Microgreens are usually very fragile. If you do not take care of them properly, they will be vulnerable, wither, and die from the surrounding elements. But you don’t need to worry anymore because coco coir is the best growing media for microgreens, they can ensure the survival rate of sprouts increases by nearly 100% compared to conventional soil. So what is the best way to grow microgreens without soil, follow this article by Coco Coir Global to explore more.
Reasons for you to grow your own sprouts
There are many reasons for you to grow your own microgreen, you can see many benefits such as:
- They only require minimal space.
- You can absolutely grow them all year round.
- They can produce a quick crop.
- They can give you versatile ingredients for dishes like salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes.
Growing microgreens is convenient, isn’t it? So how do we grow microgreens to be most effective, let’s find the way by continuing the article as below.
Best Growing Medium For Microgreens – Coco Coir
When growing microgreens you need to be careful to choose growing media for microgreens so that the harvesting process can be as simple and effective as possible. Microgreens prefer a moist but not wet environment.
Soil may seem like the simplest option, but it’s not the best one. Soil’s ability to hold water can be detrimental to microgreens if they become too damp or the soil doesn’t drain quickly enough. Soil is not the optimal choice for harvesting, especially with low-growing plants.
Growing microgreens without soil is usually better for this crop. A great alternative substrate for soil is coco coir or coco peat. It is made from coconut husk and then milled to yield small, smooth, and spongy coconut fibers.
Because of the above characteristics, coco coir can easily absorb moisture to keep seeds from getting damp. Besides, coco coir also helps the air to circulate well, preventing bacteria from developing rotting.
Benefits of using coco coir microgreens
It can be seen in coco coir that there are the following benefits to becoming the best growing media for microgreens:
- 100% Organic: Coco coir is a completely natural and renewable resource so it is very eco-friendly. This makes coco coir a top choice for environmental sustainability.
- Water retention capacity: One of the best benefits of using coco coir is its ability to retain water. Coco coir has a high water holding capacity but at the same time maintains excellent drainage which makes it ideal for your plants.
- Have a neutral pH: A neutral pH is important for healthy growth. If it’s higher or lower than the neutral level, plants can not thrive well, not to mention plant death.
- Odorless: Coco coir doesn’t create any foul smells and is therefore ideal for growing plants both outdoors and indoors.
- Bacteria-free: Pasteurized coco coir will be free of bacteria and weed seeds, which helps to prevent mold growth and other diseases.
- Helps roots grow strong: Coco coir is an excellent combination of water retention and drainage with an ideal aeration system. Therefore, it gives the roots a lot of space and provides excellent air exposure thereby making the roots grow quickly.
Which Popular Microgreen to Grow
You can start sprouting microgreens from a variety of plants that are edible from root to leaves. However, there are some options that will germinate more easily than others. If you are looking for easy microgreens to grow, you can refer to some of the following types:
How to grow microgreens without soil in coir
Step 1: Prepare the seeds
To encourage the seeds to germinate more quickly, you can soak them overnight before planting. This is especially useful for large seeds like wheat, peas, and sunflowers. Place the seeds in a zip-top bag with warm water and let the seeds germinate quickly. No soaking is required for smaller seeds.
Step 2: Choose a planting tray
Select the type of tray you want to use. Note that coco coir can absorb as much as ten times its weight in water, so make sure you have a planting tray to fit the end result.
Step 3: Choose growing media for microgreens – coco coir substrate
Because microgreens are quite sensitive, choosing reputable and quality coco coir microgreens is extremely important. You need to choose to buy quality coco coir, which is treated with EC standards and pasteurized thoroughly to get the best results for your crop.
To clarify more about the EC in coco coir, the lower the EC index, the better the salt-treated coco peat. And the index of 0.5mS/cm is the standard index. For all kinds of growing media, EC value < 0.5 mS/cm is qualified for handling salinity. Coco Coir of Global Coir is one of the best-processed substrates in this stage, with EC < 0.5mS/cm you can completely use them not only with microgreens but any plants because they are completely safe.
Step 4: Sow the microgreens
When the seeds and tools are ready. We start sowing microgreens.
- Pour coco peat into a shallow tray about 1 inch. Flatten the medium with your hand or a piece of cardboard so that the substrate has an even layer.
- Spread the microgreen seeds evenly over the surface of the growing medium.
- Use your hands or a piece of cardboard to lightly press the seeds into the growing medium.
- Use a light layer of growing medium to cover the seeds.
- Gently mist the growing tray with a water bottle or spray bottle. Do not pour water into the tray as this will displace the seeds.
- Remember to cover the tray with a lid or plastic wrap to microgreen can have an ideal humid environment.
Note when growing microgreens without soil
- Once you’ve sown your microgreens, you’ll need to watch them carefully and regularly to make sure they’re growing well. Check the moisture level several times a day and mist as needed to keep the medium moist.
- During the time when the sprouts come out of the shell, these seeds need a warm and dark place to germinate properly.
- Within three to seven days, you should see sprouts appear. These sprouts will need light to grow well. Move your tray to a sunlight spot or use a grow light instead if there’s no sunlight in the environment. Remember to mist your sprouts twice a day to maintain a steady growth rate.
- Also during this time, lift the tray to see if any roots start coming out of the hole. If you see roots forming, you’ll also need to mist the bottom of the tray to make sure they don’t dry out and turn brown.
- We should keep the microgreen in the light that is more blue than red on the spectrum and is about 6500 kelvin. There is some option below:
- Fluorescent T8
- 4-pin CFLs
- LED Tube Lights
- Microgreens grow best in environments around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you need to be aware of this too.
- Finally, it is important to have good water mixed with both the nutrient solution and the pH down to feed the microgreen. The microgreens will start to grow leaves and you need to water them regularly during the day until they are ready to harvest.
In addition, here are some microgreen statuses for you to keep an eye on for your microgreens healthy:
- Leggy or pale microgreens: Move them to a more sunlight spot or adjust your grow light so these plants can get more light.
- Wilted greens: Wilting indicates that your microgreens lack of water. So you should mist them several times a day to rejuvenate them.
- Mold: This indicates too much moisture or poor aeration for your microgreens. Choose a space with lower humidity or more sunlight. You should also need to check or add drainage holes to your tray.
Let’s give it about 7-10 days and you will have delicious microgreens to enjoy!