5 Tips For Maintaining Your Refrigerators

refrigerator

The refrigeration process was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans who made use of mountain ice to cool food. This method inhibits the growth of microorganisms and ruins food items. Refrigeration allows food items to be stored for long periods of time, with some products being kept for months and even years. As water freezes to form ice, the process can be used to store many products. In some cases, ice is also used to preserve food, such as packed snow.

Compressor

Before beginning to work on a fridge compressor, unplug the appliance. Write down the voltage and current of the compressor circuit board, then move it away from the wall. Use a digital multi-meter with the ohms function to check the current and voltage between the compressor and its housing. If the voltage or current is below.5, there is a possibility that the compressor is faulty. If this is the case, find the Start Relay and disconnect it.

There are two main types of compressors for refrigerators. One type is a reciprocating compressor, known as a Scotch-Yoke compressor. A reciprocating compressor consists of a piston that reciprocates inside a stationary cylinder. The cylinder is rotated by a sliding yoke that is mounted on the upper end of a vertical shaft. The shaft is made of hardened steel and runs in cast iron bearings. The upper bearing is self-aligning, helping to eliminate wear and tear. At the bottom of the shaft, a rotary oil pump keeps the compressor properly lubricated.

An improved compressor with electronic frequency control (EFC) is designed for use with different refrigerating circuits. These compressors reduce energy consumption and noise. A brushless motor reduces the risk of a compressor breakdown and is less likely to produce harmful emissions. Further, it has lower operating noise. It is important to note that different compressors have different capacities. The type of compressor you select should be compatible with the capacity of your refrigerator.

Condenser

A condenser is a component that cools the refrigerant and expels the heat from the refrigerator. Dirty condensers reduce the effectiveness of the unit by increasing its energy usage and shortening its life. This article outlines some ways to clean the condenser in your fridge. By following these tips, you can avoid the unnecessary expense of replacing the condenser. Here are five easy maintenance tips:

First, remove the unit from the wall and unplug it. Make sure to switch off the electrical breaker, and remove any plastic or other coverings that cover the coils. If there is no cover on the coils, remove it by hand. 

Next, clean the condenser coils using a vacuum hose attachment, or a stiff brush. Be careful not to bend any of the tubes! Remember that cleaning the condenser is quite tricky and requires a little knowledge, so be sure to read the manual first before getting started.

Condenser refrigerators operate by circulating ice-cold air through a closed system. A compressor compresses the refrigerant and sends it to the condenser coils, which further compress the gas. This liquid then dissipates the heat and a condenser fan removes the hot air. The compressor is typically located on the lower rear panel. In many cases, the condenser will cover half of the refrigerator’s wall.

Expansion Valve

An expansion valve for a refrigerator is a commonly used part of a household appliance. It works to regulate the amount of air that goes into and out of a refrigerator. This valve has three guide faces that prevent it from becoming clogged by debris. These guide faces are formed by tangential planes on the peripheral surfaces of the pin and needle. When a fluid passes through them, the dirt particles get flushed out.

A thermal expansion valve is another name for an expansion device. It controls the amount of refrigerant that passes from the evaporator to the compressor. It prevents liquid refrigerant particles from entering the compressor and keeps the evaporator working at maximum efficiency. A TXV is an essential part of a refrigerator’s cooling system and can ensure optimal performance. When installed correctly, a TXV will help your appliance perform at its maximum capacity.

The first guide means 26 guides the needle 28 through the opening in the body of the valve. The guide portions are tangential to the peripheral surface of the reed. These guide faces engage the peripheral surface of the valve needle 28 and engage a corresponding plane of the pin member. The radial guide means is also integral to the valve body. These guide means are positioned in a manner to guide the needle through the evaporator.

Insulation

The first commercial use of polyurethane refrigerator insulation was carried out by the world’s leading appliance producer, Whirlpool Corp. The new system replaces the traditional HFC-based foam blowing agent. Its advantages include improved operational flexibility, enhanced shelf-life stability of materials, and more even foam distribution during production. A major advantage of this new system is that it helps to reduce energy consumption while maintaining high quality. Therefore, it is expected that consumers will be pleased with the performance of this innovative product.

In addition, closed-cell stylometric insulation offers superior protection against thermal losses and moisture accumulation. These advantages are particularly important in refrigeration-pipe insulation because condensation significantly reduces the insulation’s thermal efficiency and shortens its life. These features make it the ideal choice for refrigerator insulation. The best way to find the most effective type of insulation for your fridge is to check its manufacturer’s recommendations and read reviews. There are a few common features of insulation.

The best insulator is a vacuum, but this is not practical. A vacuum container inside a refrigerator would be too heavy and bulky. Next, the best is the air that does not move. Foam is an inexpensive, lightweight material that traps air. The thicker the foam, the more effective it is. To ensure a refrigerator’s insulation, make sure the foam is thick enough to ensure complete air coverage. Once you’ve installed your new refrigerator, check its warranty to see what it covers.

