Microgreens are tops. Chockers with nutrients and as versatile as a Swiss Army knife, you can scoff ’em down any which way you fancy. Snapping up live fresh microgreens still chillin’ in trays is the bee’s knees, especially if you want a stash to last you donkey’s years for your tucker or juices. But mate, it’s not always a walk in the park when you’re taking care of live microgreens. Here are the three most common hiccups you’ll come across with your ripper microgreens and how to sort ’em out.

Wilter Wonderland

No, it ain’t no wonderland. Not a bonza sight to see, fair dinkum. Just trying to have a bit of fun with words, but that’s the best I can come up with. Wilting microgreens is one of the common headaches when dealing with live microgreens. It ain’t like the leaning tower of Pisa where they’re still standing but leaning to one side. They’re totally parched out. Wilted. This happens when they’re not getting enough water.

Fun-Gee

OMG! It’s fun-gee. I mean fungi. Oh, come on. Have a giggle. I’m talking about those fuzzy-looking moulds. If you have a squiz at ’em, it’s like they’re growing cotton! Moulds are common on veggies and fruits that have been hanging out in warm, humid conditions and getting a tad too moist. And they breed like rabbits depending on how long they’ve been left out. Sometimes, some punters reckon mould is root hairs. As you can see in the two snaps below, the one on the left has root hairs while the other is dealing with mould.

Some might say to wipe ’em off. But it’s a real pain in the neck trying to scrub the mould out. There are usually two types of mould that microgreens might catch, that I’ve come across; the less common one is the white fluffy mould, which looks a lot like root hairs. This mould ain’t deadly to us in small doses and it sits on the outside of the microgreens, so it can be washed off easy-peasy. Real common on Wheatgrass, not so much on the rest of the microgreens. The more common mould for microgreens is a green slimy one. Usually starts at one point and then spreads outwards. If you catch it early enough, you can chop out the dodgy bit leaving a safe margin so it doesn’t spread to the other greens. Either way, good airflow is important, and don’t overwater ’em. When you poke the soil, it should be damp. Not too soggy and not bone dry. If it’s too much work, you can harvest ’em as soon as you get ’em and chuck ’em in the fridge.

The Invasion

Last but not least is the invasion – of bugs, of those pesky pests. Since we’re gunning for a healthy lifestyle, we’re making sure the quality of the microgreens is top-notch by growing ’em organically. I use organic seeds and soil to grow these ripper superfoods. So, no chemicals are used, which makes ’em a target for the invasion of gnats, flies, critters, and moths, especially on warm days. The prevention varies for these critters but here’s what I’ve learned based on my experience.

Moths leave a distinctive mark. They leave behind the skin of the microgreen standing upright. It looks like they’ve laid eggs in the microgreens and the little caterpillars seem to suck the life out of ’em. If a tray’s been invaded by these moths, it’s pretty much game over. I do my darndest to kick ’em to the curb at the nursery but sometimes they slip past me. Let us know if your tray’s been hit and we’ll sort you out with a fresh one.

My top tip is to grow plants that attract predatory insects to feast on the pests.

Next up are the gnats or fungus gnats as they’re called. They look like mosquitoes that are a real pain in the neck and are fairly common. The best way to deal with gnats would be to keep ’em somewhere with good airflow, water ’em sparingly, and/or cover ’em with one of those free-standing net thingies that folks use at barbies to keep the flies off the grub.

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 annoying 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 of that because I’d rather not have any other chemicals near the microgreens if I can help it. Our focus is on growing the best microgreens we can organically. And that’s also the main reason why they’re prone to be attacked by these invaders. What I’ve been using lately is one of those big bug zappers that gives ’em a nasty (fatal) zap when they touch it.

And we all know that looking after live microgreens takes time too. So, another tip is when you see that the microgreens are at their peak, you can harvest ’em and store ’em in the fridge or keep the whole tray in the fridge, if you’ve got the space. Having tried this in a cool room, trays of microgreens can still look good after 3 weeks. Keeping ’em in the fridge will stop ’em from growing so once they’re ready to eat it’s perfect. I recommend watering at least once a day if they’re not kept in the fridge, and once every 2-3 days if they are kept in the fridge. To water, chuck about 20mm of water in the outer tray, plonk the tray with the microgreens in the water and let ’em sit for 10mins. Then take the microgreens out and stand ’em up in the outer tray to let all the excess water drain off. Once it’s stopped dripping, empty the outer tray and put the microgreens back. If they’re harvested, you can keep ’em in a container (ideally one that lets a bit of air in) with a dry paper towel at the bottom. If you’ve given your harvested greens a clean, make sure to dry ’em off a bit before storing ’em to stop ’em from getting soggy.

I hope you find this article helpful. But if you have any dramas with your microgreens, you can always drop us a line via email, phone, or our socials. Cheers!