Harvesting microgreens is a simple and easy process, as microgreens are usually ready to harvest 7 - 14 days from germination.
It's best to harvest microgreens once the first and second leaves have appeared.
These are called cotyledons and true leaves.
When To Harvest Microgreens
Microgreens are ready to harvest once the first true leaves have appeared. This usually takes 7 - 14 days after the germination process. You'll know when they're ready once you see the first true leaves starting to appear.
Since microgreens grow so fast you must always keep an eye on them. Because if you let them grow out for too long they will start to turn yellow or have stunted growth.
Signs of plant stress can also cause these things to happen depending on the soil quality.
How To Harvest Microgreens
Move your grow trays to a cool, shady place. If your microgreens are harvested when it is too hot, they will wilt very quickly after harvesting. If harvested when cool (late evening, early morning), they will tend to stay fresh and crisp.
To harvest your microgreens use scissors to cut the microgreens directly from the growing medium. Think of it as giving your microgreens a haircut. Just cut about 2/3rds of an inch above the growing medium.
Try to cut as close as you can to the growing medium to get the maximum harvest as some microgreens are extremely short like Chia and Clover microgreens.
Removing Seed Hulls When Harvesting Microgreens
Microgreen seed hulls are something you do not want to eat and can get in the way when harvesting your microgreens.
Seed hulls are particularly troublesome when growing:
To remove the seed hulls just simply lean your microgreens and tray up sideways, almost on the verge of the microgreens falling out of the tray.
Then take your hand and brush it through the microgreens, knocking off the hulls.
Washing And Drying Microgreens After Harvesting
Once you harvest your microgreens it is important to rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Once you rinse them it is now time to dry the microgreens completely by spreading them over a towel or paper towel and air drying them. You can also speed dry them by using a fan on a slow setting.
Cut microgreens are best if eaten right after drying, but can be stored loosely in a bowl in the refrigerator for several days. Do not try to refrigerate microgreens that are not completely dry.
How To Properly Store Microgreens After Harvesting
After you harvest your microgreens, you might be wondering how you're going to store them. Unless you end up eating your entire harvest in one sitting you are going to want to keep them from going bad. Just simply place them loosely in a bowl or container and put them in the refrigerator.
How Long Do Microgreens Last After Harvesting?
Microgreens should last at least 7 - 10 days in the refrigerator, and up to 3 weeks in ideal conditions and if the harvesting was done correctly. Next, you want to put the microgreens into the fridge as soon as possible. This will ensure they stay fresh for long.
Do Microgreens Grow Back After Harvesting?
Microgreens will grow back after harvesting if you cut them above the first leaves, also known as cotyledons. If you cut them below the cotyledons then they will not grow back and will need to be thrown away or composted.
Wheatgrass microgreens are an exception, wheatgrass can be grown and harvested multiple times. It is technically grass so it will keep growing until you no longer need any.
What Do You Do With Microgreens After Harvesting?
You can either eat them or store them for another time. Microgreens taste best when eaten right after harvesting. Although you can store them in the fridge for up to a week or two.
There are many different ways to eat microgreens, you can add them to sandwiches, soups, recipes, burgers, and just about anything you can think of. There are also many different microgreen recipes online.
Wheatgrass microgreens can be juiced and while you can drink it by itself I highly recommend you mix it into a smoothie to make it taste better. Wheatgrass microgreens can even be grown just to feed your cat if you have one, cats love wheatgrass!
What Happens If You Let Microgreens Keep Growing?
If you decide to let microgreens keep growing, they get leafier, and then they get less crunchy. You can taste test them and decide when you think they are ready for you. I recommend you harvest them within 7-14 days to get the best flavor.
Also, since microgreens are grown so densely together. If you let them keep growing until they mature they will wilt and die since there is not enough room between them. The roots will all fight for water and room.
Final Thoughts on Harvesting Microgreens
As you can see, harvesting microgreens is quite simple and easy.
All you really need is a pair of scissors and the rest is pretty self-explanatory.
Just don't wait too long to harvest your microgreens and you should be good.