Radish microgreens are one of the easiest and quickest mucilaginous seeds to grow. In addition, its health benefits include prevention of cancer, lowering blood sugar level and cholesterol. They are also a good source of Vitamin B and C, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Radish microgreens are not only affordable but also very easy to grow for any beginner grower. Here’s a step-to-step guide to growing radish microgreens efficiently at your home.
Grow Radish Microgreen Yourself
Decide upon a planting tray of your choice making sure to have small holes in the bottom, which will be later on used to water the seeds after germination. Fill the tray with a premium potting mix just below the top and tightly compact it, leveling the surface as you do so.
Spray un-chlorinated water on the soil surface using a spray bottle and let the water absorb. If needed, level out small depressions or high spots with your finger.
It is very important to calculate the number of seeds sowed depending on the area of your planting tray. This is because too many seeds may clump together or too less may give a lower yield than normal. Approximately, there are 2500 to 2600 seeds per ounce or 90 seeds per gram. About 10 seeds per square inch are the advisable amount for Radish microgreens. Do the calculation and add the required amount of seeds to a shaker bottle. This allows you to spread the seeds evenly on the soil. Do note that these statistics may not apply to all types of seeds.
Before sowing you should ensure that the seeds are not pre-wet and completely devoid of water, or else they will form clumps.
After preparing the soil bed, scatter the seeds from the shaker bottle in concentric circles. You may want to keep a hand around the tray as you scatter because the seeds bounce off. It is not necessary to measure an equal distance amongst the seeds, but all seeds should be evenly spaced as much as possible. This is an important step because Radish microgreens is a mucilaginous seed, so they influence the growth of adjacent seeds with their biochemical response and also may cause clumping. Use your finger to spread the seeds.
The first stage is germination, and water is an essential requirement. Using a spray bottle, gently spray water over the seeds from a distance so that the seeds don’t fall off the tray. You might observe the mucilage forming almost immediately. This is beneficial for the seed as it helps it settle into the soil.
Place the planting tray in a larger tray with water in it. This will assist you in watering the plants from the bottom. After doing so, cover the planting tray with an opaque cloth or dome. The purpose of this is to not allow the seeds to be exposed to light so make sure the cover is not airtight. This is called the blackout phase.
Put weight over the cover to press down on the seeds so that they properly root into the soil. There is nothing to worry as the seeds welcome this weight and manage to grow, even with the weight over them.
Let the seeds germinate in peace. You do not need to check on them either. Do not raise the lid because some seeds may stick to the cover, and the seedlings are damaged. After 2-3 days remove the lid and observe the seedlings. If the seeds have germinated well, then you may proceed to the next step. Otherwise, spray water over the seeds and allow them to germinate for a further day or two. Check on the seeds after that.
Make up for the blackout phase by providing the seedlings with ample light, be it natural or artificial. Not that the seed has rooted and germinated, light is vital for their growth as they get all the energy from the light.
If you notice any whitish or yellowish leaves don’t pull them out. The light will eventually do them good and make them green. In its initial growth stages, if you think the soil is getting dry spray water over it with the spray bottle but keep in mind, this is the last time you use it.
It’s time for the seeds to grow to their best height. Continuous light and sufficient amount of water is the trick to grow the Radish microgreens seedlings. This is when the watering tray plays its part. Judging by the weight of the tray or the dryness of the soil, allow water to rise from the watering tray through the holes of the planting tray. Watering from the bottom keeps both the stems and the leaves dry, avoiding the splash back-back of soil over the plants. It also eliminates the chances of damping-off disease. Provide water regularly but in small amounts. Too much water is also not good for the seedlings. Also, check on the humidity and movement of air around the tray.
It’s time to harvest the fruits of your hard work. After a period of 8-10 days you may notice that the Radish
microgreens are ready to harvest and add the extra crunch to your food. When the plant is about ½ to 3 inches tall, it can be harvested.
For best results, Radishes are preferably harvested during the cotyledon stage, before the appearance of the first true leaves. If you wish to use the Radish microgreens immediately, tilt the planting tray, 45-degrees over a cutting board, or large bowl. Using scissors or a very sharp knife cut the microgreens just above the soil surface.
Try not to disturb the soil but if the soil does manage to fall into the leaves, fluff up the cut microgreens with your hand allows the soil to loosen, and settle in the bowl, after which it can be wiped. Although, the leaves may seem clean and green, you must wash them under distilled water before use. If you do not use the microgreens immediately, you can always store them and keep the crispiness intact. Without washing, place the microgreens in a zip lock bag and squeeze the air completely out of it and refrigerate.