MICROGREENS & THEIR PRODUCTION
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the young seedlings (shoots) of newly germinated, edible plants, such as broccoli, red cabbage and radish. These young shoots are up to nine times denser in nutrients, antioxidants and polyphenols, than their older, larger plants, making them not only very tasty but also bursting with health benefits.
Microgreens, like all edible plants that are part of a good balanced diet, contain vitamins – B1, C, E and K, as well as essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. As with all green vegetables, they contain beta carotene that your body uses to make vitamin A.
Whether you need to boost your immune system, kickstart your energy levels or give your gut the right conditions for a diverse gut microbiota, Teeny Greeny has a mighty microgreen seed mix for you.
How do I use Microgreens?
You can add them to salads, smoothies, sprinkle them over soups, stir them into stews and add them to stir-fries, curries, risottos, pasta bakes and casseroles – the sky’s the limit!
What is the difference between Microgreens & Sprouts?
They are different stages of a plant’s growth:
Sprouts: Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s germination and may be produced without a growing medium, such a soil or coir, but are made wet and left to germinate on a sprouting tray, jar or bag. They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate and are delicious and crunchy.
Microgreens: Micro greens are typically grown in soil or another growing medium, such as coir, and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. Microgreens are harvested at this stage just as the true leaves (adult stage leaves) begin to emerge. Plants in the microgreens stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and have had the opportunity to absorb trace elements and micro nutrients from the soil as well as still having many of the stored nutrients that were in their seeds.
What makes Microgreens so good for me?
All Microgreens are good sources of
Beta carotene, from which the body makes vitamin A –for eyesight, immune system and healthy skin.
carotenoids –lutein and zeathanthin – also for eyesight.
Vitamin C –to make collagen for blood vessel walls and joints, and to help absorb iron from the diet.
Vitamin K –for blood clotting.
Calcium –for healthy bones and teeth and muscle contraction.
Polyphenols (formerly called Antioxidants) – mop up free radicals and so reduce risk of cancer.
In addition to the nutrients listed above, each Microgreen has a good source of other nutrients, see here for more info.
Some research has indicated that just being in the general proximity of plants can be beneficial for our mental health. Growing your own greens gives you something tangible to focus on. Growing plants gives you the opportunity to be creative, while also helping to reduce stress. You can involve children in growing these seeds and, as well as them learning where some of their food originates, they can learn about germination and photosynthesis. Children can also learn that plants are essential for life. Plants take in carbon dioxide and water to make food and then make and release oxygen as a by-product.
Can Microgreens be grown all year-round?
Microgreens are incredibly easy to grow, even for the least green-fingered of people! Whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling mansion, you only need a small space to place your kitchen windowsill garden. There’s no need to worry about seasons – these little wonders grow all year round! Our Microgreens are organically produced and are completely free from toxins, so with just a little bit of love, time and attention, your clever little Microgreens will soon become food for your plate. All you need to do, once they are sown, is make sure they stay hydrated by watering them daily, but taking care not to over water them.
Can I eat Microgreens if I have allergies or other health problems?
If you are allergic to any vegetable, for example radishes, then don’t eat radish microgreens as it is quite likely that whatever it is in radishes that you are immune to, may also be present in the radish leaves.
Do not grow tomato seeds as Microgreens as tomato leaves will contain a toxin.
Are your Microgreens gluten free? Or are your seeds are free from contamination by any gluten containing grains?
Microgreens are dicots and do not contain gluten. Wheat is a monocot and the gluten is only in its seeds. No one is eating the seeds but all the Microgreens are gluten free.
In relation to our organic seed supplier and their "cleaning" process of their seeds:
“we always do our best with various cleaning processes obtaining a purtiry of 99.5%. However seeds can always contain traces of: cereals, mustard, sesame, celery, soya.
These mentioned seeds are the most common off-type during harvest period so it can happen that you find something in seeds, also if it is rare”.
How important are grow lights?
A lamp could be harmful as some lamps also give off heat as well a slight and so using a lamp could cause seedlings to dry up or just be at too hot a temperature, which causes enzymes to denature; if the illumination is too bright it can bleach the chlorophyll, preventing photosynthesis. Or, at slightly temperatures, a phenomenon known as photorespiration occurs where oxygen competes for the active site of the rubisco enzyme in the Calvin cycle stage of photosynthesis and prevents carbon dioxide attaching, so the plants cannot make food and grow. The seedlings also need periods of light and dark, not continuous light.
Should I use miracle grow or other plant food?
All the nutrients that these Microgreens need are in the seeds and as the shoots are harvested very early in the plants’ life cycle, there is no need for any type of fertiliser. In fact, use of fertiliser will be counterproductive as it will lower the water potential of the water being added to the seeds and seedlings and may reduce the ability of the roots and root hairs to take up, via osmosis, the required amount of water. Fertiliser of any sort is not needed for seeds or young seedlings, for any plants not just Microgreens.
