Growing any crop requires juggling light, water and nutrients. We have examined lighting and irrigation so let’s look at the third variable, nutrients. Microgreens are unique because the seeds themselves provide the initial kick of nutrients, but growth can be enhanced with additional nutrient sources in the “soil”.
It was with this in mind that we tested multiple types of growing media. We have tried using hydroponic mats, fiber mats, coco coir, potting soil, sterile mats, cloth mats, and baby blankets. It is our mission to grow organic seeds in media that was also organic.
Several years ago we were introduced to Wonder Soil, compressed coir made in Las Vegas, USA. We had great success using the media, so we asked if a specialized mix could be made that was tailored to microgreens. What we came up with was a mix of worm castings and kelp, natural sources of organic nutrients that are both sustainable and potent. We have been using this mix with great success and are now introducing trace minerals into the mix with the addition of SEA-90, sea solids from SeaAgri. These trace minerals have proved to be extremely beneficial for our plants, so we asked the Wonder Soil folks to incorporate the SEA-90 product into our wafers, to produce an enhanced growing media for our microgreens.
These are the results from our first experiment using pak choi microgreens grown in our normal mix and compared to the new mix with the SEA-90 trace minerals. We grew the microgreens just 8 days before harvesting. Our custom Wonder Soil mix was already an excellent growing media, but we wanted to see how much difference the inclusion of trace minerals would make.
At the beginning of the experiment there appeared to be little difference in growth. Later, we found that this was due to the different heights of the soil. When we measured from the soil to the tops, we found that the plants with the sea solids were 20% taller, at 75mm vs 63mm. When we compared the weights of 10 cuttings from each tray, there was also a difference of 35% in weight, 62g vs .46g.
We will be doing further testing in the coming weeks and will offer our new growing media soon. Watch for announcements and benefit from our research to grow simply the best microgreens available!
Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment ...