White Fuzzy Roots, What’s the Deal?

February 06, 2020 21 Comments

White Fuzzy Roots, What’s the Deal?

Feeling unsure of what has grown on your microgreens? Is it mold or is it white fuzzy roots? What’s the deal!!!?

If you see these white fuzzy root hairs as shown below, know that your Seed Quilt is happy, healthy and growing! Don’t worry - these tiny little root hairs are a completely normal part of the growing process.

                                            Photos taken by: Sean Goodman from Hamama Friends Group

                                                                        Photo taken by: Murray W. Nabors  

 

When roots have access to lots of oxygen for root respiration, these tiny fuzzy root hairs form - a great sign of healthy, happy root development!

Here are a couple more photos below from Hamama customers who have grown crops with beautiful white fuzzy root hairs! :D

                                                                                    Photo taken by: Heather

                                                                                Photo taken by: Rebecca

Though white fuzzy root hairs and mold can look a little similar, they do take different forms. Take a look first at the difference.

                                                                        Photo taken by: lowimpact.org

 

Recognizing the Difference Between Roots and Mold

Look closely at the roots - are the white fuzzy stems all growing directly off the main root? In that case, it’s happy, healthy root hairs! In contrast, mold has a more spider web-like, random form.

How Hamama Seed Quilts help prevent mold so you don’t have to worry!: 

 Hamama Seed Quilts are designed with air flow in mind - the most important factor to consider when it comes to preventing mold! You can thank the porous coconut fiber grow mat part of the Seed Quilt for this great airflow.

Another important factor is ensuring there is no over-watering. When you place the Seed Quilt in the grow tray and press down on it so it can absorb water, it allows the seeds to absorb water and stay moist, but without becoming water-logged. The water level will drop below the fill line and eventually below the level of the coconut fiber mat, which allows the roots to access more oxygen. The cool thing is that - even with this air gap - the roots and coconut fiber mat are still gradually wicking water up to the seeds. And that’s how Seed Quilts are designed to avoid water-logging!  

Lastly - placing your grow tray near houseplants or fruit baskets can increase risk of mold or plant disease, so if you do really want to grow near other plants - do some testing and be aware that if problems do arise, you may want to find a more isolated spot for your microgreens.

Top Photo below: Hamama Seed Quilt with the coconut fiber underneath.

Bottom Photo below: Our Grow Tray with the ribs in the middle to help wisk up water properly to the seed quilt.

                      Top photo taken by: Carolyn Severin (Hamama Customer Happiness Team Member)

                      Bottom photo taken by: Hamama

 

The ribs at the bottom of the grow tray hold the Seed Quilt above the water to avoid over-soaking of the seeds!

I hope this has been helpful for you!! As you grow, just remember those white, healthy, fuzzy roots are a great sign, not mold!

Happy, healthy roots = Happy, healthy microgreens!! When your greens are happy, you are happy!!! :D

If you have any additional questions, we are always here to answer them for you at Hamama!!!

Contact our Customer Happiness Team Members here.



21 Responses

Brittany Hamama
Brittany Hamama

March 04, 2022

Hello Lorraine!
Thank you for reaching out to us! So sorry for your growing pains! Please reach out to us for support at hamama.com/help (sending a picture helps us a lot!). Our Grow Coaches and Customer Happiness Team Members are always here for you!

In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates, tips, and virtual growing support: https://www.youtube.com/c/HAMAMA_greens

lorraine babbitt
lorraine babbitt

March 04, 2022

I’am on day 21 and i only have one sprout.

Stephanie Smith
Stephanie Smith

January 14, 2022

I’m so glad I searched about the WHITE FUZZ on my Daikon Radish Seeds. It’s not mold and my seeds are happy and healthy! So glad to know! Thanks for posting about the white fuzz and difference with mold. Very helpful!

Brittany Hamama
Brittany Hamama

July 28, 2021

Hello Arlene!

Thank you so much for reaching out to us! We typically recommend peeling off the top paper layer between 4-6 days! So as long as your quilt was fully germinated then you should be good! :) Super excited for you to harvest! If you ever need any assistance, please feel free to reach out to us at hamama.com/help! Happy Growing! :)

Arlene Emerson
Arlene Emerson

July 28, 2021

Today is day 3 and I peeled the cover off. I hope it wasn’t too early. They all have sprouted except for one little pod in a corner. Can’t wait!

Brittany Hamama
Brittany Hamama

May 25, 2021

Hello Amber!

Oh no! I am so very sorry to hear that! Mold is typically caused by over-watering, however, mold can be caused by a couple of other external factors as well- it’ can be difficult to pinpoint without knowing more about the environment you’re growing in. Please head to hamama.com/help. We’d love to help you! Hope to hear from you soon :)

Have a wonderful day!

