How To Properly Harvest Microgreens

 

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Harvesting microgreens

Harvesting microgreens emerges as a straightforward and effortless task, given that microgreens typically reach harvest readiness within a window of 7 to 14 days post-germination.

For optimal results, the most opportune time to initiate the harvesting process is when the initial set of leaves, termed cotyledons, and subsequently the second set, known as true leaves, have manifested.

The uncomplicated nature of the microgreen harvesting process is underscored by the relatively swift timeframe within which they attain maturity, providing enthusiasts with a rapid transition from seed germination to the acquisition of harvestable greens. The visual appearance of cotyledons and true leaves serves as a clear indicator, signaling the precise moment to gather these diminutive yet nutritionally potent plants.

In my viewpoint, this simplified approach to harvesting microgreens aligns seamlessly with the demands of contemporary lifestyles, catering to the burgeoning interest in cultivating fresh, homegrown produce. The capacity to harvest microgreens within a condensed timeframe not only promotes sustainable and health-conscious practices but also fosters a more profound connection between individuals and the food they consume. Furthermore, the distinct identification of cotyledons and true leaves simplifies the harvesting process, rendering it accessible even for individuals venturing into microgreen cultivation for the first time.

When To Harvest Microgreens

Microgreens are ready to harvest once the first true leaves have appeared. This usually takes 7 – 14 days after the germination process. You’ll know when they’re ready once you see the first true leaves starting to appear.

Given the rapid growth rate of microgreens, it’s crucial to closely monitor their development. Allowing them to grow unchecked for an extended period can lead to undesirable outcomes such as yellowing or stunted growth. Additionally, factors like soil quality can contribute to signs of plant stress, further influencing the overall health and appearance of microgreens.

It is imperative to acknowledge that the speedy growth of microgreens demands vigilant observation. Neglecting this responsibility may result in the manifestation of unfavorable consequences, notably the discoloration of the greens or the inhibition of their growth potential. Furthermore, the occurrence of these issues might be exacerbated by the quality of the soil in which the microgreens are cultivated.

In my perspective, the need for constant attention to the growth of microgreens is paramount. This not only ensures their optimal development but also aids in preventing issues such as yellowing and stunted growth. Moreover, understanding the role of soil quality in contributing to plant stress provides valuable insights for cultivating healthy and vibrant microgreens. By maintaining a watchful eye and considering environmental factors, one can enhance the overall success of microgreen cultivation.

How To Harvest Microgreens

Move your grow trays to a cool, shady place. If your microgreens are harvested when it is too hot, they will wilt very quickly after harvesting. If harvested when cool (late evening, early morning), they will tend to stay fresh and crisp.

To harvest your microgreens use scissors to cut the microgreens directly from the growing medium. Think of it as giving your microgreens a haircut. Just cut about 2/3rds of an inch above the growing medium.

Try to cut as close as you can to the growing medium to get the maximum harvest as some microgreens are extremely short like Chia and Clover microgreens.

Harvesting microgreens

Removing Seed Hulls When Harvesting Microgreens

Microgreen seed hulls are something you do not want to eat and can get in the way when harvesting your microgreens.

Seed hulls are particularly troublesome when growing:

  • Sunflowers

  • Beets

  • Chard

  • Cilantro

  • Fennel

  • Spinach

To remove the seed hulls just simply lean your microgreens and tray up sideways, almost on the verge of the microgreens falling out of the tray.

Then take your hand and brush it through the microgreens, knocking off the hulls.

Washing And Drying Microgreens After Harvesting

After harvesting your microgreens, it’s crucial to give them a thorough rinse under cold water. This step ensures the removal of any residual dirt or contaminants that may be present. Following the rinsing process, the next vital task is to ensure complete drying of the microgreens. This can be achieved by spreading them evenly over a towel or paper towel and allowing them to air dry. Alternatively, expediting the drying process is possible by utilizing a fan set to a low speed.

In my perspective, the careful rinsing and drying of microgreens are pivotal stages in the post-harvest routine. Not only does rinsing guarantee the elimination of impurities, but the subsequent drying process plays a significant role in preserving the quality and freshness of the microgreens. The utilization of a fan for accelerated drying is a practical tip, underscoring the versatility of techniques in microgreen cultivation.

