You may need weights for broccoli microgreens. Placing a 4lb sandbag on the tray where you planted the seeds can help keep the moisture in permanently. At the same time, the microgreen plants will remain stable in the soil.
Why Do You Put Weight On Microgreens?
Microgreens love weight put on them. One of the reasons for putting weight on microgreens is to ensure that the blackout stays stable in the tray and the microgreens do not move too much in a humid environment, also the small seedlings stay stable in the soil.
Not all microgreens require weight, but some do. Some of the microgreens that require weight are microgreens such as cabbage, sunflowers, and radishes.
Another reason to put weight on these microgreens is to provide better growth. Weights prevent the soil from drying out while the seeds are developing.
In this way, stronger plants emerge and the seeds can easily shed their shells.
Why Do You Need Weights On Starting Trays?
The applied weight ensures that the seeds remain moist and offers an equal germination opportunity. This means your trays can be harvested faster.
If you look at the subject in more detail, adding weight results in:
- Greater success in sprouting seeds. You will get more yield from the seeds you plant and most of the seeds will germinate successfully.
- Faster germination – when you add weight, germination is accelerated and at the same time, the productivity of the soil increases.
Overall adding weight will positively affect the speed and quality of the crop you will receive. The soil, which has become more fertile thanks to the weight you put on it, will sprout faster than otherwise.
Other benefits are:
- Prevents seeds from drying out
- Strengthens the exchange between seed and soil.
- It stretches the stem for easy shedding of plants.
What Is The Microgreen Blackout Period?
The blackout period is the time when you put a cover on the seeds just as they begin to sprout to prevent light from getting in.
This method ensures that the seeds remain stable in the soil and the sprouting period continues in a healthy way.
If the soil you will use in the covering process is of bad quality, you will only get a dirty crop at the end of the process. As a result, it can cause root rot and some diseases. Quality soil and blackouts help to prevent such an outcome.
What is The Purpose of the Blackout Period?
During the blackout period, your sprouted seeds will stretch. Without light, they will try extra to get out of the seed and search for light.
In this way, you can harvest them more easily in the future. Most of the microgreens do not prefer elongation in the last 10 days before cutting, so do this early.
With the blackout process you apply, you force them to extend this obligatory time. You can easily do this with a dark, lightproof microgreen tray.
You can keep your microgreens in the dark by turning your tray upside down or covering with a blackout sheet.
The tray depth is also very important in the blackening process. If you are using a very shallow tray, you should replace it with a deeper one.
Blackout Vs. Weight – What’s More Important?
Blackout and weight are equally important. The seeds fixed in the soil germinate quickly with the blackening method and the added weight supports the moisture levels and provides the necessary environment for the seeds. However, not all microgreens need weight.
For some microgreens, only the tray will be sufficient to maintain the humidity in the environment.
What Do I Need to Conduct a Blackout?
The simplest material required for the blackout period is the type of tray. The depth of the tray is important here. Shallow trays do not work as well as deeper ones.
A deep tray ensures that the seeds are comfortable and not jammed together. After preparing your tray and establishing the moist environment necessary for your seeds to germinate, you will acquire a blackout sheet and wait.
Or you can do the blackening process by placing an empty tray on top of the tray where you planted your seeds.
With a wide tray, the seeds will be more comfortable. Since the sprouts need ample space to stretch, a deep tray will do the trick. In addition, you can put a towel, plastic sheet or cardboard for the blackening process.
The important thing to do is to prevent light coming in by creating a dark environment – however you choose to do it.
A deep tray is the only necessity so the seedlings have room to stretch upwards and grow.
How Long Should Microgreens Be in The Dark?
The microgreens need to stay in the dark for a while before they come into contact with the light.
This period is usually called the blackout period. The blackout period varies between 5-8 days on average.
Blackening times of microgreens differ according to their types. After a good blackout period, the microgreens sprout and are then introduced to normal light for growth.
An efficient blackout period allows microgreens to be harvested more quickly in the future. The blackout period is a very important phase in this respect.
How Long Should Microgreens Be Under Light?
You can keep your microgreens in daylight. This natural light is more efficient than artificial lights.
Microgreens should stand for at least 6 hours in natural light, 12 hours in artificial light. If you leave your plants under the light for a longer period of time, they will have more time to photosynthesize and form the sugars they need.
Microgreens exposed to sunlight for a longer period of time will grow faster. This is a sign of a more productive harvest.
Do You Water Microgreens During Germination?
It is very important to water the microgreens during the germination stage. You should do this irrigation process twice a day.
After the seeds burst and small leaves begin to appear, irrigation should continue in the same way. Irrigation is essential for the development of microgreens.
Likewise, the light you apply after the blackout period is one of the must-haves for microgreens.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.