Cooling Zone in Door Shelves

Adding a cooling zone to refrigerator door shelves allows you to regulate the temperature inside the fridge. The air that normally circulates in the freezer is diverted to the refrigerator door. This feature is ideal for storing frequently used items such as milk and juice. If you don’t want to remove these items from the refrigerator, consider adding a drop-down door. Not only is this convenient for accessing milk and juice, but it also conserves energy.

Ice Dispenser

Refrigerators with ice dispensers are a great way to make ice without running the water, but if you’re not sure how to repair them, there are a few simple steps you can take yourself. To start with, make sure your refrigerator’s water supply tube is connected to a cold water source. Sometimes, this water supply tube can get cramped, pressed against the wall, or stuck out of the fridge. This can lead to malfunctioning ice dispensers.

Ice and water dispensers in refrigerators are also convenient, making it easy to make meals and entertain guests. Easy access to water and ice encourages your family to drink more water. Also, water dispensers can fill tall bottles, reducing the need to refill an ice tray. Some refrigerators even have automatic ice-makers, eliminating the need to manually fill ice trays. This convenience is worth its price, so be sure to shop around.

Frozen moldings in the pipes of the water dispenser can prevent water from flowing through the tube. If this happens, the ice dispenser will no longer make ice. The valve may have been accidentally turned off, and you’ll need to replace it. Another cause of no ice is low water pressure. If you’ve noticed that your water pressure is too low, you need to replace the water filter and ice dispenser.

Gardening Tools You Need in Your Toolbox

Gardening-Tools

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been gardening for years, you need to have some tools in your toolbox. Here are some of the most commonly used ones, including hedge shears, forks, hoes, and a wheelbarrow. These tools will make your job much easier and will keep you from getting lost in the garden! Read on for more information on these tools and the proper use for them.


Forks


Forks can be an indispensable tool for gardeners. While they cost more, a high-quality set of forks will last for many years. Alternatively, you can purchase inexpensive forks and cut the ground with them, but beware: cheap forks can be prone to breaking and don’t have much ground-cutting ability. Research before buying is a must when it comes to buying garden tools.
Generally, forks are made of steel, stainless steel, or aluminum alloy. The carbon steel ones are the most durable, but also the most prone to rust. On the other hand, stainless steel forks are rust-resistant but less durable. A good quality spading fork will have tines that do not stick to the soil. The YD fork was made with a mirrored tine, which prevents soil from clumping on it.


Hoes


Hoes are indispensable gardening tools, whether you have a flower garden or a vegetable plot. Weeding takes less effort when done often. A fresh crop of weeds is easy to remove. To weed effectively, it is best to walk through the garden once or twice a day. Once you’ve weeded your plot, spend a few minutes hoeing. To avoid back aches, make sure to buy the right size and style of hoe.
Different types of hoes are ideal for different gardening tasks. There are two types of hoes: the standard U-shaped and the pointed paddle hoe. The former is designed for general soil preparation, while the latter is better for targeting the root of a weed. Hoes also come in various lengths and widths. If you want to use a longer hoe, you should purchase one with a long handle.
Hedge shears
There are many types of hedge shears on the market, and choosing the right one for your needs is essential to creating beautiful gardens. The type you choose will depend on the type of plants you plan to prune. The heavy-duty shears will make chopping tough, woody shrubs easy, while light-duty shears will make cutting soft, new growth a breeze. The weight, blade type, and ease of use will all depend on the number of plants you’ll be pruning. Hedge shears are available at all price ranges and quality varies.
While the price of hedge shears varies widely, you can find a high-quality pair for less than $10. For example, the Corona garden hedge shears feature an extendable handle that will allow you to trim large, thick branches. These shears feature forged high-carbon steel blades and a shock-reducing bumper for reduced user fatigue. The handle is made of soft, comfortable Japanese white oak.


Wheelbarrow


Probably the most common garden tool, the wheelbarrow has many different uses in the yard. It’s an excellent way to move rock, mulch, or yard waste, and can even be used to carry new plants or compost. Its versatility means you can use it to do a number of different tasks in your garden, from seed starting to mixing concrete. Whether you’re just starting a new garden from scratch or you’re a veteran gardener who wants to try something new, a wheelbarrow is a handy tool for many uses.
There are two types of wheelbarrows: plastic and steel. The former is durable and will handle a lot of weight. Plastic wheelbarrows are lighter but prone to breaking if they are loaded with too much weight and are subjected to extreme temperature changes. Plastic wheelbarrows are great for moving mulch, smaller plants, and garden debris. Plastic wheelbarrows are not suitable for mixing concrete or hauling cow manure.


