Microgreens are great. They are packed full of nutrients and are so versatile that you can eat them any way you want. Buying live fresh microgreens that are still in trays is the best option you can get especially if you’d like to have days or even weeks’ supply for your everyday meals or juices. However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies when taking care of live microgreens. Here are the three most common problems you’ll ever encounter with your precious microgreens and how to deal with them.

Wilter Wonderland

No, it’s not a wonderland. It’s not a wonderful sight to see. Just trying to play with words but that’s the best I can think of. Wilting microgreens is one of the common issues when handling live microgreens. It’s not like the leaning tower of Pisa where they are still standing and are just leaning on one side. They are totally drenched out. Wilted. This happens when they are not being watered enough.

A good fix to it is to give them an ample amount of water and leave them overnight somewhere cool. They should come back to life afterwards. Sometimes, it also depends on the weather. For warmer months, it is important to keep them hydrated but make sure the soil is not saturated for long periods of time.

Fun-Gee

OMG! It’s fun-gee. I mean fungi. Oh, come on. Laugh it out. I’m talking about those fuzzy-looking moulds. If you’ll look at it, it’s as if they’re growing cotton! Moulds are common to vegetables and fruits that have been exposed to moist and warm, humid temperatures, and often reproduce quickly depending on the length of time it’s been exposed. There are times though when some customers confuse mould with root hairs. As you can see in the two images below, the one on the left has root hairs while the other is with mould.

Some may advise to wipe them off. But it’s super tedious to try and wipe the mould out. There are typically two types of mould that microgreens may get, that I have come across; the least common is the white fluffy mould, the most similar to root hairs, this mould is not lethal to us in small doses and it scaffolds on the outside of the microgreens, not penetrating, so it can be easily washed off. Really common on Wheatgrass, less so for the rest of the microgreens. The more common mould for the microgreens is a green slimy mould. Usually starts at a point and then radiates outward. If caught early enough you can cut the section out leaving a safe margin so it doesn’t affect the surrounding greens. Either way, good airflow is important, and not overwatering. When you touch the soil, it’s damp. Not too wet and not too dry. If it’s a bit of work, you can harvest them as soon as you receive them and then place them inside the fridge.

The Invasion

Last but not least is the invasion – of bugs, of those unwanted pests. Since we’re aiming for a healthy life, we are ensuring the quality of the microgreens by producing them organically. I use organic seeds and soil to produce these amazing superfoods. Thus, no chemicals are used making them prone to THE invasion of gnats, flies, critters, and moths, especially on warm days. The prevention varies from those invaders but here’s what I can share based on my experience.

Moths cause distinct damage. They leave behind the skin of the microgreen standing upright. They appear to lay eggs in the microgreens and the hatched caterpillars/larvae seem to suck all the life out of the microgreens. If a tray has been invaded by these moths it is pretty much game over. I do my best to eliminate them at the nursery but sometimes they slip past me. Let us know if your tray has been impacted and we’ll send out a fresh one.

My best advice is to incorporate plants that attract predatory insects to feed off the pests.

Next are the gnats or fungus gnats as they call them. They look like mosquitoes that are annoying and are fairly common. The best remedy for gnats would be to keep it somewhere with good airflow, minimal watering, and/or to keep it covered with one of those free-standing net things that people use at barbecues to keep the flies off the food.

Obviously, these preventive measures vary depending on how effective they would be for a certain type of pests. But these can be done with whichever pests are pestering your live microgreens. There are also other ways like mixing baking soda, water and other stuff like hydrogen peroxide. But, honestly, I haven’t done much because as much as possible I don’t want any other chemicals touching the microgreens. Our focus is on producing the best microgreens we can organically. And that’s also the main reason why they are prone to be attacked by these invaders. What I’ve been using now is one of those big bug buzzers that, when they touch it, gives them a nasty (fatal) shock..

And we all know that taking care of live microgreens requires time as well. So, another suggestion is when you see that the microgreens are at their peak, you can harvest them and store them inside the fridge or keep the whole tray in the fridge, that’s if you have enough space for it. Having tested this with a cool room, trays of microgreens can still look good after 3 weeks. Keeping them in the fridge will stop them from growing so once they’re ready to eat it’s ideal. I recommend watering at least once a day if not kept in the fridge, and once every 2-3 days if they are kept in the fridge. To water, put about 20mm of water in the outer tray, place the tray with the microgreens in the water and let them sit for 10mins. Then take the microgreens out and sit them perpendicular to the outer tray to let all the excess water drain off. Once it has stopped dripping, empty the outer tray and put the microgreens back. If they are harvested, you can keep them inside a container (ideally one that will allow a small amount of airflow) with a dry paper towel on the bottom. If you’ve cleaned your harvested greens, make sure to dry them a bit before storing them to avoid getting them soggy.

I hope you find this article helpful. Nonetheless, should there be any issues with your microgreens, you can always contact us via email, phone or our social media accounts.