oil or a mild soap solution.
- Experiment with different seed varieties and growing mediums to find your favorite combination. You can also add microgreens to smoothies, soups, omelets, or stir-fries for extra nutrition and flavor.
If your microgreens are not growing well or showing signs of stress, here are some possible causes and solutions:
- Lack of light: Microgreens need at least 12 hours of direct light per day to thrive. If they are not getting enough light, they may become leggy, pale, or stunted. Move them to a brighter spot or invest in a grow light.
- Overcrowding: If you planted too many seeds in one container, the microgreens may compete for space, light, and nutrients. Thin them out by cutting some of them with scissors and leaving the strongest ones.
- Poor drainage: If the container or the growing medium does not have enough drainage, the microgreens may sit in water and develop root rot or fungal diseases. Make sure the container has enough holes and the medium is well-draining.
- Inconsistent watering: If you water your microgreens irregularly or too much, they may suffer from drought or waterlogging. Water them gently and regularly, and avoid getting water on the leaves or stems.
- Temperature extremes: If the temperature is too hot or too cold, the microgreens may become stressed or die. Keep them in a room with a moderate temperature and avoid placing them near drafts, heaters, or air conditioners.
How to Buy Microgreens Seeds
If you're a microgreens enthusiast or looking to start a microgreens business, the first step towards growing them is to get the right seeds. However, with numerous seed varieties available in the market, choosing the right produce wholesaler can be a daunting task.
When purchasing microgreens seeds, be sure to check food safety parameters, like the expiration date and choose seeds that are specifically labeled for microgreens. You should also consider the variety of seeds you want to grow and whether they are suitable for the climate and growing conditions in your area.
Here are some other valuable tips on how to buy microgreens seeds:
- Determine the type of microgreens you want to grow
The first step is to decide which type of microgreens you want to grow. Different types have different growing requirements, and the seeds vary in terms of size, color, and flavor. Some of the popular types include sunflower, pea, radish, wheatgrass, and broccoli. Once you've decided on the type, look for a seed wholesale distribution business that stocks the specific seeds.
- Check for quality
The quality of the seeds is crucial to the success of your microgreens growing project. When buying microgreens seeds, look for suppliers who offer high-quality seeds and fresh produce that are free from contaminants and diseases.
Check for any signs of damage or discoloration, and avoid buying seeds that appear old or stale. It's also advisable to purchase from reputable wholesale vendors who have a track record of selling quality seeds.
- Look for organic seeds
Organic microgreens seeds are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. When buying seeds, look for food wholesale distributors who offer organic seeds.
These seeds are healthier, more nutritious, and safer for human consumption. Additionally, organic seeds are more environmentally friendly, and their growth doesn't harm the ecosystem.
- Consider the quantity
The amount of seeds you need depends on the size of your growing area and the number of microgreens you want to produce. Some suppliers sell seeds in small packets, while others offer bulk shipping quantities.
If you're starting out, it's advisable to buy small packets of seeds to avoid wastage. As you gain experience, you can increase your seed orders.
- Check the price
The cost of microgreens seeds varies depending on the type, quantity, and quality. When buying seeds, compare the prices from different suppliers to find the best deal.
However, don't compromise on the quality of the seeds to save a few bucks. Invest in high-quality seeds to ensure a successful and rewarding growing experience.
Where to Buy Microgreens Seeds
Here are some places where you can buy microgreens seeds:
- Local Garden Centers: Many garden centers carry a wide selection of microgreens seeds. Visit your local garden center to see what they have in stock. You can also ask for recommendations from the staff.
- Online Wholesale Produce Distributors: You can find a variety of microgreens seeds online. Some popular online retailers and produce wholesale suppliers include Amazon, Etsy, and True Leaf Market. These retailers offer a wide selection of seeds and often have reviews from other customers.
- Seed Companies: There are several seed companies that specialize in microgreens seeds and produce subscription box. Some of the most popular companies include Johnny's Selected Seeds, Baker Creek, and Park Seed. These companies offer high-quality seeds and often have a larger selection of varieties to choose from.
- Home Improvement Stores: Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe's also carry microgreens seeds. While they may not have as large a selection as a garden center or seed company, they are a convenient option if you are already at the store.
- Farmer's Markets: Many farmer's markets sell microgreens seeds. You can often find small businesses or individual growers who specialize in microgreens. Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you may also be able to get some advice on growing your own microgreens.
Frequently Asked Questions About Microgreens Seeds
Microgreens are small, young plants that are harvested just after the cotyledon leaves appear. These tiny plants are popular in salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and many other dishes because of their high nutritional value, unique flavors, and beautiful appearance.
To grow microgreens, you need to use special seeds that are different from regular garden seeds.
Here are some frequently asked questions about microgreens seeds:
What are Microgreens Seeds?
Microgreens seeds are tiny seeds that are specially grown to produce young, tender plants that can be harvested within a few weeks of sowing. These seeds are usually very small, but they can produce a large number of microgreens that are packed with nutrients and flavor.
Where Can I Buy Microgreens Seeds?
Microgreens seeds are available from many online and offline sources. You can find them at your local garden center, health food store, or online retailers such as Amazon and Johnny's Selected Seeds.
What Types of Microgreens Seeds are There?
There are many types of microgreens seeds available, including arugula, broccoli, cabbage, chia, cilantro, kale, mustard, radish, sunflower, and many more. Each seed has its unique flavor, color, and texture.
Can I Use Regular Garden Seeds for Microgreens?
No. Regular garden seeds may not be suitable for growing microgreens because they may not germinate well or may not produce tender, flavorful plants. It is best to use seeds that are specifically labeled for microgreens.
How Do I Sow Microgreens Seeds?
To sow microgreens seeds, you need a shallow container, such as a seed tray or a baking tray. Fill the container with potting soil or a seed-starting mix. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the soil surface, then cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or vermiculite. Water the seeds gently with a spray bottle, then cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place the container in a warm, bright place, such as a sunny windowsill or under grow lights.
How Long Does it Take for Microgreens Seeds to Germinate?
2-7 days. Depending on the variety and the growing conditions.
When Should I Harvest My Microgreens?
Within 1 - 3 weeks. Harvest the microgreens by snipping them off at the base with a pair of scissors. Rinse the microgreens lightly under running water, then pat them dry with a paper towel.