Hand weeder


If you’re ready to purchase a hand weeder for your garden, it’s best to take the time to read our reviews. Our hand weeders are reviewed for comfort, grip, design, materials, strength, and features such as a fulcrum and serrated edge. We’ve also rated each hand weeder for performance and value for money. We’ve also included photos of real-world uses to help you decide which tool will work best for your garden.
Hand weeders are available with various designs. The basic design of the hand weeder has a blade with a forked end. It’s inserted deeply into the soil and then the user pulls it out. The blade can be bent, but the most effective ones have a curved blade. Stainless steel tools are also more durable than wooden ones, making them worth the extra money. Regardless of how you use your hand weeder, make sure you pick one with a long handle for increased leverage.

How to Grow Arugula Microgreens

microgreens

If you’re just getting started with growing microgreens, arugula is a great place to start. It’s a plant that both chefs and home cooks like to use because it has a tangy, nutty taste that makes most dishes more interesting.

It also grows quickly and is usually ready to harvest in about ten days. The seeds cost about $15/lb, which is not too much. But you can also buy seed packets at your local garden store and grow these greens on a smaller scale. If you like them, choose a larger amount of seed the next time you buy them.

Alright, let’s get growing!

Materials

Growing arugula microgreens doesn’t take much, but you can make it more complicated if you want to. If you’re growing enough to sell, you’ll want to use the recommended items I’ve linked to. If not, just look around your house and you should be able to find most of these things.

1.Container (I use 10×20 plant growing trays)

2.Potting soil (I use a 50/50 mix of organic potting soil and coconut coir)

3.Light (I use a 4′ T5 CFL grow light)

4.Seeds

5.Spray bottle

Planting

There are three things you should do when you plant:

1.Make sure the surface of your growing media is flat and smooth

2.Make sure you have moistened the soil adequately

3.Make sure you use the right amount of seed

I usually plant about 1oz (30ml) of arugula seeds in a 10×20 plant propagation tray. This makes it easy for me to spread the arugula seeds out over a large area. If you are using a different container, look at the picture below and try to get the same level of density.

At least 1″ of soil or growing medium should be used, but 2″ is recommended if you want to grow arugula for more than 8–9 days. This is when the true leaves start to grow and the plants stop getting their food from the seeds and start getting it from the soil.

After you’ve planted, put something over the container that will keep all the light out. I usually use an upside-down 10×20 tray, but you can get creative as long as there is no light getting into the container. This is what you need to do to give your vegetable seeds the best chance to grow.

After covering your container, put it in a dark place that is about 70°F (21.1°C) or cooler.

Growing

Every day, take the lid off your container and use the spray bottle to mist your seeds once or twice. Don’t go too far, because that’s how mold grows. Make sure they’re growing the right way (arugula takes about 3 days).

Once they’ve started to grow, keep the soil moist by giving it more water. As a general rule, the deeper your growing medium, the less often you need to water it. They won’t use this water much until days 8 and 9.

Growing Tip:

 Arugula grows roots quickly and makes a lot of tiny root hairs that people often mistake for mold. Even though they look the same, you can tell which ones are root hairs by how they are spread out and how many of them are around the tap root of your seedling.

Your microgreens will be ready for the light between the fourth and fifth day. Cover them up and move them to a place with a lot of light. If you leave them outside, you’ll have to water them more often because the sun shines so brightly. If you are growing indoors, you won’t have to water much more often.

Harvest

Your greens are done when they are about 2 inches tall and have bright, open leaves. Time to gather the crops.

Cut your greens about 1/4 to 1/2 inches above your growing medium so you don’t have to wash them. You’ll have to cut off a bit of root to make sure you don’t also cut off any extra dirt or seed husks. Washing microgreens takes a lot of time and cuts their shelf life by about half. But trust me, it’s worth the trouble.

Make sure they are as dry as possible before putting them away. If you didn’t wash them, they should be pretty dry, unless you picked them up right after you watered them (avoid this). I put them in a zip-top bag with a little bit of air in it so they don’t get crushed. They’ll last for 7-8 days before they start to wilt, so enjoy them while you can.

How to Grow Spinach Microgreens

How to Grow Spinach Microgreens

Are you thinking about growing some microgreens this spring? You’ve come to the right place.

Microgreens are perfect for busy gardeners who don’t want to spend much time weeding, watering, and fertilizing their plants. Because they mature quickly, you’ll get a quick return on your time and money.

Spinach is one of the best crops you can grow as a microgreen. In this article, we’ll tell you why – and how to grow – spinach microgreens with ease.

What Are Spinach Microgreens?

Microgreens are often confused with sprouts, which are germinated seeds that are eaten in their entirety (root, shoot, seed, and all). When you eat microgreens, you only eat the shot itself.

