Do Microgreens Regrow After Cutting?

Do Microgreens Regrow After Cutting?

One of the questions most frequently asked by microgreen farmers is whether microgreens regrow after cutting. This is easy to understand. The majority of people want to get the most from each plant batch.

So, do the microgreens regrow after cutting? Sadly, after harvest, only a few microgreens regrow. There is a possibility of regrowing the plant if the farmer harvests the microgreens without removing their lowest leaf. The regrowth, however, is often slowed down and influences the microgreen’s taste.

So why are the chances of regrowing microgreens so slender? We reveal the key factors that influence microgreen regrowth in this article.

The difference between microgreens, sprouts, and shoots must first be made clear. They are all miniatures of the mature plant, but microgreens take the longest to grow. In less than a week, sprouts will be edible, while it takes shoots one to two weeks to get edible.

Further, there is little left to re-grow if you eat sprouts, as you eat both the leaves and the developing stem.

Shoots are harvested in the same way as microgreens and offer the potential for re-growth.

Regrowing Microgreens: What You Should Know

The positive news is that the microgreens regrow in certain situations. You can potentially get several crops from one seed set. You should empty the substance of your tray into your compost stack as soon as it is done growing as it makes a perfect fertilizing material for your garden plants.

Naturally, you must continue to take care of the crops, as you did in your first harvest. This means that they need to be given indirect lighting, kept at a temperature of about 60°-70°F, and be kept moist. You should, preferably, water the microgreens from the side or hold the water tray underneath the growing media.

The seeds don’t have to be extracted or germinated, and the shoots you cut simply grow them back up and will be just as tasty and nutritious as those you’ve just eaten.

Top Tip: You do need to consider if this is the preferred option for you. There will need to be some shoot left, growth is usually much slower and the taste can be affected.

What Affects Microgreen Regrowth?

If you are a microgreen gardener, it is important to be aware of what causes microgreens to grow, what impedes their production, and whether they will grow again.

Cell Regeneration and Photosynthesis

When you cut the lowest leaf on microgreens, photosynthesis is activated and this will promote regeneration. Since the lower leaf is usually placed in a cell regeneration region essential for growth, it increases the plant’s chances of survival.

But why is it ineffective to cut the microgreen close to the soil? See, the lower parts of the structure have evolved and can only differentiate into the same cell type. This prevents you from growing the leaves you most desire.

Cut Healing and Defense

For the healing of the microgreen, cell regeneration is also very important. God created plants, like human beings, with the potential for healing themselves. If they are damaged, the scar tissue that prohibits infection needs to be developed.

A cut micro-green is hard enough to regrow, let alone preserve itself. A plant in its early developmental phase is highly susceptible to infection. Also, when they are healthy, fungi may make their way to microgreens, and the risk increases when they are cut. It is simple for the fungi or other pathogens to enter through the exposed tissue.

Be careful not to spray your microgreens with too much water, as fungi much more thrive in damp conditions. In the regrowth technique, consider maintaining a sterile area for microgreens.

The Types of Microgreens that Can be Regrown

Peas, kale, and beans are some microgreens which, after being cut, can regrow. You should try it out with your favourite microgreens too. Make sure you use big pots while experimenting as they provide a better root structure which improves the chances of regrowth.

So, Which Microgreens Should You Re-Grow?

All microgreens are equal, but some are more equal than others


That said, some microgreens, naturally, grow faster than others.

This is particularly so in larger pots, as they have better-structured roots.

Don’t forget that when you take your first crop, some of the plants are very young. This means that some will not survive the shock of losing all their growth so abruptly.

Green peas, sprouts, snow peas, snap peas, and fava beans are excellent for regrowing. Some salad greens can also be regrown successfully; provided at least one inch of stem remains when you cut them.

Is Microgreen Regrowth Worth It?

For the love of experiments, you should try your hands at regrowing microgreens. But, if saving money is your intention, then it won’t work.  Indeed, it is very labour-intensive and reduces the feature of microgreens we find most alluring: taste. Furthermore, it is certainly a waste of time when it comes to using it for commercial purposes.

When you regrow microgreens and 70% of stems regrow, you can get stunted microgreens deficient in nutrients and that is predisposed to moulds instead of a fresh, good, tasty batch of microgreens.

Worst of all is that space and energy are expended which could be better invested in new microgreen crops.

Don’t be afraid of trying though. Gardeners who decide to regrow microgreens can use the companion planting process, as seen in the video below. But what can I do after the microgreen harvest if the idea of regrowing is not appealing?

How to Reuse Soil After a Microgreen Harvest

Some people just don’t want to get rid of their last batch of micro-greens. It is still full of nutrients that can produce another batch!

However, the rapid development of an additional batch is risky because of the possibility of soil microbes. So what can gardeners do to maintain the soil??

These are the easiest ways to use the disposable parts of microgreens and the soil:

Convert it to Compost

Place the remains in a compost pile or worm bin after harvest. The worms and other microorganisms that promote breakdown help to prime the soil for the next set.

