Microgreens questions (Sleevendog?)

foodonastump

For obvious reasons I’m now wishing I had started growing. Now that it’s a necessity I’m hoping to get help starting some quick growing, basic tasting, bulky salad. Recommendations for plant(s) for a beginner? Also, after asking a while ago I was either not clear on what type of coir to get, or not able to find it in bulk, online. Link to a source?

I’m looking through various threads and picking up bits and pieces. But this is intimidating as there isn’t a hint of green in either of my thumbs, so any help would be hugely appreciated.

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smiling

Until Sleevendog can respond, I'd suggest starting with radishes. They germinate very quickly and grow well. Do you have a very sunny window area or some grow lights to use?

Lowe's carries 8 quart bags of organic Sta-Green coconut coir. (I can't lift the larger heavier types of bulk supplies, so this size works well for me.) These bags of coir have been stocked recently in the Lowe's brick-and-mortar stores in preparation for spring season. In both stores where I bought them, they were shelved in the outdoor garden area near the potting mixes. I believe Sleevendog purchases bulk coir pellets online at great prices.

I also have some luck growing lettuces, brassicas, mustards, and herbs in coir.


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Where are you FOAS?

For some reason I'm thinking Canada?

You will need to order asap. They are running out of stock but I do know of a Canadian supplier. (for seed).

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I'll put together a quick list once I hear back.

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foodonastump

Long Island. Thank you!

And thanks [hopefully still] smiling!

No grow lights but I could order something? It’s 11:20am and there’s been sun in my kitchen for a while, and I think will be for most of the day.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

LongIsland, cool, I remember now. I'm out your way all the time, well not anytime soon.

You need at least four varieties. All quick growers. You will have salad in 7-10 days. Once up and running with the first grow, start four more trays every 4-5 days. You just need a 3ft shelf with a desk lamp or small LED strip and hopefully a sunny window.

Pea,... like Dunn or ThomasLaxton, Radish,... like triton, daikon or red rambo (rambo is more $ but dark red gorgeous), a Cabbage like china rose, And one of the kohlrabi, kale or broccoli varieties. TrueLeaf is out of sunflower...that would be the fourth....obviously I have many more but keep it simple as those mentioned are easy to grow.

Link, HERE

Keeping it very simple would be Pea, Radish and Cabbage. TrueLeaf had an earthquake and not working today...as well as orders baking up, 45$ free shipping. That would keep you in salad for some time. They have coir. But you could get it locally, but I like the pellets. No mess.


Amazon also has the pellets.

I do grow lettuce and herbs but very fussy and take weeks. I don't recommend for micros. They do best outdoors. Keep it simple. The fast growers like the indoors and AC in the summer. If you order, I'll walk you through it. In the meantime I need your address. I'll send one of my starter kits that was meant for a charity bake sale...

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foodonastump

Thank you!!!

Since True Leaf is having additional issues from others, I looked at Johnny’s. They have the radish and cabbage you suggested, but not the pea. What do you think about Dwarf Grey Sugar Pea?

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Johnnys has peas listed under 'shoots'. (they charge shipping and ny tax)

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Just checked. I have all their peas. All good. I need to do a side-by-side grow test.

They are having delays as well.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Here they are...radish blend, peas and I think that is cabbage on the right. Probably about 5-6 days growth. I usually go to 7-9 days and up to 12 if I have too much growing. About 6 big salads. But I usually add other veg, cheese, olives, etc.

radish has some crunch and spice, peas are sweet, brassicas are meaty. Good combo.

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cindy_7

I order micro-green seeds by the pound here: http://seeds.toddsseeds.com/microgreens/

They sprout very quickly and the seeds keep well. My son does not care for radish greens, saying they are too strong. I usually order the other blends. A pound of seeds lasts a long time!

ETA - They also have pea seeds by the pound. http://seeds.toddsseeds.com/search.php?search_query=pea+microgreens&x=0&y=0

Much more economical.

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foodonastump

Ok I’ve ordered field peas, red rambo, China rose, and black sunflower. And coir. If a pound is a lot then I’ll have more than a lot. Will help spread the wealth and knowledge when I have some to share!

SD - I’ve emailed you.

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Sooz

I'd like to start doing this too, and have no clue where to begin - I'm in So Cali.

