Microgreens vs. Baby Greens/Mature Veggies

Microgreens vs. Baby Greens/Mature Veggies

Hi Hamama Friends!

We sure do love our vegetables and all the creative ways we can incorporate them into our daily diet. The cool thing about vegetables is that they can be enjoyed in several different stages of their growth cycle! Have you ever wondered what those different stages are and what that means in terms of that veggie’s nutrition and flavor? Let’s get into it! Read on to learn the differences between microgreens & fully grown vegetables and leafy greens.

What are Microgreens?

The word “micro” says it all! Microgreens are young seedlings of edible greens, grains, vegetables, and herbs. Microgreens are the intermediate stage between sprouts and baby greens and they grow in about 7-14 days. They will have formed the cotyledons and sometimes even their first set of true leaves.

Microgreens are usually grown in higher light conditions with lower humidity, either in soil or a hydroponic growing pad (like Hamama Seed Quilts)! Because microgreens are grown in a medium and not directly soaking in water, microgreens are less susceptible to bacterial contamination. Also, microgreens are often considered to offer more developed flavor and texture than sprouts or their mature counterparts [Ebert, Andreas. “Sprouts, microgreens, and edible flowers.” 2012. PDF File].

Don’t confuse microgreens with sprouts! 

If sprouts are the infants of the vegetable world, microgreens are the toddlers. Sprouts are germinated in water for one or two days to produce underdeveloped leaves. Whereas sprouts grow in just a few days, microgreens generally take 7-21 days to reach their prime. Learn more about the differences between sprouts and microgreens here.

Differences between microgreens & mature veggies

Microgreen seeds are no different from regular seeds that you would use to grow mature greens and veggies. The only difference is in the way they are grown and the length of time it takes.

Our Hamama Grow Kit is a hydroponic system. This means that our kits only need water for growing greens out to the microgreen phase. There is no need for any soil or fertilizer in our system due to the seeds only being grown for two weeks or less. During this 2-week time, the seeds supply the nutrition they need without any extra inputs such as soil or fertilizer. If one was to grow seeds out to baby greens or beyond, they would need to supply the seeds with other nutritional inputs and the proper space to grow.

In terms of nutrition, many studies have shown that microgreens are more nutrient dense than their younger (sprouts) & older (baby greens or full-grown vegetables) selves. For further reading, check out one of the studies from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry here.

In terms of flavor, each microgreen variety tastes like a clearer, and often more potent, flavored version of the adult plant. Thus, with each microgreen bite, you are getting a very concentrated amount of delicious flavor!

We know that microgreens aren't intended to completely replace full-grown vegetables, but by adding a handful of microgreens to your meals, you are getting a big dose of added nutrients and vitamins!

Happy Growing! 


Ware, M. (2019, November 7). Microgreens: Health benefits and growing tips. Medical News Today. Retrieved August 13, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316075#microgreens

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