You’ll harvest microgreens just a few weeks after you sow your seeds when the plants are roughly two inches tall. You can eat everything from the stem to the leaves. Microgreens are prized for their nutrient content and ease of growing.

You can grow various microgreen plants, including arugula, carrot, kale, and lettuce.

Spinach is the perfect choice for a microgreen crop because it has a unique taste and plenty of nutrients. With microgreens, you’ll enjoy a more delicate taste than you will when eating fully-grown spinach.

Plus, growing spinach microgreens is easy – you need about three weeks from seed to harvest, making for a quick and delicious crop.

Spinach microgreens are loaded with nutrients. They contain large amounts of vitamins (A, C, K, E, and B) along with notable quantities of minerals like calcium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.

Planting Spinach Microgreen Seeds

You can plant spinach microgreens anywhere, including in the garden outside as well as indoors or in a hydroponic (water-based) set-up.

If you choose to plant outdoors, make sure your garden has plenty of shade. Spinach is a shade-loving plant that prefers cooler temperatures. When grown in too-hot conditions, it can bolt (go to flower) or fail to germinate. You may have trouble keeping your greens adequately watered, too.

As long as there is plenty of shade and the temperatures aren’t above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll do just fine growing spinach microgreens outside. Just protect the fragile seedlings from weather extremes, drying winds, and pests.

If you choose to grow indoors, you can grow in a shallow container with good drainage. Place your seed trays on a warm, sunny windowsill. Ideally, the plants should receive direct sunlight from a window that faces south.

You don’t have to invest in expensive containers, either! You can easily use a disposable pie plate or a plastic tote. Just make sure you poke some drainage holes in the bottom if drainage isn’t built-in already.

Once you have your container, fill it with several inches of moistened potting soil. Do not use soil from your garden outside. You need to use a sterile potting mix to make sure your seeds do not become contaminated with bacteria or pests from outdoors. Make sure the soil is nice and level before you plant.

Scatter the spinach seeds evenly on top of the soil. This can be tough to do since the seeds will be quite tiny! Do your best. Then, press the seeds gently into the soil with the back of your hand.

Once the seeds are dispersed, go ahead and cover them with a thin layer of soil. You Can use peat moss if you’d prefer a lighter covering. If you’re planting outside, though, use a heavier medium, as peat moss can easily be scattered by the wind.

Then, lightly water your seeds, ideally with a mister. Make sure the spray of water isn’t too strong, as this can cause your seeds to wash out.

If you’re growing indoors, you can speed up germination by wrapping the container with a clear layer of plastic wrap. This will provide a nice, warm environment that will encourage the seeds to sprout quickly. You can also place the seeds on a heat germination mat or under LED grow lights, both of which will produce seedlings for you in just a few days.

While you’re waiting for your seeds to germinate (it can take anywhere between two and eight days), use your mister once or twice a day. Ensure the soil stays moist but not sodden, as this can cause your seedlings to rot.

Remove the cover of the container (if you used one) as soon as the seeds sprout.

Caring for Spinach Microgreens

Caring for spinach microgreens is incredibly easy. In most cases, all you need to do is water or mist your plants a few times a day – they will take care of themselves otherwise!

Just make sure your plants get ample amounts of sunlight. Spinach microgreens need about four hours a day of direct sunlight, but they may need a bit more during the winter when the sun is weaker.

How can you tell that your spinach microgreens aren’t getting enough sunlight? They’ll appear leggy and pale and as though they’re reaching toward the window. Using an artificial grow light can help provide your seedlings with the light they need without causing them to become overheated.

Similarly, you need to make sure you are watering regularly. Set a timer each day to remind you to mist your seedlings. This will help you keep the soil adequately moist but not so wet that your seedlings drown.

The beauty of growing spinach microgreens is that you don’t have to fertilize them. Since microgreens are harvested so young, they’ll never have to compete for nutrients. They are also rarely bothered by pests and diseases. If you’re growing outside, you may need to put a row cover over your greens to protect them from various pests – but usually, this is not a concern.

Harvesting Spinach Microgreens

Your spinach microgreens will be ready for harvest just two to three weeks after planting. Since you’re not waiting for the entire plant to mature into an adult, it can be tough to figure out when the right time to harvest might be.

A good indicator that your spinach microgreens are ready for harvest will be the appearance of the first set of true leaves. Once you see these, you can go ahead and grab your scissors. Clip the greens just above the soil line.

Storing and Serving Spinach Microgreens for Later Use

Unfortunately, microgreens don’t have the best shelf life. Since they are so small and fragile, it doesn’t take long before the seedlings have passed their prime.

Once you harvest and wash your microgreens in a salad spinner, you will want to serve them immediately. They can be added to sandwiches, salads, soups – or even eaten plain, on their own!