I have no idea what to get for dirt or growing medium, trays for the seeds to grow, kinds of seeds for edible greens or micro greens, etc and would appreciate some specific help (i.e. first you order this, and order that in the same order.... Then you.....(whatever, I'm a tabula rasa!) or a link with specific instructions. If anyone sends me an email, please let me know by posting here on this thread, so I can look for it in all my email folders just in case it gets sent to spam or junk! Thanks!

Smiles,

Sooz

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cindy_7

Here you go, Sooz. Done with things you may have around the house.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCsUjeUJeQ0

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Sooz

Thanks, Cindy!!!

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cindy_7

One other suggestion: I just used an ice pick to put the holes on the bottom of the container. (I'm using a mushroom container from Costco.) It worked just fine. If you don't have an ice pick, an awl would work, too.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Sooz, I posted a link above. (click on the word 'LINK') You should read the postings. And Cindy's video link is good. But he mentioned any ol' soil. I don't agree. Use clean non-soil seed starting mix. Coir is not soil. The pellets are excellent and compressed and dry. You just wet what you need each seeding. The coir bricks are not good as you need to wet the entire brick. You will then have 5 gallons of soil that may rot. Nor do you need that much soil he uses in the container. I like CurtisStone's videos because he covers 'trouble shooting'. Root hairs, mold issues. Dampening off.

Foas, oh good you got the sunflower. They are crunchy like romaine. A bit like fresh spinach/baby chard. Even better, you will be harvesting fresh. : )

Don't worry about the lack of a green thumb. I have many NYC friends growing that never even had a house plant. Sometimes seasoned gardeners have a tough time adjusting to an in-door grow. Dense planting. Summer gardeners do not usually buy bulk seed.

These are the exact seed grown in a garden. Just insanely cheap compared to tiny seed packets from the garden center. Why I like Dunn and ThomasLaxton. So if you have gardening friends or want to grow a teepee soon outside, you have the seed. Peas are an early Spring crop...they like cooler temps.

No need for a light bank. I just like an LED source I use as a night light and gives the micro trays some extra boost. They dance from pantry shelf to the sunny window shelf.

(gorgeous sunny day today!)

An LED light strip. what's used for under counter kitchen lighting. $Cheap to run. Or like I mentioned a desk lamp with an LED bulb. I don't have any of these so this is just an example. DO NOT like mine. I need to replace it. It only works with motion control, no manual setting. The peas grow so fast they shut it off all-the-time. Drives me nuts.

But I would not spend any more money until you find out if you will keep up with this. A desk lamp will do.

I'm at about 50% with co-workers, friends, and family growing. Kids love them but they tend to overwater and kill them. Bottom watering, sitting in a tray of water, will kill, called 'wet feet'.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I got your address foas. Containers are in the kit. And directions. I don't need anything. Just make a small donation, HERE

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beesneeds

Funny, I was just talking in another forum earlier today that it was lucky I got into some microgreen growing over the winter.

Thank you sleevendog for that :)

I laughed at Cindy's video- because I do have a large stack of those containers! I use them for storage in the craft room.

Instead, I've been using a big stack of recycled mushroom tubs. The regular grocery store ones. Small awl pokes holes in the bottom nicely.


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foodonastump

Thanks SD!!! I will absolutely make a donation.

I don’t know how I overlooked the pellet detail as I’ve read that from you so many times. I ordered blocks. Maybe I can cut off what I need as I need it? Might be messy but we’ll see. I’m not familiar with the stuff.

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agmss15

I live in Maine and know several people who work for Johnny’s. They are having an absolutely insane season. They are running out of seed.

FWIW I bought some more seed a few days ago - grey striped sunflowers for ‘shoots’ were on sale at 50% percent off a few days ago.

Much thanks to Sleevendog for getting me started with Microgreens. I full on geeked out this winter. Yesterday I harvested Sunflowers, Peas, Radishes and a sprout mix.

If anyone is just starting I recommend these videos on YouTube. I find their presentation clear and simple and easy for me to adapt to my set up.

https://youtu.be/cxdxjqnzXfw

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Sooz

Sooooo much to learn! Thanks, everyone! I think I'm going to geek out on this!

A few questions...

1. Am I able to use regular dirt from our garden or is it better to use those compressed soil pellets or ?

2. If we're going to eat the sprouty parts of when the seeds are growing/sprouting up, should the seeds be heirloom and/or organic? Are all heirloom and/or organic seeds non-GMO (seems logical that they would be non-GMO, but I'm coming from a place of not knowing for sure).

