If you notice mold growing on microgreens, you should not attempt to eat them raw. However, you can still eat moldy microgreens if they have been thoroughly washed and cooked at a high temperature. This is because the high heat will destroy any of the germs caused by mold.
Spotting mold on your microgreens is never a good sign. However, it doesn’t mean you need to throw away your entire microgreen plant. Keep reading to learn what to do when you notice mold growing on your microgreens.
Is it safe to eat moldy microgreens?
Mold is a type of fungus that is full of germs and bacteria. If you sport mold on your microgreens, it’s best to avoid eating them.
However, it’s understandable if you don’t want to be wasteful. If you wash all of the mold off of the microgreens and cook them all the way through, the heat will destroy any bacteria from the mold and the microgreens will be safe to consume.
How can you tell if the microgreens aren’t safe to eat?
You can always tell if microgreens are safe to consume by examining the way they look and smell. If the microgreens are putting off a foul smell, then you should avoid eating them.
Microgreens that have shriveled leaves and mushy stems are no longer good to eat. When they are in this state, they have lost their nutritional value.
What causes microgreens to become moldy?
As the roots begin to grow, they start to mat up and get tangled together. Once the roots get matted together, they create a barrier that prevents the soil from draining properly.
What is the number 1 mistake new gardeners make that causes microgreens to become moldy?
One of the top mistakes that beginners make causing their microgreens to become moldy is by planting them in the wrong tray. Microgreens should be grown in trays that have holes at the bottom because they allow for proper drainage.
If the trays or containers used have closed bottoms, the excess water sits at the bottom. This can cause the soil to become too moist, which leads to microgreens molding. We highly recommend checking the containers for holes before planting microgreens at home.
Can a dehumidifier prevent mold from developing on microgreens?
If your microgreens are growing in a humid room, that could be a contributor to what is causing mold to grow on them. By simply placing a dehumidifier in the room, it could solve the mold problem.
There are certain seasons in which the humidity indoors is higher, so during these points, your microgreens are at a higher risk of developing mold. If you live in a humid environment, you may notice benefits from using a dehumidifier.
Could the microgreens’ growing environment be causing the mold?
It’s very important to do your best to imitate a plant’s outdoor environment when growing one indoors. If your microgreens do not get an adequate amount of light and fresh air, they are very likely to become moldy.
Making sure your microgreens are growing in an environment with quality air circulation is crucial to keeping mold away. It is also important to make sure the microgreens are getting a good amount of daily light because mold thrives in dark places.
Can the roots of microgreens become moldy, while the rest of the plant looks healthy?
A lot of times peoples who pull their microgreen out of the soil think they have a mold problem when they first see the microgreen’s root. However, microgreen roots actually have little white hairs that look similar to mold.
While root hair and mold do look a lot alike, there is a key difference. Root hair is quite fuzzy like a pet’s fur while mold is more like a cobweb.
Could the growing media be what’s causing microgreens to mold?
If you want to avoid mold in your microgreens, the best choice of growing media is simply soil. When people choose to use other media instead of potting soil, microgreens are at a higher risk of becoming moldy.
This is because there are several types of media that are made to retain moisture. Microgreens shouldn’t be exposed to too much moisture because they are at a higher risk of developing mold.
Will the microgreen plants be ruined if there is mold?
If you spot mold, you don’t have to discard the plant because you may be able to kill the mold. We recommended making a solution of 1 part food grade hydrogen peroxide, 1 part white vinegar, and 2 parts room temperature water.
This solution can but put in a spray bottle and mist on the mold until it dies off. However, you should not use this solution on your plants too frequently because it could burn the stems and leaves.
What steps can be taken before planting microgreens to reduce the chance of mold?
Quite often the seeds themselves can be the cause of mold, so it’s recommended to sanitize the seeds before planting microgreens. Simply mix a spoonful of hydrogen peroxide in water and allow the seeds to soak for a few hours before planting.
It’s also important to avoid overseeding so the roots don’t become crowded as the plants begin to grow. Too many seedlings can easily worsen a mold problem.
How long will microgreens stay fresh after they have been harvested?
Freshly harvested microgreens should stay good if they are kept in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days. If they are left in the fridge longer than that, they are likely to spoil and start developing mold.
However, it’s important to note that the shelf life can vary depending on the microgreens. While most microgreens will stay good for two weeks after harvesting, some may start to spoil sooner.
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.