In this article, we will be going over how to grow sunflower microgreens from seed to harvest. Starting with what materials you are going to need all the way to harvesting and storing. Sunflower microgreens are an excellent source of vitamins and include a rich supply of minerals that are key in any healthy diet.
For these reasons, sunflower microgreens are among the most popular in the market and are super easy to grow.
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How To Grow Sunflower Microgreens
Now that you know what sunflower microgreens are let's get into the materials you are going to need in order to follow along in this guide.
You can grow sunflower microgreens with just a microgreen kit and a pack of sunflower seeds right by your window if you have a well-sunlit window. If not, then I recommend you get an LED grow light. You'll also need a wired shelf to place the LED grow lights under.
Containers: At Least 3 growing trays
Growing Medium: Such as soil or coco coir
Grow Lights: T8 Grow Lights are the way to go
Misting Water Bottle
First, start with some sunflower seeds, I recommend the Sunflower Seeds from Country Creek Seeds as they have given me the most success. The seeds are large compared to other microgreens but are nevertheless still easy to grow.
Step 1. Soak The Seeds ---
Add the sunflower seeds to a glass or container, and then add some water. It's best to soak the seeds for 24 hours. Once the 24 hours is up the seeds should be well hydrated and are ready to be planted.
Step 2. Prepare The Growing Tray ---
This may be different for everyone depending on what growing tray you are using. As some growing trays are called "self-watering", and then there are the normal 10 by 20-inch trays.
We will be using two 10 by 20-inch trays for this grow. One will be beneath the other filled with water. While the one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens. This will prevent mold from growing and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Do not add water to the one below yet, first grab the tray without drainage holes and fill it with coco coir. Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
Step 3. Add The Seeds ---
Next, place the seeds on top of the coco coir, and spread the seeds evenly with your hands throughout the growing tray. If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Then place a 10 by 20-inch tray on top of the seeds and add some weight to it with either a piece of wood or anything that is small and has weight to it.
Sunflower seeds need humidity and dark to thrive. Set your tray in a place where it won’t get too hot, or too cold. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. This begins the germination process. Then spray the seeds about 15 times once every 10-12 hours.
Step 4. Uncover and Give Light ---
After another 24 hours take the tray off of the seeds. You should now see the roots going down into the coco coir.
After that, all you have to do now is just give your sunflower microgreens at least 12 hours of light every day. I highly recommend you use LED grow lights. Direct sunlight and fluorescent lights are also good.
If your microgreens angle for light, be sure to rotate the tray occasionally. You may notice some uneven growth which is common and is nothing to be alarmed about.
Step 5. Check Daily ---
Your microgreens should have the right balance of water from now till harvest. This is where the bottom tray comes in. Instead of watering with the spray bottle, you are now going to use the bottom tray and fill it with water, but don't overfill it.
You can still water from the top but just make sure to avoid the leaves as this could increase the chances of mold growth.
How To Harvest Sunflower Microgreens
Sunflower microgreens are usually ready to harvest 7 to 12 days after sprouting. Move your 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.
Harvest the shoots with scissors or a knife. It is best to take the top 3 inches of shoots when harvesting. And there you go, you have now successfully grown sunflower microgreens, pretty easy right?
Rinsing and Drying Sunflower Microgreens
Just simply use a colander to rinse your microgreens under cold water. Then dry the microgreens completely by spreading over a towel or paper towels and air dry them. You can also speed dry them by using a fan on a slow setting.
How To Store Sunflower Microgreens
Sunflower microgreens taste best when eaten right after drying, but can be stored loosely in a bowl in the refrigerator for several days. But do not try to refrigerate microgreens that are not completely dry.
What Sunflower Microgreens Can Be Used For
Sunflower microgreens can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches, and baked goods. You can even juice them and add them to wheatgrass shots or even smoothies.
Due to their nutritional content, they provide many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular benefits.
Sunflower microgreens are now used to treat several conditions, including pulmonary and laryngeal infections, heart disease, colds, and coughs.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Microgreens
Due to their nutritional content, they provide many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular benefits. Sunflower microgreens are now used to treat several conditions, including pulmonary and laryngeal infections, heart disease, colds, and coughs.
1. Supports A Healthy Thyroid
Sunflower microgreens hold selenium, which is a powerful micronutrient that acts as a defensive part of the thyroid by eliminating free radicals produced during the production of thyroid hormones. Selenium also plays a vital role in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. (1)
2. Supports A Healthy Heart
Sunflower microgreens contain Vitamin E which has been observed in one study to be cardioprotective in specific patient subgroups under unusual levels of oxidative stress. (2)
3. Supports Healthy Bones
Vitamin K is necessary for bone health, and sunflower microgreens contain a lot of it. A lack of vitamin K has been linked with an increased risk of fractures and decreased bone strength (4).
4. Supports Healthy Skin
Eating a diet that incorporates vitamin A is a great way to boost skin health, and sunflower microgreens contain a sufficient amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a necessary nutrient that is crucial for maintaining the integrity and function of all exterior tissues like the skin, the bladder, and the eye. (3)
5. Helps Lose Weight
Sunflower microgreens are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy fat loss program.
Sunflower Microgreens Nutritional Chart
Sunflower Microgreens include a rich supply of minerals that are key in any healthy diet, including calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.
They also are an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamin A, B complex, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Also, because they can be eaten raw, they retain their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content.
Minerals per 100g of (FW)
Vitamins per 100g of (FW)