There are enough nutrients to the remaining microgreen stem and roots, which will divide into unbelievably active soil. This method is an inexpensive way to produce good, healthy microgreens. Furthermore, this contributes to organic farming and thus to the protection of the environment.

Check out how compost is made, and watch as urban farmer Curtis Stone uses it for microgreen farming in the following video.

Use the Turnover Method

Another alternative is to overturn the present soil and sow new seeds. While the preceding microgreen stems decay, they produce nutrients that will stimulate new batch growth.

With the turnover method:

  • Overturn the dirt.
  • Place the seeds on the top surface of the new one.
  • Spread topsoil to lightly cover the seeds.
  • Take the normal microgreen growing steps before harvest starts.

Look out for mould as you use this technique. As the same soil is used from a different perspective, microbes remain in the soil if nothing is done to prevent this. 

3 Tips for Growing Better Microgreens

Although questions concerning the sequence of harvest are answered, let us examine ways to cultivate healthier and tastier microgreens.

Here are some tips for optimizing microgreen growth:

Drain and Ventilate Adequately

Don’t overdo it when watering microgreens. Most notably, ensure adequate drainage of the microgreens.

Water concentration around microgreen roots causes oxygen deficiency. This encourages fungal and algal growth and can also cause the microgreens to rot.

Stay alert and use drainage products like a mesh for good drainage. Try using a moisture sensor meter to ensure the appropriate level of moisture. Aeration by a fan may also improve the gardening process. Chances of mould development are decreased with forced ventilation.

Avoid Congestion of Seeds

Fungal problems are more likely where the seeds are congested. This is because of the heat and moisture stress induced by the thick plant canopy.

The general thumb rule is: the seeds should be close to each other but should not overlap.

You can get an understanding of how many seeds you can use per tray with this microgreen seeding density calculator.

Use the Best Machinery

Some micro-green farmers disapprove of buying some machinery as they feel these are too expensive. However, several would argue with this mentality after doing the math and analyzing labour costs.

For example, with sharp scissors, harvest time can be shortened. In addition, it makes your life simpler when you use tools such as handy watering equipment and kits.

We advocate investing in some handy gadgets to grow safe, delicious microgreens. Using the energy you’ve saved, set up more seedbeds, as this will result in an improved microgreen harvest.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long do microgreens take to grow?

The short turnaround time that it takes to prepare them is one of the most appealing aspects of microgreen cultivation. The germination speed depends, of course, on the type of seed you have picked, but microgreens should normally be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting.

How do I harvest my microgreens?

Microgreens are normally ready for harvesting anytime between two and three weeks after planting. Don’t know how you’re going to know if they are ready to be harvested? Once the first set of “true leaves” is sprouted by the microgreens, it is time. Your microgreens should be around two inches in height.

Harvesting involves cutting the greens above the soil line by using a pair of scissors. It’s just that simple. After harvesting, microgreens should be served immediately, such that they are at their finest. Any remaining cut microgreens can be kept in a plastic container and preserved in the refrigerator. However, it is always the better option to eat them earlier than later.

How can I serve microgreens?

Microgreens would be prepared to eat immediately after cutting or picking. However, make sure to rinse them before serving with filtered water. Bacteria are rare since the microgreens are grown in an open-air climate and with soil. However, it’s always better to give them a quick rinse before serving than to be sorry afterwards.

There are countless options for serving microgreens. They are a fantastic add-on to salads (combined with more mature leaves) and make a great garnish to any meal: spaghetti, meat dishes, burgers, etc. 

What do I need to grow microgreens?

While microgreen can be a staple in elegant restaurants, don’t be fooled. When you have all the resources you need to manufacture microgreens at home, they are really economic. Here’s all you’re going to need:

  • A tray (should be shallow)
  • Organic soil
  • Microgreen seeds

You’ll need a light source now as well. The best light source is a sun-lit, south-facing window, if available. Of course, it might be helpful to invest in a growing light (like this), if your home does not have the requisite sun-time to grow microgreens. A few growers also add a warming mat to their shallow growing tray since it accelerates germination. However, this step is fully optional and growing microgreens without mats is entirely possible. 

Why do we have to cover the microgreens (or seeds) in the dark?

Covering your microgreens is a key step to growing long, lovely seedlings from the microgreens.

In the dark, the microgreens can only extend actively to the light source. You will finish off with longer, slimmer and more delicate microgreens. The content of starch in seed endosperm is small, meaning that the microgreen begins to droop as soon as the energy store is spent.

This is why most growers will maintain the blackout phase for 3-5 days after germination (which usually takes 1-3 days), but not more than that. 

When they are exposed to light, photosynthesis begins and the microgreens are much denser and healthier.

Hold your horses though. 

That said, you should hear in mind that certain microgreens are short by nature, and won’t grow big and tall. So don’t fret if you find yourself in a situation like this. 

Final Thoughts

Regrowing microgreens could seem the best choice for a single batch, but it’s not true — especially for commercial growers.

Many people don’t want to deal with all the challenges found in the process of regrowth. Bring it all together, but without losing consistency, to streamline the microgreen development process.

Microgreen re-growing can be an interesting exercise, but not for practical microgreen harvesting.


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