If you have any microgreens leftover, you can store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. However, they will probably only stay fresh for a day or two at most.

Luckily, though, growing spinach microgreens is incredibly easy. You can plant another crop after you harvest the first by scattering new seeds on the soil and repeating the steps mentioned above. You don’t even have to pull up the old roots! They’ll add organic matter back to the soil for your new planting.

You won’t mind that the greens don’t last forever in your refrigerator because you’ll have a new batch of microgreens to enjoy in no time!.

How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens

Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens

How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens

How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens

If you want to grow tasty microgreens, you may have considered popular options like kale, arugula, or even carrot seeds.

But have you ever given sunflowers some consideration?

Many people overlook the potential of sunflowers to produce delicious, crunchy microgreens – but the tiny sunflower is a nutritional powerhouse!

There are plenty of reasons to learn how to grow sunflower microgreens – here, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started.

What Are Sunflower Microgreens?

Microgreens are tiny seedlings of edible herbs, vegetables, and flowers. They are harvested young when they’re only about one to three inches tall. With a delightful aroma and a concentrated dose of nutrients, microgreens come in all colors, textures, and varieties. The most popular plants include spinach, arugula, basil, and kale.

One of the many benefits of growing microgreens is that they mature quickly. Although you will use regular seeds to grow your microgreens, you don’t have to wait for the full 30 to 100 days for your plant to mature.

Instead, microgreens are ready to go in a fraction of that time – about two to three weeks.

Sunflowers can easily be grown as microgreens – and there are plenty of reasons to do so. They have a delicious nutty flavor and a crunchy feel. They aren’t like any other kind of microgreen you’ve tried before but taste wonderful in wraps, salads, sandwiches, soups, and more.

Plus, they’re incredibly easy to grow.

Planting Sunflower Microgreen Seeds

As with growing any type of fruit, vegetable, flower, or herb, it’s essential that you start with a high-quality seed.

When you’re growing sunflower microgreens, you can use any kind of sunflower seed, but black oil seeds tend to be the cheapest. Since these are generally sold as birdseed, you can buy them in bulk for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for seeds from a seed supply company.

However, if you want to make sure the seeds have not been treated and will all germinate successfully, you may want instead to purchase certified organic seeds from a seed supply company. While most people have good results when using “birdseed” sunflower seeds, seeds that are designed for planting will have better generation rates.

Soak your sunflower seeds for 12 hours in a cup of warm water. This will help soften the hard shell of the seed and prepare it for planting.

After 12 hours, drain the seeds and rinse them thoroughly. Soak them once more for an additional 12 hours. After this time, you should notice that the seeds begin to sprout. If most of them haven’t sprouted, you can soak them one or two more times.

Next, fill a tray with lightly moistened seed starting mix. Do not use soil out of your garden. Young seedlings can be fragile and are particularly vulnerable to the diseases and pests that can be found even in healthy garden soil.

You can grow sunflower microgreens outdoors, but it’s much easier to grow them inside. You’ll have better control over the planting environment and conditions.

Plus, seed starting mix (or just general potting mix) is better for microgreens because they contain a well-balanced dose of nutrients.

Your container doesn’t need to be very deep since your sunflowers won’t have the opportunity to set aggressive roots. You may want to select a planting container that is wider than it is deep to give yourself room to grow hundreds of seedlings in the same tray.

You don’t have to purchase a special seed starting flat either – you can use a pie plate or something from around the house, too. Just make sure the container has good drainage. You may need to poke holes into the bottom of the container.

Sow your seeds thickly across the tray. Cover the entire tray with another tray to block out the light – certain microgreen seeds, like carrots and sunflowers, prefer to be kept dark and moist while they are germinating.

Make sure this top tray also has holes poked into it, not for drainage but for ventilation. You do not need to cover the seeds with additional soil when you plant – the tray will keep things enclosed for you.

Caring for Sunflower Microgreens

It is very little you need to do to care for sunflower microgreens, but you may be surprised to learn that the steps for caring for sunflower microgreens are a bit different than caring for those of other greens.

For example, you still need to water the plants once or twice a day. However, you won’t do this by misting the plants, as you would with other microgreens, but instead by watering from the bottom up.

If this sounds complicated and overwhelming, it’s not. All you need to do is set the tray in a larger pan of water for a few minutes. This will help keep the roots moist but it won’t allow the plants to become overly sodden.

Once your shoots start to emerge, they’ll begin pushing up on the top tray. This is usually only a few days after you’ve sown your seeds. You can then remove the tray so that the seedlings have access to light.

While the location of your tray doesn’t much matter while the seeds are germinating, once you remove the top tray, light is essential. Put the tray in front of a bright, south-facing window, or put it under a grow light. A grow light is ideal, as it can prevent the seeds from becoming “leggy” as they reach toward the window for light.

