Mold growth on your microgreens is always a bad sign. When mold grows on your microgreens it can mean that the growing environment is too damp, doesn’t have enough light, or might be lacking in good airflow. If you notice the mold growing quickly, then it has the potential to stunt the growth of your microgreens.
In this article, you will learn how to best deal with the mold growing on your microgreens, whether or not they’re still safe to eat, and how to go about prevent mold from growing on your microgreens in the future.
Is mold a bad thing to have on my microgreens?
Having mold on your microgreens is always a problem. The mold can cause you to get sick, your plant to stop growing, or even kill your microgreens completely.
Why is mold growing on my microgreens?
There are many reasons as to why your microgreens might be growing mold. Two of the biggest reasons for mold growth would be bacteria-filled soil and overwatering. When your microgreens are watered too much, it doesn’t allow the water to drain, preventing oxygen flow in your soil, and drowning your plant.
Is it safe to eat microgreens with mold on them?
Never eat microgreens with mold on them! Mold can be very harmful to your body. Remember whenever you eat microgreens, you have to wash them well. Keeping clean can reduce the risk of bacteria and mold growing on your microgreens.
How can I remove the mold?
If mold is only in a very small spot, separated from the greens, you can always cut that piece off. After that, take 1TBS of low concentration hydrogen peroxide (3%) to 16 ounces of water, or you can make a vinegar and water solution, to spray down your microgreens and the area they’re growing in.
What does mold look like on my microgreens?
It’s hard to tell the difference between mold and the natural root hairs, or cilia, that look like fuzzy little shoots that help your microgreens absorb water. Usually, you can tell by looking to see if the hair-like material is long and stringy, or if it has a foul odor (healthy microgreens don’t have a smell). Another way to tell is if they look slimy, which can again, indicate mold growth.
Where does mold grow on your microgreen?
Mold can grow everywhere and anywhere on your microgreens. Sometimes people confuse the cilia hair (at the roots) with mold. An easy way to tell is that the root hair will grow and stay consistently at the bottom, but mold can grow all over. Mold can also grow within the container your microgreens are grown in, making the soil unhabitable.
What’s the best climate for your microgreens?
Microgreens are flexible plants and have a high tolerance for many different environmental conditions, but the best growing climate is in a windowsill with four to six hours of sunshine daily, and use a spray bottle when watering them. If you notice that they’re dry to the touch, that means they’re not in a humid enough climate, and you can try using a grow light instead.
How do you have a mold-free environment?
Cut holes in the bottom of the container so that they can receive enough drainage and air. If you notice your plant struggling in the windowsill, try getting a grow light to have full control of your plant’s climate. Remember to have good soil and quality seeds. You’ll need to have a consistent temperature wherever you decide to grow your microgreens. One other trick is submerging your pot partially in water, instead of watering it – this will prevent water building up on the leaves and stem, lowering the chance of damage and mold.
Does it matter how far apart you plant the seeds?
The population density of your pot of microgreens 100 percent matters. If you plant your seeds too close together, it can help in the production of mold growth because they won’t be able to get proper airflow when they start to grow. They can also overcrowd each other once they do start growing, stunting their growth, and any mold is going to spread far more quickly between plants as well.
What can happen if you have low germination?
Not all your microgreen seeds will grow, and that’s okay, but it’s important to note that if you have low germination it can increase your risk of mold. Be sure to check the package before planting your microgreens and following the instructions of how far apart they need to grow, and what their germination percent is.
What’s the rinse test?
Rinse or spray your microgreens with water. If you notice the little hairs are still on your microgreens, that means there’s mold. The cilia will disappear while the mold will not.
Still not sure if you have mold on your microgreens?
If you’re still not sure whether you have mold or cilia hairs growing on your microgreens, wait a few days to see if your microgreens are appearing unhealthy. Are they floppy? Are they discolored? Do they look slimy? There’s a good chance that if they are, then they have mold.
Top reasons why you have mold on your microgreens!
Remember to watch out for these common mistakes when growing microgreens so that you can prevent the growth of mold.
- Not enough light
- Too much light
- Not enough humidity
- Too much humidity
- Bad soil
- Bacteria filled environment (container or pot)
- Not enough, or too much humidity
- Bad soil or a bacteria-filled container
Top ways to fix the problem of mold in your microgreens!
No matter how green your thumb is, sometimes you need to problem-solve. Here are some good habits to get into when you’re wanting to grow your microgreens sans mold.
- Use a spray bottle when watering your plants
- Try using a windowsill that doesn’t get too cold
- If there’s too much light, try using a grow light
- A bathroom or kitchen usually has a more humid climate
- Be sure to use healthy, clean soil
- Have holes in your container for drainage
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.