TEENY GREENY MICROFARMS
What makes your kits different?
Not to be mistaken for a one-off grow kit, these kits are designed with total sustainability and education at their root, enabling our growing community to keep a constant supply of superfoods at hand in any space they have. Included are 6 reusable bamboo growing dishes, 12 discs of organic, vegan-friendly, peat-free coir alongside 3 varieties of organic Microgreen seeds.
Each set of seeds, when grown into Microgreens, delivers a powerful flavour punch and they have been mixed, not only for their health benefits, but so they all grow at the same rate, meaning you can get creative in the kitchen!
We have designed this kit to allow you to plant 3 trays of Microgreens each and every week, consistently for a whole month and there is also a growing calendar included to help you keep track of when:
when you move the seedlings into the light
they can be harvested
Then all you need to do is replenish the seeds and coir, either choosing the same seed set or giving one of our other sets a go!
Do I have to purchase a whole kit?
Not at all. We offer seed bundles and single seed tins from £3.95.
Grab some compost from home or even use some soaked kitchen paper and find a suitable container and get growing!
Are your seeds organic?
Yes, all our seeds are organic. We are regulated by the Soil Association.
What makes this an ‘eco’ product?
We are committed to working with people who align with Teeny Greeny’s values of being responsible, sustainable and ethical.
*We are regulated by the Soil Association, the primary charity and organic certification body. What they say goes. An accreditation from them is the cherry on top of a jolly delicious cake. They are incredibly supportive of our mission, which ties in with their own: - protecting the natural world and farm animals.
*We also are governed under DEFRA, a government organisation dedicated to protecting the environment. These guys are kind of a big deal and they regulate our business.
*All our products are vegan-friendly, meaning no animals have suffered.
*Plastic-free/Biodegradable/Recyclable, everyone needs to do their bit for the environment, so we’ve gone above and beyond to make sure our products make as little impact on the planet as possible. It’s a small effort to make for a big cause.
*We have FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, which is a very special award that we take super-seriously. Our bamboo and other forest products have been harvested from forests that have been well-managed. Our materials have social benefits and an environmental conscience. So, pop a gold star onto your chest while sowing your seeds, safe in the knowledge that you are planting with a clear conscience.
What experience do you have?
Teeny Greeny started life as part of a first-generation small urban farm in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Now we invest all our experience into creating fun and nutritious organic seed sets that will flourish on anyone’s windowsill! Our aim is to equip more families with the tools they need to grow their own Microgreens, not only for the convenience of having fresh, delicious ingredients and garnishes to brighten up their food, but also for the health and wellbeing rewards that this offers.
How long do your seeds keep before I have to use them?
For best results sow the seeds soon after getting them – why wait?
However, if you store the seeds in a cool dry place and they are not damp then they will stay viable for a long time. In 2005 seeds known to be 2000 years old, from a Judean date palm, excavated in Israel, germinated!
Why do you use peat-free coir?
We are certified organic and adhere to organic practices. We are also regulated by DEFRA and there have been targets set to phase out the use of peat due to the impact it has on the environment. Peat was formed by the partial decay of plant matter (mosses, sedges and shrubs) in acid and anaerobic conditions. This process took thousands of years so peat isn’t a renewable resource, thus making it unsustainable.
Peat sequesters (stores) a lot of carbon and, when it is mined and used, it releases a lot of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Peat also holds a lot of water and is an important source of drinking water as it provides nearly 4% of all potable water in peat reservoirs.
Therefore, the intensive mining of peat has adverse effects on the climate, and destroys valuable ecosystems. Many rare and endangered species live in and around peat bogs and these are having their way of life threatened so we do all we can to promote the use of peat-free growing media.
Many eco-systems, plants and animals thrive in peat bogs and, once the peat has been harvested from the bog, habitats are destroyed. In simple terms, this is like chopping down a rainforest and destroying the habitats within that forest. Peat also has the ability to retain water and is responsible for expanding wetlands and the associated habitats within them.
Can I use other growing medium?
Yes, you can use almost any compost you may have, or growing felt, or even kitchen paper, just remember to adjust watering accordingly.
How often do I water?
Water every morning and evening. Using a rose watering can and water lightly from above whilst the seeds are still sprouting then, when they have leaves, water from the side (tipping the tray or pot at an angle to pour the water from the side and letting the water flow to other side).
What is the best temperature for Microgreens?
After uncovering your germinated Microgreens from the ‘seed-of-life’ germination cover included in your kit and leave at room temperature or a warm dark area like an airing cupboard for 3-5 days and keep checking to make sure the coir hasn’t dried too much; if it feels very dry then sprinkle some more water onto the seeds and replace the cover until you start to notice the seeds germinating. Optimum temperature is 20-22o
HARVESTING YOUR MICROGREENS
When do I harvest them?