Keep watering your sunflower shoots on a daily basis. You can continue with the “bottoms-up” watering method, or you can switch over to misting them twice or three times a day.

Harvesting Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower microgreens are ready for harvest when they’re just four inches high. Try not to let them get too far past this stage, as they can be too tough as they get older.

To harvest, cut the plant off at the soil level with a pair of sanitized scissors. You can leave the roots in the soil and then sow a new batch of seeds directly over the top – no need to pull them out. Instead, the roots will fertilize the soil so that your next batch of sunflower microgreens is even healthier than the last.

Storing and Serving Sunflower Microgreens for Later Use

Sunflower microgreens don’t last very long in the fridge, so you’ll want to eat them up as soon as possible. They taste great in salads and sandwiches or even as snacks on their own.

The beauty of growing microgreens indoors is that they mature quickly and don’t get very dirty, either. You might need to give them a quick spritz of cold water to remove the odd particle of dirt here or there, but for the most part, they require little cleaning.

You can stash your sunflower microgreens in a sealed plastic bag. They will last in the refrigerator for up to five days and will stay crisp and fresh if stored in this manner. However, you should eat them as soon as possible after harvesting them for the best crunch and flavor!

Growing sunflower microgreens is not only incredibly easy, but it’s also a lot of fun. Since the shoots mature so quickly, you’ll be able to push out dozens of batches per year – giving you all the microgreens you could possibly want (and then some!).

Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens

Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens

Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens

Think it’s impossible to grow your own food in a small space? Think again!

While the average home or apartment won’t suit indoor food plants like citrus, raspberries, bananas, or tomato plants, think instead about growing something much smaller and simpler: microgreens, for example.

If you’re a beginning grower, microgreens are a really nice place to start— especially since just about anyone can grow them (yes, even kids can grow them, too). They can also help you practice your green thumb if you’re not all that confident with gardening, and bring fresh, healthy food to your family’s table.

But why start out with microgreens?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. A few right off the bat: microgreens are small (it’s in the name, after all) and easy to take care of. Plus, they’re relatively easy to grow!

Microgreens can truly be grown just about anywhere, just as long as you have the right tools— and it doesn’t matter whether you live in a studio apartment, a spacious suburban house, or a college dorm room. They’re also incredibly nutrient-dense and great for your health, too.

Craving healthy eating and fresh greens? Eager to get started? Read on to learn everything you need to know in this quick yet thorough guide to growing microgreens.

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are edible seedlings (a.k.a. sprouts). Think mini versions of your favorite vegetable greens, like kale, arugula, and broccoli (though there are far more varieties to choose from besides these).

You may have seen microgreens at some restaurants or grocery stores. They’re often used to garnish entrees and salads, and they can be just as decorative as they are delicious— with a variety of colors besides green like pink, purple, yellow, and blue, all depending on the variety you grow. A pinch of these sprouts will add great flavor to meals and no bitterness whatsoever, unlike full-grown greens.

To grow this miniature vegetation, one must fill a shallow flat or tray with their soil of choice. Next, seeds for your desired microgreen variety are densely (yet evenly!) scattered onto your soil, then very *lightly* covered with a dusting of soil. Or, they can be pressed very gently into the soil with your fingers or palms. These are then watered in, grown, easily harvested as needed, and preferably eaten in less than a week!

Is that all there is to grow microgreens? Not quite. We have a more intensive how-to on microgreen growing later in this article, so keep reading.

Types of microgreens you can grow

Before diving into your first microgreens adventure, you’ll need to choose what kind of microgreen you wish to grow. Luckily for you, the possibilities are endless. (Well, almost endless…)

  • Arugula
  • Alfalfa
  • Asian greens (bok choy, tatsoi, etc.)
  • Barleygrass
  • Beet greens
  • Broccoli
  • Buckwheat
  • Chard (Swiss, Rainbow, etc.)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Pea shoots
  • Popcorn shoots (corn microgreens)
  • Sunflower greens
  • Wheatgrass

Tools for growing microgreens

One of the most appealing things about microgreens? You hardly need any tools or equipment to grow them— so leave those gardening gloves, rake, and hat in the shed.

Here’s a quick list of the items you’ll definitely need to get started:

  • Microgreens seed (about one pound is ideal for several harvests)
  • 1020 Seed tray or flat (or any shallow/wide soil container with good drainage)
  • Microgreens soil mix (must be very fine-textured)
  • Grow light (if you don’t have a porch or south-facing window)

There are other tools besides these that you might want to get before growing. These aren’t 100% “required” for microgreen growing, though. These may be:

  • Small fine spray bottle or mister (for watering)
  • Small air circulation fan (reduces disease)
  • Stainless steel scissors or shears (for harvesting, if you don’t own any)
  • Spice shaker (to help you with even and easy seeding – or, try this incredibly convenient drop seeder)
  • Heat pad (optional and dependent on microgreen variety)

Some important tips about microgreen growing tools: you might find seeds sold through some seed companies that are “designated” microgreen seeds. While these are specifically well-suited for microgreen growing, that doesn’t mean you can only use that seed and nothing else.