Once the microgreens are thoroughly dried, the question of optimal consumption timing arises. While cut microgreens are at their best immediately after drying, they can also be stored for a few days in the refrigerator if kept loosely in a bowl. However, a word of caution: attempting to refrigerate microgreens that are not completely dry can lead to issues such as premature spoilage. This insight emphasizes the delicate balance between preserving freshness and preventing deterioration in the storage of harvested microgreens.

 

 

harvesting microgreens

How To Properly Store Microgreens After Harvesting

After you harvest your microgreens, you might be wondering how you’re going to store them. Unless you end up eating your entire harvest in one sitting you are going to want to keep them from going bad. Just simply place them loosely in a bowl or container and put them in the refrigerator.

How Long Do Microgreens Last After Harvesting?

Microgreens should last at least 7 – 10 days in the refrigerator, and up to 3 weeks in ideal conditions and if the harvesting was done correctly. Next, you want to put the microgreens into the fridge as soon as possible. This will ensure they stay fresh for long.

Do Microgreens Grow Back After Harvesting?

Microgreens will grow back after harvesting if you cut them above the first leaves, also known as cotyledons. If you cut them below the cotyledons then they will not grow back and will need to be thrown away or composted.

Wheatgrass microgreens are an exception, wheatgrass can be grown and harvested multiple times. It is technically grass so it will keep growing until you no longer need any.

What Do You Do With Microgreens After Harvesting?

You can either eat them or store them for another time. Microgreens taste best when eaten right after harvesting. Although you can store them in the fridge for up to a week or two.

There are many different ways to eat microgreens, you can add them to sandwiches, soups, recipes, burgers, and just about anything you can think of. There are also many different microgreen recipes online.

Wheatgrass microgreens can be juiced and while you can drink it by itself I highly recommend you mix it into a smoothie to make it taste better. Wheatgrass microgreens can even be grown just to feed your cat if you have one, cats love wheatgrass!

What Happens If You Let Microgreens Keep Growing?

If you decide to let microgreens keep growing, they get leafier, and then they get less crunchy. You can taste test them and decide when you think they are ready for you. I recommend you harvest them within 7-14 days to get the best flavor.

Also, since microgreens are grown so densely together. If you let them keep growing until they mature they will wilt and die since there is not enough room between them. The roots will all fight for water and room.

Final Thoughts on Harvesting Microgreens

Harvesting microgreens is a straightforward and uncomplicated process, requiring minimal tools and effort. All you essentially need are a pair of scissors, and the remaining steps are relatively self-explanatory.

In my perspective, the simplicity of harvesting microgreens is one of the appealing aspects of cultivating these nutrient-packed greens. Armed with just a pair of scissors, enthusiasts can effortlessly engage in the harvest, making it an accessible and user-friendly activity. The straightforward nature of the process eliminates barriers for beginners, fostering a sense of accomplishment and encouragement in the journey of microgreen cultivation.

However, it’s essential to highlight the significance of timing in the harvesting process. Waiting too long to harvest may lead to undesirable consequences, affecting the taste and quality of the microgreens. Therefore, while the process itself is undeniably simple, the element of timing introduces a crucial consideration. A proactive approach to harvesting ensures optimal flavor and nutritional content in the microgreens, underlining the importance of balance in the cultivation journey.


Generally, microgreens are ready for harvest within 8-21 days after sowing once they reach the true leaf stage. The optimal harvest time varies depending on the variety and growth stage. However, visual cues play a significant role in determining the perfect moment. Knowing when to harvest microgreens is crucial for capturing their full potential.

I have written a comprehensive guide that delves deep into microgreens harvesting, answering the question of when to harvest microgreens. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, we’ve covered you with expert techniques, variety-specific recommendations, and tips for achieving optimal flavor and nutrition.

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of harvesting microgreens at their peak? In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore each growth stage, decoding visual cues and providing expert insights to help you master the art of microgreen harvesting.

Get ready for an immersive journey into the world of microgreen harvesting. We’ll cover everything you need to know from seed to plate to achieve the best harvest. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of timing, techniques, and flavor! Click here >>>


 

 

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Category: How To Grow Microgreen

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