Usually we like to see the third leaf and most of the Microgreens will be ready to be harvested when they reach 5cm+ in height.
What if I leave them too long?
They can be eaten but may taste a little bitter and the leaves will be a bit coarser.
How do I harvest?
Once your Microgreens reach 5 cm+ in length from their base. Then either snip with scissors or use a sharp knife to harvest your Microgreens.
Can I store them once I harvest them?
Provided the leaves harvested are not wet, they will keep in the fridge for 7-10 days but if you harvest just what you need each day, there is no need to store them at all.
Can I harvest the same crop twice?
Second harvests are generally weaker and the re-growth is sparser, however it can be done. We would recommend one harvest per crop and then disposing of the soil responsibly and replanting new seeds for the next batch.
Should I wash my Microgreens before eating?
No need to wash, unless you’ve sprayed the Microgreens with any nasties!
My seeds won't germinate!
A reason for this could be temperature or too little water.
Most seeds require warmth for germination (coriander is one variety that prefers cooler temperatures). Try putting your tray of Microgreens seeds in a warm room but make sure your surface doesn't dry out.
It could be that your surface and seeds are not moist enough. If you are meant to soak your seeds (pea & sunflower) try soaking them for a few hours longer. Mist spray regularly to make sure everything is moist. If all else fails, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise you.
My Microgreens keep bending to one side
They are receiving light from one side and making a growth response called phototropism. Rotate the tray so that the other sides of the shoots get light and they will bend back again. Rotate the tray through 180 degrees each day or put it in a position where it gets all round light.
My seedlings have long stems and yellow leaves.
You kept them in the dark for too long. Plants need light to make the green pigment, chlorophyll. If they are kept in the dark for too long then they respond by growing taller too fast and remain/become yellow. They have become etiolated. If you put them in the light they will become green but best to make sure you take them out of a dark place as soon as they have germinated.
Do my Microgreens have mould?
Mould is a common occurrence in dark moist environments. Most Microgreens produce small fuzzy white root hairs. These are to increase the surface area for water uptake and can be mistaken for mould but they are NOT mould.
Mould fungi look like a long stringy spiderweb creeping across the surface of the soil.
There are several ways you can combat mould. The most effective is with 3 - 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) solution . This can be purchased from most pharmacies and is a standard anti-mould remedy for Microgreens. Fill a bottle with a few mL of H2O2 and top up with water to spray them. You only need a small amount of solution. Be careful not to get the concentrated H2O2 on your hands.
Shake to mix and spray on the affected area daily until you don't see any more mould growing. Usually one of two applications is all you need.
Hydrogen peroxide is used on wounds as an antiseptic and an anti bacterial. It is also a bleaching agent so don’t get it on your hair or clothes. It is considered suitable for organic gardening as it breaks down very quickly. It can be corrosive when concentrated so be extra careful with your skin and eyes and especially around young children. Store it in a dark location as it degrades when exposed to light. If you have used it then rinse your harvested Microgreens well before eating them.
Do not use it on plants that have been exposed to light as it can burn their leaves. Mould will usually die off when exposed to light and when there is lot of air flow. If your greens are nearly ready for light, just uncover them.
Place them beside an open sunny window and the mould will die off quickly as the Microgreen leaf surfaces dry out. An alternative to hydrogen peroxide is a teaspoon of baking powder mixed with water in your spray bottle. Vinegar or lemon juice, mixed 50/50 with water and then sprayed on the affected area, can be effective as well.
Why are they flopping ?
If your Microgreens start to ‘flop’ they do not have enough water and you need to give them water.
I don’t know how many seeds to plant?
Sprinkle some of the seeds, evenly, on top of the coir. Use one of the seed varieties included in your kit for each tray/pot. We have included a wooden spoon for more accuracy - average covering = 4-6 wooden spoonfuls per bamboo growing tray.
Why are my Microgreens clumping together?
You have planted them too densely, refer to instructions and look out for our videos on our youtube channel.
Where do you deliver to?
We deliver within the UK only. Due to Brexit we are currently unable to export outside of the UK.
Can I track my order?
Yes all orders placed are sent using the Royal Mail Tracked service which you should get email and SMS notifications automatically once your item has been shipped.
When do you ship?
We ship Monday to Friday each week, so if your order is placed over the weekend we will dispatch on the Monday.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payment via our secure website platform, Shopify Payments, Paypal & Google Checkout accept all major credit and debit cards. For Bank transfers get in touch at email@example.com
Are there other ways to buy your products?
We currently only offer our products online via our website.
If I'm not satisfied with my products, can I get a refund?
Please see our refund policy here: https://teenygreeny.co.uk/pages/terms-and-conditions-of-sales
Where can I find more resources?
Subscribe to our newsletter or find us on YouTube.
Have any other questions?