Garden of Eden Urban Farming

FAQ: Microgreens

This FAQ contains examples of how-to information from various sources. GOE's training services include a much wider variety of topics.

Background & General Information

A: Cute, tasty little plants that are highly nutritious. More...

A: Not without effort and persistence. More...


A: Pay special attention to choosing the variety and to the specific requirements of this cultivar. More...


A: Growing broccoli microgreens requires some specific procedures to ensure successful growth and optimal flavor. More...

Sango Radish

A: There are some specific considerations for growing Sango radish microgreens. More...

Background & General Information

Question: What are microgreens?
Answer: Microgreens are young, edible seedlings of vegetables and herbs that are harvested at an early stage of growth, usually between 7 to 21 days after germination. These tiny greens are known for their tender texture, vibrant colors, intense flavors, and high nutritional content. Here are some of the key properties of microgreens:

1. Size: Microgreens are small in size, typically ranging from 1 to 3 inches in height when harvested. They are smaller than baby greens but larger than sprouts.

2. Flavor: Despite their small size, microgreens are packed with intense and concentrated flavors. Different varieties of microgreens offer a wide range of tastes, from mild and sweet to spicy and tangy.

3. Color: Microgreens display a rich palette of colors, including various shades of green, purple, red, yellow, and more. The colorful array makes them visually appealing as garnishes in dishes.

4. Nutritional Content: Research suggests that microgreens often have higher nutrient levels compared to their mature counterparts. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients essential for human health.

5. Texture: Microgreens have a delicate and tender texture, which adds a pleasant mouthfeel to dishes.

6. Quick Growth: Microgreens have a short growth cycle, allowing them to be harvested within a few weeks of germination, making them a fast and efficient way to produce fresh greens.

7. Easy to Grow: Microgreens can be grown indoors or outdoors, making them accessible to people with limited gardening space. They require minimal equipment and care.

8. Versatility: Microgreens can be used in various culinary applications. They serve as beautiful and flavorful garnishes for salads, soups, sandwiches, and main dishes, and can also be incorporated into smoothies and juices.

9. Health Benefits: Due to their concentrated nutrient content, microgreens can contribute to a balanced and nutritious diet, potentially offering various health benefits.

10. Variety: There is a vast selection of microgreens available, including arugula, broccoli, kale, radish, cilantro, basil, mustard, and many others, each with its own distinct taste and appearance.

Because of their appealing characteristics and nutritional value, microgreens have gained popularity among chefs, home cooks, and health-conscious individuals alike.
Question: Can growing microgreens be profitable?
Answer: Growing microgreens can be profitable, but it depends on various factors including your location, market demand, production costs, and marketing strategies. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. **Market Demand**: Assess the demand for microgreens in your area. Urban areas and health-conscious communities tend to have a higher demand for fresh, locally grown produce, including microgreens.

2. **Pricing**: Determine a competitive yet profitable price point for your microgreens. Consider factors such as production costs, market prices, and your target customer base.

3. **Production Costs**: Calculate all your expenses including seeds, growing medium, trays, water, light, and other supplies. Consider labor costs if you have employees.

4. **Yield and Turnover**: Microgreens have a relatively short growing cycle, usually around 7-14 days. This means you can have multiple harvests in a month, potentially increasing your revenue.

5. **Scale of Operation**: The scale at which you operate will affect profitability. Larger operations may have higher initial investment costs but can benefit from economies of scale.

6. **Quality and Consistency**: Consistently producing high-quality microgreens is essential for building a loyal customer base. Quality can command higher prices.

7. **Marketing and Distribution**: Establish effective marketing strategies to reach potential customers. This could include farmers' markets, restaurants, grocery stores, online sales, or subscription services.

8. **Competition**: Research the local competition. If there are already established microgreen growers in your area, consider what will set your business apart.

9. **Regulations and Permits**: Check local regulations regarding agricultural production. You may need permits or licenses to operate legally.

10. **Seasonality**: Microgreens can be grown year-round, which can be an advantage. However, you'll need to plan for consistent production even during slow seasons.

11. **Risk Management**: Be prepared for potential challenges like pest outbreaks, diseases, or equipment failures. Having contingency plans in place is crucial.

12. **Customer Relationships**: Building good relationships with your customers can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.

13. **Sustainability Practices**: Consider implementing sustainable practices. This can be an attractive selling point for environmentally conscious consumers.

Ultimately, the profitability of growing microgreens depends on your ability to effectively manage costs, produce a high-quality product, and meet market demand. It's advisable to start small, gather data on your expenses and revenue, and adjust your operations accordingly. Additionally, conducting thorough market research and having a well-defined business plan can significantly increase your chances of success.


Special conditions affecting sunflower microgreens?
Question: What special conditions apply to growing sunflower microgreens?
Answer: When growing sunflower microgreens, there are some specific conditions you should consider in addition to the general requirements for growing microgreens:

1. **Sunflower Variety**:
- Choose a sunflower variety specifically bred for microgreen production. Some popular varieties include Black Oil Sunflower and Russian Sunflower.

2. **Soaking Time**:
- Sunflower seeds should be soaked in water for a longer period compared to other microgreens. They typically require 12-24 hours of soaking to facilitate germination.

3. **Drainage**:
- Ensure that the trays or containers you use for growing have adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging. Sunflowers can be sensitive to overwatering.

4. **Depth of Soil**:
- Provide a deeper soil depth (around 1 inch or 2.5 cm) for sunflower microgreens. They develop a taproot, so they benefit from a bit more depth than other microgreens.

5. **Weight for Compression**:
- After sowing, apply light pressure to the seeds with a weight (like another tray or a piece of cardboard) to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. This helps with germination.