For example you can use seeds for growing full-size broccoli as broccoli microgreen seeds, too. However…there are advantages to buying microgreen-specific broccoli seeds. The seed will be priced better for microgreen production (higher amount of seeds per ounce or per pound). Since you’ll be purchasing bulk seed bred for dense-growing, rather than a small packet of seed bred for full-size broccoli production, you’ll get better benefits from purchasing microgreen seed.

Some growers also like to experiment with different types of seeds that aren’t typically thought of as microgreens. For example I’ve tried growing cabbage, radish, and even rutabaga microgreens because they’re quite similar in appearance (and even related to!) some of the most popular microgreen sprouts, like arugula, broccoli, and bok choy.

That said, it can be fun to explore some of these other types of seeds or varieties for yourself. If you’re feeling adventurous and confident, try something new!

Best soil for microgreens

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of drainage and using fine soil when growing microgreens, especially very small-seed microgreens. For larger-seeded sprouts (like buckwheat, beets, and peas) this is not so much a concern, and they will require soil of some sort.

All your little seedlings will be very crowded (as they’re supposed to be), but waterlogging can bring in some serious disease problems that will quickly and easily kill your seedlings— like damping off, for example. This is why a less “chunky” and finer soil is needed. Or, you can go with totally different media— a lot of media for hydroponic growing like coir pith, lava rock, and others are suitable for those tiny, tiny seeds (but less so for larger seeds).

If your soil of choice isn’t fine or light enough, your seedlings may have a hard time growing through the medium and producing uniform quality (or beauty). If you can’t find a microgreen-formulated soil, you can take any growing soil and push it through a screen or filter to remove larger pieces that could interfere with your sprouts’ success.

Otherwise, for pre-made soil that’s ideal for sprouts, you can purchase your own microgreen soil mix here. If you want to try going “soil-less,” here are some great options that hydroponic growers use, but which can be great for microgreen growers, too (though you’ll need to make sure they fit your chosen seed tray).

How to grow microgreens

Now that you have all your microgreen growing equipment together, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Here are some comprehensive steps to get you started growing any type of microgreen, and in any space.

  • Step 1 – Prepare Microgreen Space

First things first: you’ll need to prep the space where you plan to have your microgreens sprout, grow, and be harvested. Make sure it’s easily accessible!

This can be a shelf or cubby space where your grow light is set up and ready to go. Or, it can be a sunny windowsill indoors (preferably south-facing) or a protected porch area during warmer weather. Be very sure to take your microgreen variety’s temperature needs into consideration! Some like hot temperatures, others will not.

For example: beet or buckwheat microgreens might need a little extra warmth to sprout in early spring. You won’t want to put them outside in the cold anywhere for a successful crop, or near a cold window, at least not for a while. Placing a heating pad under your seed tray can help them sprout a little faster if that’s something you want.

Obviously, make sure the space you prepare has plenty of room to hold the tray, flat, or another container you plan to use.

  • Step 2 – Prepare Microgreen Container

Take your chosen microgreen container and fill it with a generally very shallow layer of soil, about 1 inch thick at the most. Again, it bears repeating: your microgreen soil texture should be very fine and light, almost like powder!

The best-desired thickness of the soil may depend on what microgreen seed you’re using. A very tiny seed, like arugula, will need less soil to germinate (another word for “sprout”). On the other hand, large seeds like chard or beets will probably need the full inch of soil to germinate.

  • Step 3 – Scatter and Cover

Wondering why microgreens need a different type of growing container? Here’s why: you’ll want a shallow or “open” sort of planting container so you can easily scatter your microgreen seeds in this next step. This is why I recommend something like a spice shaker for easy and accurate planting, too.

That said, how many seeds should you plant in each tray? Well, it all depends on what type of microgreens you’re growing. But long story short, you’ll need more than you can count!

Generally speaking though, you’ll need less if your seeds are larger (like peas, chard, and others) but more if your seeds are smaller. Ultimately, there’s no set amount or formula you must follow. .

If you’re uncomfortable “eyeballing” how much seed you’ll need per tray, here’s a quick guide to seeding ratio amounts per 10” by 20” tray, which is the standard growing tray size in the industry. (But unless your seed packets are otherwise marked, you may need a digital weighing scale to weigh your seed amounts down to the ounce!)

