How Your Climate Can Affect Your Microgreens

March 17, 2022

How Your Climate Can Affect Your Microgreens

Our Hamama Microgreen system can make starting your microgreen journey easy and effortless. Our growers are located all throughout the US, meaning the same microgreens that can be grown in the arctic climate of Alaska can also be grown in the hot & humid tropics of Hawaii and in the mild plains of Indiana! Pretty neat, right!?

Although the process for starting your system is generally the same for all growers, there are a few tweaks that can be made to ensure optimal growth and health for your microgreens based on the type of climate you are in. Another thing to note is that the microgreens’ maintenance and growth can look slightly different depending on your growing environment. In this blog post we share what to look for in your microgreens and how to handle some of these external factors to ensure success for your Seed Quilts!

 

🏜 Dry Climates

When growing any plant, it can be difficult to resist the urge to continually water them but overwatering will actually have a negative (and sometimes fatal 😭) effect on your microgreens. When initially setting up your Hamama system, it is totally normal for the water level to drop within the first couple of days (this means the coconut mat, or roots in the later stages, is slowly absorbing water to provide to the seeds). For those who live in a dry environment (think desert or high altitude areas), it may be tempting to add more water to your tray as you see the water level drop, but we encourage you to wait until your seeds have all completely sprouted prior to adding more water. *If you notice that the water level has dropped below the tray’s bottom ribs, you can add just a touch more water, about a cup or less, to the tray, but never over the seeds themselves.

Once your seeds have sprouted and the top layer has been removed, you can feel free to add a bit more water to the tray! When adding more water to the tray be sure to only add enough so that the water level reaches somewhere between the base and the middle of your coco mat. Add water via the side of the tray and never directly over the seed pockets.

Living in a dry environment likely means that the water level in your tray will begin to drop sooner than normal. Once the greens have matured, it's important to harvest right away or keep a watchful eye on the water level to ensure the greens don’t begin to wilt prematurely. If they do, no worries! As long as it is caught soon enough, you can add enough water to the tray to cover the roots and the greens should perk right back up!

 

🏖 Humid Climates

Moisture and humidity can occasionally cause some unwanted effects on your microgreens since those conditions somewhat mimic overwatering. If you live in a humid environment, limiting the amount of excess moisture your Seed Quilt is exposed to will decrease the chances of overwatering the seeds and potentially causing unwanted mold to form!

During the initial set up process of your Hamama system, be sure to avoid submerging your entire quilt in the water. A recommendation is to try and keep the top of your quilt as dry as possible throughout the soaking step! This will ensure that the top layer doesn’t become too saturated since living in a humid environment will cause it to stay saturated for a longer period of time. After the soak, you can also gently detach the seed portion of the Seed Quilt from the coconut mat and let it drop off just a tad. The coconut mat is designed to wick up moisture as needed, so the seed pockets themselves don’t need to be overly soaked to start. You just want to see that the entire top paper turns a shade darker from absorbing water across all of the cells and you’ll be good to go! *Watch for air bubbles in the cells - this means there is still some airflow left in the pockets which will also help with the seed germination.

If this is the growing environment your microgreens are in, you will not likely need to add any additional water to your tray during the growing process. However, if the water level gets below the ridges prior to harvesting, you can still add enough water so that the level reaches the bottom of the coco mat. Again this is only if your seeds have all germinated and the top of your quilt has been peeled!When adding water you also want to be sure to remove the entire quilt and then add water directly into the tray as opposed to pouring it over the top.

Finally, having air circulation is a big help! A breeze from opened windows or having an overhead or oscillating fan in the area will help give the seeds the proper airflow they need to thrive.

 

🌞 Sunny / Hot Climates

Despite popular belief, some plants don’t do well with harsh, direct sunlight and delicate microgreens are no exception! Not only can direct sunlight damage your little greens, it can also cause the water in your tray to dissipate faster and in turn throw off your growing cycle a bit.

Microgreens do not require any light during the initial stages of growth - In fact, they actually prefer the darkness as it can mimic the coverage that they receive from soil! The top layer of our Seed Quilts temporarily replaces this coverage by providing minimum exposure to light and although helpful, we encourage keeping the tray in indirect sunlight prior to the peeling stage to assist with this even further.

Once the seeds have sprouted and the top layer has been peeled, then you are able to supplement the greens with a bit of natural light to help the leaves open and to allow the microgreens to become a richer green color. We don’t recommend keeping the tray directly in the sunlight all day long if it is especially strong and hot (and we definitely don’t recommend keeping your tray outdoors!) In this climate, it’s always beneficial to keep an extra close eye on the water level to ensure the roots don’t run out of it prior to harvesting!

Microgreens definitely thrive in warmer temperatures! The warmer the location of the tray, the more likely the microgreens will germinate quickly and produce a strong & lush harvest. Ideally the temperatures should be anywhere between 65F-85F for the fastest and most successful results.

If you are in a very hot environment then it's likely the seeds will be able to grow faster and therefore take up more water than normal. You should harvest right away when they reach maturity, but if you decide to keep them in the tray a but longer, be sure to always keep an eye on the water level and the moistness of the cocomat to ensurethe greens don’t wilt prematurely.

 

🌥 Dark / Cold Climates

As mentioned above, microgreens love warm temperatures so especially cold climates can have an effect on their growth - specifically the rate of their growth. When microgreens are in an area that’s very cold, their growth cycle can be stunted by several days!Everything will still grow to plan, just be aware of the additional time required to germinate and mature.

During the winter we highly encourage users to keep the tray away from any windows or doors where a cold draft could lower the surrounding temperature. Keeping it in a toasty area of your home can help the greens stick pretty close to their average growth cycles. You can check out some more of our tips for colder weather from our Cold Weather Growing Tips!

The great thing about microgreens is that they do not require natural sunlight to be able to grow.

During the initial days of their growing cycle, they do best in the darkness. Once peeled, if you do not have access to a lot of natural light, then regular indoor lighting will do the trick too!  

* Remember! Growing microgreens can be easy for everyone no matter what environment you live in! These tips are just intended for those in more extreme conditions so you know what to expect and how to combat any potential setbacks. Being able to recognize how your surroundings affect your greens will allow you to tend to your microgreens as they make their way to harvest. Your Grow Coaches are always available to help at hamama.com/help!

Questions? Leave a comment below!

Happy Growing everyone!!

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