3. I've never had sunflower sprouts! Are all sprouted seeds and micro greens edible? (I know I'm coming from a place of *I sure don't know so I may be asking stoopid questions!*)

Thanks!

Smiles,

Sooz

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cindy_7

Sooz - 1. Potting soil would be best.

  1. You would have to read the label to see if the seeds are organic or heirloom. Doubt that they would be GMO.

  2. Only order the seeds recommended for micro-greens.

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beesneeds

sleevendog is a better knowledge than I... I have tried to be a good student.


I use Pro-Mix. I get it by the bale for my other seed starting, and have had success using it for microgreens. Don't use regular garden dirt.

You as a home gardener/grower, can't buy GMO seeds. Farmers with contracts with the GMO producers and working with the Govt. can buy GMO seeds. The GMO free for home gardeners thing is more of a marketing tool. So even if the seed is a non-organic hybrid, it's not GMO.

IMO, hybrid seed is good as heirloom for microsprouts. Organic is a personal preference rather than an edibility factor.

A microgreen-shoot? I've liked growing is popcorn. Gotta grow it in a very dim/dark place to keep it blanched and tender... but it's tasty.

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Sooz

Thanks, Cindy and Beesneeds!

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foodonastump

Got it, SD, thanks!!! And I did make a donation. Will get this started in a day or two and will report back. Johnny’s hasn’t processed my order yet, hopefully soon.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Cool, that was fast!...feel free to even call me and pm for my number for trouble-shooting. You could soak the pea seeds now in a small glass container even up to 48 hours. They need the time to absorb water.

(don't worry about failure....lots of time for that since they grow so fast)

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I actually can't remember what I was stuffing the box...I kept stuffing...but they are portioned for the size tray. (every seed packet is for that size tray)

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Oy, how many NYC friends and co-workers are texting so thankful I got them into this!

They have fresh salads every day and lots of seed for months.

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Sooz

I'm waiting for my seed order from Todd's Seeds.

Cindy mentioned above "Only order the seeds recommended for micro-greens." So... dumb questions coming up.... is there a problem if we grow seeds that aren't called micro greens and eat the sproutlings (is this even a word?) of those? <"seedlings"?>

Also, I don't quite understand how coir round pellet thingys can fit into a rectangular tray. Wouldn't there be a lot of space in between where the coirs touch and the seeds would fall down into the in-between?

Thanks!

Smiles,

Sooz

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

".... is there a problem if we grow seeds that aren'tcalled micro greens and eat the sprouts of those? "

YES! , a problem. (no time at the moment to explain)

The coir pellets expand in water to make a small amount of soil. They are compressed soil pellets. Soilless soil since it is coir. 4 pellets will fill a small tray about an inch.

Sooz, have you ever grown anything from a seed or gardened at all?



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foodonastump

Thanks for your offer for help, SD. Very generous. I’ll start soaking today and see how it goes.

I do have one question: While checking on the status of my order I noticed that the China Rose I ordered is a radish sprout, not a cabbage:

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/sprouts/radish-china-rose-organic-sprouting-seeds-2154.32.html

I don’t think that’s what you meant, based on your list up thread. It’s back ordered anyway, so I wrote to them asking to exchange for Chinese Cabbage, which I chose due to quick grow time:

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/microgreens/microgreen-vegetables/chinese-cabbage-tokyo-bekana-f1-microgreen-seed-2251M.html#q=Micro%2Bgreen%2Bcabbage&lang=en_US&start=1

Approve?


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Yes, you are correct. I discovered that last Spring when I label switched RedRockCabbage and ChinaRoseRadish. But in my head it stuck, the wrong way. Cabbage seeds are tiny, radish 4 times the size. You made a good choice though!

Sorry for the confusion. (A co-worker growing actually pointed it out)

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Sooz

Oh, SD, I must come off as beyond dumb LOLAM! Thanks in advance for your & everyone's patience & encouragement! Yes, I've "gardened" -- flower seeds! Throw them on the ground, stand back, and watch them grow!

DH will sometimes bring home starter plants of tomatoes, zucchini, & cucumbers, so they go directly in the ground. I did start some alfalfa seeds once, in a glass jar with a mesh screen lid, but that was during my hippie days (and I'm a city gal who grew up in the Los Angeles area).