  • Arugula – 2 oz. per tray
  • Asian greens (bok choy, tatsoi, etc.) – 2 oz. per tray
  • Beet greens – 1 oz. per tray
  • Broccoli – 2 oz. per tray
  • Buckwheat – 1 oz. per tray
  • Chard (Swiss, Rainbow, etc.) – 1 oz. per tray
  • Kale – 2 oz. per tray
  • Kohlrabi – 2 oz. per tray

Need more guidance for the right microgreen seeding density? 

For now, here’s some seeding words for the wise: whatever size your seed, sow it as densely in your grow tray atop your soil as possible, but take care that seeds aren’t “piled” all over each other in clumps. Rather, you’ll want seed to be laid out in one single layer instead, and preferably with the seed touching or as close to the other seed as possible.

Some clumping can be allowed with very small seeds (like arugula or broccoli) while larger seeds should be spread out more evenly if you see clumping. Again, a salt or spice shaker (with the right sized holes for your seed, of course) makes this job much easier! Otherwise, you can use your hands or a spoon to scatter your seed, whatever you feel is easiest.

Once the seed is evenly spread and you’re satisfied, very gently press all the seeds into the soil with the palms of your hands or your fingers. If your seeds are larger sized (like buckwheat, for example), it helps to sprinkle another thin layer of soil on top of them before the next step.

  • Step 4 – Spritz & Water

After your seeds are all planted and covered, the next step (watering) is the easiest one— but make sure to do it right!

All plants need watering, including microgreens. But unlike your houseplants, these small and fragile seedlings will need a gentler approach to watering, which is why a spray bottle or “mister” is absolutely recommended. (Don’t use your typical watering can!)

Once seeded, water your microgreens gently with your spray bottle after you fill it with water. You won’t need much— just a little bit to make sure the soil is damp and stays damp for a while. Though don’t overdo it! Waterlogging is not good for microgreens. Watering a little less is better than watering too much, so start out with less water, to begin with and then increase the watering frequency if you notice things starting to dry out.

  • Step 5 – Care & Nurture

Next, place your microgreens container in your desired spot so it can get the light it needs. As often as you can every day, check the soil. If it’s dry, spritz and water it again until it’s evenly moist. It’s perfectly acceptable to let the soil dry out completely before watering it again to avoid waterlogging. But don’t let it dry out for too long!

This is also the best stage to set up air circulation fans near your space. If you’re growing one or two trays, one small fan should be enough. Set it up about 4 feet away from your setup with the air current aimed at your microgreens. The purpose of this air circulation fan: it helps wick moisture away from your plants after watering, which can in turn reduce the risk of disease. It will also help your microgreens develop strong, straight stems as they get bigger.

As days go by you’ll watch your seeds slowly begin to sprout as you water them. This takes at around a week, though it can greatly depend on what type of microgreen seed you’re growing.

  • Step 6 – Harvest and Enjoy

At around 2 weeks after your seeding date, most microgreens will be ready to harvest! Once your microgreens get closer to this harvesting stage, you’ll notice that you can start watering them less and less as their foliage gets larger, perhaps only once or twice per day.

Your plants should be about 2-3 inches tall with long stems and grow in a dense, thick mat. To harvest, gather a small cluster of sprouts gently at their tops with your fingers on your one hand, then snip away at their stems right above the soil with a clean pair of harvesting shears with your other hand.

Before placing them in a refrigerated container or bag, clean and remove the plant bottoms of any dirt, roots, or debris before storing them. You can also lightly spritz them with some water to clean them, then let dry for several minutes in a colander or strainer over your kitchen sink (or any other area you don’t mind getting wet).

Once harvested, make sure to eat them within a week. Sprinkle on sandwiches, salads, soups, or as a garnish— whatever you like!

Are microgreens good for you?

After your proud growing work is done and you’re enjoying your first cutting of tasty microgreens, the thought may cross your mind: are microgreens healthy? And if so, how healthy are they, exactly?

Microgreens don’t just add a little tangy vegetal flavor to your meals. They also add a ton of nutrients, too. In fact, the microgreen form of any vegetable (whether it’s pea sprouts, arugula, or broccoli) tends to be way more nutrient-dense compared to the same amount of that same vegetable when it’s fully grown!

All microgreens are rich in fiber but are also plenty high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants can cut down on certain health risks like inflammation, heart disease, cancer, and more. Microgreens of the “brassica” vegetable family, like arugula, broccoli, cabbage, and many others, are high in sulforaphane, an especially well-known antioxidant that’s a potent cancer-fighter.

Grow into your passion

Though just about anyone can grow microgreens, their amazing taste, appearance, and health benefits make them worth the effort more than four times over!

Sure, microgreens are simple and easy to grow and are the perfect thing for beginning growers to learn. Still, advanced growers and expert gardeners are just as likely to grow them because they are such an exceptional food— bringing extra nutrients, flavor, health, and beauty into the home of anyone who cares to grow them.

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