Microgreen Seed Density: why is it important?
There are numerous reasons why microgreens seeds density is vital. We’ll expand upon those reasons in the content below.
When you start growing microgreens, it’s normal not to have a clue on the number of seeds to sow. There are a number of issues.
The first issue is that of vagueness. Most articles suggest we add teaspoons or tablespoons of seed to ten-by-twenty-inch trays regardless of the variety. They tend not to provide any methods on how to calculate the number of seeds to be used on smaller trays.
The second issue is they suggest way too many seeds! Their suggestions include soil surface that is almost entirely covered when using the calculators. This may not seem right or reasonable for home growers as opposed to commercial growers.
Calculating Microgreen Seed Intensity
It is true that you can throw any uncalculated amount of microgreen seed on a soil mix, and microgreens will inevitably grow. But we need to consider if those microgreens will be the healthiest and most nutritious plants possible. We also need to conduct this activity without wasting space, soil, and time.
That is what most home microgreen growers want – nutritious plants and economically feasible processes. Let’s explore why seeding density is so important.
Low Seed Density
Let’s begin by talking about low seed density. If the seeds are too few, that means your tray won’t have as many microgreens growing. In effect, you’ve wasted your electricity, soil volume, and time.
Now, it isn’t that the supplies are pricey; but planting at a low seeding density leads to each tray of microgreens becoming more expensive, and no one wants to throw away money when you have an economically feasible option.
High Seed Density
You might be wondering that adding more seeds will make each tray cost less, if the reverse is true, as discussed earlier. That’s good, right? Not necessarily. Too many seeds result in too many plants in the tray, which leads to a couple of problems.
Problem Number One
Crowded plants lead to stunted growth. Dense planting doesn’t allow each plant to attain the light they require to thrive. Now, we are aware that microgreens are meant to grow close together. However, each plant needs space to acquire the light it needs to generate energy to yield vitamins.
Many internet sources claim that all of the nutrition in microgreens comes from within the seed; however, this is not accurate. The leaves in the middle of the tray are less than half the size of those on the outside. To some extent, this occurs in most microgreen trays, but not to such an extreme.
The plants in the middle will usually not be as nutritious as the ones on the perimeter. Practice planting the same mass of seeds on two trays – the microgreens from those two trays will possess more nutritional value than those grown stringently on a single tray.
Problem Number Two
The second issue with microgreen seeds that are too densely planted is the increased chances of fungus growth or damping-off disease. Both issues can be instigated by the lack of air circulation around the plant stems, which gives the fungus spores the moisture they require to develop.
Commercial cultivators can install fans to improve air circulation across their microgreen trays. For the home grower, this is often impractical, and hence not possible.
Using the correct seeding density and bottom watering will all but eliminate fungus and damping-off disease in microgreens that you grow in your home.
Concluding the Story
So, those are the causes why microgreen seed density is essential.
- We want to harvest the most nutritious microgreens conceivable while still getting the most out of our investment of time, resources, and money.
- We wish to eliminate the possibility of disease and die-off for our microgreens.
Now that you are well-equipped with this knowledge put it to use and grow your next batch!