6. **Growing Time**:
- Sunflower microgreens tend to take a bit longer to grow compared to other varieties. They may require an additional 1-2 days before they're ready to harvest.

7. **Light Requirements**:
- Sunflowers, as the name implies, love sunlight. Provide them with ample natural light or use high-quality grow lights with a spectrum that includes blue and red wavelengths.

8. **Avoid Overcrowding**:
- Ensure that you sow the seeds evenly and avoid overcrowding. Crowded sunflowers can lead to poor air circulation, which may result in mold or other issues.

9. **Thinning (Optional)**:
- If you notice that your sunflowers are growing too densely, consider thinning them out by removing some of the excess seedlings. This allows the remaining plants to grow more vigorously.

10. **Temperature Considerations**:
- Sunflower microgreens prefer slightly warmer temperatures for germination and growth, ideally between 70-75°F (21-24°C). Once germinated, they can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures.

11. **Protection from Pests**:
- While sunflower microgreens are less susceptible to pests compared to other plants, it's still important to monitor for any signs of pest activity and take appropriate action if needed.

Remember, microgreens are generally forgiving plants, so if you provide the right conditions and care, you should have a successful harvest of sunflower microgreens.


Growing broccoli microgreens requires some specific procedures to ensure successful growth and optimal flavor.
Question: What are the special requirements and procedures for growing broccoli?
Answer: Growing broccoli microgreens requires some specific procedures to ensure successful growth and optimal flavor. Here are some special considerations to keep in mind when growing broccoli microgreens:

1. **Seeds**: Start with high-quality broccoli microgreen seeds. Look for seeds specifically labeled for microgreen production, as they are often more reliable and better suited for quick growth.

2. **Germination**: Broccoli microgreens have a relatively long germination period compared to some other microgreens. It can take 3-5 days for the seeds to germinate. Maintain proper humidity and moisture during this period.

3. **Soil**: Use a well-draining, sterile growing medium. A mix of coco coir and perlite is a good option. Make sure the soil is not too compacted, as broccoli microgreens have shallow roots.

4. **Container**: Use a shallow container with good drainage. A standard 10x20-inch tray works well. You can use plastic trays, seed trays, or even shallow wooden boxes. Ensure the tray has drainage holes.

5. **Sowing Density**: Broccoli microgreens can be sown densely. Spread the seeds evenly across the surface of the soil, aiming for a thick but not overcrowded layer of seeds.

6. **Light**: Broccoli microgreens require adequate light for healthy growth. A bright, indirect light source is ideal. You can use natural sunlight or grow lights (LED or fluorescent) designed for plant growth.

7. **Temperature**: Maintain a consistent temperature range of around 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the germination and growing period. Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations.

8. **Watering**: Use a gentle misting or bottom watering technique to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to mold or rot, which is a common issue with broccoli microgreens.

9. **Ventilation**: Proper air circulation helps prevent mold and ensures sturdy growth. Use a small fan on a low setting to gently move the air around the growing area.

10. **Harvest**: Broccoli microgreens are usually ready to harvest around 7-14 days after germination, depending on growing conditions. Harvest when the first true leaves (second set of leaves) have fully developed. Cut the microgreens just above the soil line using clean scissors.

Remember to monitor your microgreens regularly for any signs of pests, disease, or moisture-related issues, and take appropriate action if needed. Following these special procedures should help you grow delicious and nutritious broccoli microgreens.

Sango Radish

Question: What special procedures should be followed when growing sango radish microgreens, as opposed to other varieties?
Answer: Sango radish microgreens, also known as "Sango sprouts" or "Sango radish cotyledons," are a popular choice for microgreen enthusiasts due to their vibrant pink stems and mild radish flavor. While the general principles of growing microgreens apply, there are some specific considerations for growing Sango radish microgreens:

1. **Light Exposure**: Sango radish microgreens tend to develop their characteristic pink coloration when exposed to light. Therefore, providing adequate light is crucial. Place the trays in a location with bright, indirect light or use a grow light set to the appropriate spectrum for optimal color development.

2. **Growing Medium**: Use a well-draining growing medium, such as a mixture of coconut coir, vermiculite, and perlite. Ensure that the medium is evenly moist, but not waterlogged, to prevent mold and root rot.

3. **Sowing Density**: Sow Sango radish seeds at a slightly lower density compared to some other microgreens. This allows more space for the vibrant pink stems to develop without overcrowding. Aim for a moderately thick layer of seeds without excessive overlap.

4. **Soaking Seeds**: Before sowing, consider soaking the Sango radish seeds in water for a few hours to jumpstart the germination process. This can help ensure even and quicker germination.

5. **Temperature**: Maintain a consistent temperature between 60-70°F (15-21°C) for optimal germination and growth. Sango radish microgreens can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures compared to some other varieties.

6. **Watering**: Water the microgreens from the bottom to prevent disturbing the delicate stems and reduce the risk of fungal issues. Keep the growing medium evenly moist but not soggy. Use a spray bottle to mist the top of the microgreens gently.

7. **Harvesting**: Sango radish microgreens are typically ready for harvest when they have developed their first true leaves (usually around 7-10 days after germination). Harvest them by cutting just above the soil level. Rinse and drain before consuming.

8. **Color Enhancement**: If you want to further enhance the pink coloration, consider exposing the growing microgreens to a bit more light during the last day or two of growth. However, be cautious not to stress the plants by exposing them to too much direct sunlight.

As with any microgreen variety, it's essential to monitor the growing conditions, provide good ventilation, and be attentive to signs of pests or diseases. Adjust your care routine based on the specific microclimate and growing environment you have, and you'll enjoy a beautiful and tasty crop of Sango radish microgreens.