MicroGreens - Germination Experiments
One of the secrets of success with growing Micro Greens, seems to me to be, identifying those plants that germinate quickly and grow large enough to harvest in a short period of time.
A plant that takes 5-10 days to germinate is better than one which takes 7-12.
As an experiment then, I have seeded 12 different plants into two of my seed flats (6 per each) as a way to see which plants grow quicker. Since watering and soil will be a common factor, early germinaters should germinate "early".
As a reminder, I am using a two flat system.
The larger flat on the left is a commercially available, purchased at a local organic grow store. It comes with a clear lid and retails at about $8. The slightly smaller flat on the right is one I got for free at my local nursery in the Spring. It typically holds six, 6 cell plastic starters. It has holes in the bottom, which allows excess water to drain out, but in this case it allows me to water from below.
Here is the two flats with soil.
You will notice that the plastic dividers in the smaller flat, allow a natural division of the soil. In this experiment, I have made 16 holes in each sub-division, approximately 1 inch apart.
Here is a list of the plants I am using.
Bok Choy Tatsoi, Spinach (Bloomsdale Long Standing), Kale (from my garden), Collards (Yates), Mustard Greens, India (Florida Broad Leaf), Lettuce, Romaine (Paris Island Cos).
Kale, Dwarf Siberian, Spinach, Baby's Leaf (a hybrid), Black Mustard, Herb Dandelion, Lettuce, Romaine (from my garden), Amaranth, Green Calaloo.
Why these? I had the seeds, lol.
Honestly I am bad about buying exotic seeds with the intention of planting them but never do, so this gives me a chance to see what some none standard plants will do. Any plant whose leaves are eatable will have micro greens that are eatable. Two plants, I actually harvested seeds from the ones I grew this year.
I found the easiest way to plant these, was to use the end of an old toothbrush to make the holes, and a wooden shiskabob stick to select the seeds. A small clear plastic cup is also helpful, as a place to pour some of the seeds from the paper envelope.
I would wet the end of the shiskabob stick with my tongue and dip it into the seeds in the cup. Depending on the size, 4-6 would usually stick. You can then transfer them to the predug hole in the flat and flick them off with your finger.
All seeds but the spinach, were seeded with 3-5 seeds per hole. The spinach seeds were much larger, and I only used 2 per hole (seeding with my fingers).
Once each flat was seeded, I used a squirt bottle to liberally wet the top of the soil, then once I placed them in the front room under the grow lamps, I added about an inch of water to the lower flat. It should wick up and wet the solid from below. The clear plastic tops were then put on them.
I will report as they progress.