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Sooz, here is a pic of the pellets. 3 3/4 inch pellets makes a small mound of soil when soaked in a small amount of water.

Many other ways to grow things. Hundreds. One method that works for me may not work for others. (I tried many). Since I grow 365days a year now it is compact and tidy. The pellets are extremely dry. I just soak quickly what I need. I can start 2-3 small trays while I have my coffee at 3.30 am. Takes 5 min. My seeds are in half-pint containers so I don't have the chore of opening one pound bags each time. All fits stacked in a small area in my pantry. I choose 2-4 varieties I want to start. 2-3 times a week. Now much more since we are home. Still a tiny footprint.


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Every tiny seed has an embryo surrounded by its own suitcase of food to germinate once wetted. Enough food for the first 7-12 days, (depending on the seed). The time needed to harvest micros. Slow growers need extra food and a better light set-up. And take 4-8 weeks of precious real estate. Micros are jam packed with nutrients in such a small amount of time/space. Leaf lettuce takes forever and, though healthy, not nearly worth the time. (just my opinion in my situation). Except outside in a garden where space and time is plenty in the summer growing season.

I don't know the actual comparison nutrient numbers of, say, a bag of grocery salad greens compared to a pint of micros....(or care). But micros are so densely concentrated....and freshly cut....not traveling to packaging plants from growers, in plastic or clam shells, then shipped to stores, then shelved. Gardeners all know how great fresh is.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Not clear about the seed variety you might want to sprout. or what you are referring to. And eat. But one example is the pea varieties in the GenusLathyrus. Prolonged consumption can cause lots of side effects like paralysis. etc. Confusion in diagnosing such consumption by the medicals can take months as you suffer.

Similar to mushrooms harvested in the forest, or odd growing greens popping up in your garden or flowers. When in doubt, leave it alone.

Darn you rhubarb. LOL. I have so much and such a shame those gorgeous leaves that look like giant collards are not edible. (you would have to eat about 2-3 pounds to maybe get sick, not die, but gastric distress.) (not edible)...deer will not touch them.

Certain flower can kill you.

Gardeners are well aware about the best seed suppliers. On gardening forums it is discussed all the time.

Trusting the best suppliers is key in safe gardening. And a combined list of at least maybe 100+ recommended seed varieties for micros?....on a few recommended seed providers. No need to risk random seed.

One video guy wanders into various international market and sprouts random seed since it is cheap. (cheaper). Old seed will rot and not worth the effort. Some fruited seed will produce edibles, but their leaves/stems will be toxic. Beans/seed in a grocery does not list the variety. Sure if you are an expert in identification....


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Sooz

SD, what a wealth of information you've shared here! Thank you so much! It's so nice to see the coir pellets and how they look at different "stages!" Thank you so much!

Smiles,

Sooz

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foodonastump

I’ve finally got my peas soaking, will plant a few trays tomorrow. As a reward (I guess!) my Johnny’s order just arrived. I also got a True Leaf order in, the web site warns of delayed shipping times but this morning I got an email saying it’s on its way. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to use the coir bricks as I’ve got a lifetime supply, but we’ll see. For now I’ve got the pellets from the kit.

Question - How big a deal is organic vs non? I bought non, and I’m hoping that wasn’t a mistake.

I’ll post results as they become photogenic!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Organic does not matter. But what IS important to me is growing organic. You will not need any fertilizer at all so good there. Good quality seed and from a reputable company...all good there too!

I have a couple bricks. (emergency). When I first made that mistake, I soaked just one end into a bowl of water, about a quart and let it sit, then scraped off the softened soil. Messy. I did it outside. If you end up with too much wet soil, bag it into a quart zip lock and keep it in the freezer. That will keep it from molding. A week or so wet is fine.

I buy organic seed because I like to support those growers...yet I do have some other non seed as well.

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foodonastump

This morning, 72 hours, the trays have lifted. Look about right? No sun today so will set up under some LED lighting.


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Give them another day or two. The radish is usually first, ready tomorrow. Keep the weight on. (the bit of fuzzy is root hairs). Peas like a light spritz of water.

Looks great.

Stack with the peas on the bottom, radish on top.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

This pea tray was uncovered this morning, about 6 hours ago. The radish tray yesterday. They grow fast!


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foodonastump

Will do!

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