Microgreens have captured the attention of health-conscious individuals and culinary enthusiasts alike. While growing microgreens is easily accessible, mastering the art of growing them consistently in great quality is much more challenging. In this post, we will explain the details of when to harvest microgreens, exploring popular varieties, growth timelines, and key indicators signaling readiness for harvest.
Understanding Microgreen Growth:
Microgreens are the young, tender shoots of vegetables and herbs, harvested at an early stage of growth, typically after the first true leaves appear. Despite their small size, microgreens boast concentrated flavors and high nutritional density, making them a staple in salads, sandwiches, and garnishes.
Popular Microgreen Varieties Growth Timelines:
Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular microgreen varieties and their growth timelines:
Key Harvest Indicators:
- Appearance of True Leaves: Monitor the microgreens for the emergence of true leaves; this indicates maturity and flavor development. Bear in mind that with some varieties, especially sunflowers, the microgreen needs to be harvested before the true leaves emerge.
- Height and Texture: Microgreens should have reached a desirable height and texture, offering a delicate yet robust structure. Certain microgreens, including Basil Genovese and Cilantro, benefit from growing up to 1 month to be able to develop their rich flavor.
- Vibrant Colour: Look for vibrant, rich colors in the leaves; this signals optimal nutrient content and flavor. This is particularly relevant for Red Cabbage, Purple Basil, and Red Amaranth.
- Taste Testing: Make sure you are sampling a few microgreens at different stages of growth to better understand their flavor profile and readiness for harvest based on your preference.
When it comes to harvesting microgreens, make sure you use clean, sharp scissors or a sharp knife to cut the stem just above the soil level. Handle the delicate greens with care to preserve their freshness and integrity. After harvest, you can rinse the microgreens gently to remove any residual soil and pat them dry before storing them in an air-tight container.