Amber
Amber

May 25, 2021

Hi! I have a problem with the top of the paper getting black mold before the seeds have started to sprout. The quilt also smells like dead fish. I thought it was a fluke, maybe a bad quilt, but I am on the second one that this is happing on.

Allie Hamama
Allie Hamama

February 17, 2021

Hi Patty!

Please check out our growing diaries or Winter Growing tips blog posts for images of what your Seed Quilt should look like when ready to peel. Images are also found on our instructions: https://www.hamama.com/pages/how-to-grow

Reach out to us any time at www.hamama.com & click the purple “Support” button in the lower left-hand corner if you need further support! Happy growing! :)

patty
patty

February 17, 2021

Hi so I planted on Friday 2/12 and today 2/15…they are started to puff buy not able to rip paper yet…should I keep waiting?

Allie Hamama
Allie Hamama

January 18, 2021

Hi Joy!

The mature height depends on the variety. We give mature height information and pictures at each stage during the growth cycle in our Growing Diaries on the blog :)

For a general rule of thumb, microgreens will range from 1.5-4.5 inches. Our Clover, Kale, and Wasabi Mustard tend to hang in the 1.5-2.5 inch range. The remaining varieties tend to be in the 3-4.5 inch range (besides wheatgrass, as that gets quite tall). This is just a reference as growing conditions (light, temp, etc) will affect the mature height slightly.

Our special grow tray is reusable, and each Seed Quilt is one-time use. You harvest, compost in your green bin, and plant your next one! When you decide to cut the stems (or pull the roots), you are removing the leader bud and the root system does not reproduce a secondary leader. There are many fun things to learn about seedlings in the vegetable world.

Joy E Whitby
Joy E Whitby

January 18, 2021

How tall should the sprouts be before I can eat them? Can I snip them off and let them grow again?

Lee Ann Bachand
Lee Ann Bachand

December 21, 2020

My microgreens are looking great and seem to really like where I have them in a south sunny window. They ballooned a day early and I peeled the paper off. I’m enjoying watching how fast they change. I will try and take a picture. I’m so happy I got into this!

Susan Leone
Susan Leone

November 25, 2020

I am on day six of my first planting and I am thoroughly enjoying watching these grow on a daily basis
When I have had questions I’ve gone online or emailed in and always gotten my answer one way or the other
Great company and great product
I’m looking forward to harvesting soon

Allie Hamama
Allie Hamama

August 24, 2020

Hi Fran! This definitely sounds like issues in the initial soaking technique. Most times when we see that seeds haven’t all germinated, it is because they didn’t get enough water during the initial soak. For your next one make sure to fully hold down on the Seed Quilt to be absolutely sure it has soaked up water evenly. Move your hands around to all the sections until you see that each and every part has turned a shade darker from soaking up water (about 10-30 seconds depending on water temp / seed size). After the initial soak however, the seeds should never be soaking in water. The level will drop and should stay around the tray’s bottom ribs. Feel free to add more water (via the sides of the tray rather than over the quilt/seeds) during the growing process if you notice that the level drops below those ribs. Do not fill it back up to the fill line as the seeds and roots need oxygen to thrive!

A “quilt reset” resets everything back to day one, as if you’ve just soaked the quilt. It’s important to catch quilt failures early! Look at your paper top. You should notice action by day 3 in most cases (germinating seeds, slightly ballooned paper).

1) Remove the entire Seed Quilt and place it on a dry plate or even a colander.

2) Clean the tray – Use soap & rinse very well.

3) Fill tray just to the fill line with cool filtered water then do a proper soak! Hold the quilt down in the water until the seed sections all go from light tan/dry to darker brown/wet. This may take about 30 seconds.

Reminder! The “Fill Line” is only for the initial soak. You should ignore the Fill Line beyond the first soak. If any seeds are soaking in water, they will drown and eventually die.

You can find this detailed information & more support under the “Great Tips” category on our Hamama Friends Facebook Page!

Fran Weissman
Fran Weissman

August 24, 2020

I have the same question/complaint that a few others have had, but I can’t find the answer. I’m at day 5 and some of my seed quilt ballooned, but the sections in the middle have barely any sprouts that I can see (have not ballooned at all). What should I be doing? I made sure all were throughly wet when I began the process!

Allie
Allie

July 31, 2020

Hi Christine & Darlene!

These sound like issues in the initial soaking technique. Most times when we see that seeds haven’t all germinated, it is because they didn’t get enough water during the initial soak. For your next one make sure to fully hold down on the Seed Quilt to be absolutely sure it has soaked up water evenly. Move your hands around to all the sections until you see that each and every part has turned a shade darker from soaking up water (about 10-30 seconds depending on water temp / seed size). After the initial soak however, the seeds should never be soaking in water. The level will drop and should stay around the tray’s bottom ribs. Feel free to add more water (via the sides of the tray rather than over the quilt/seeds) during the growing process if you notice that the level drops below those ribs. Do not fill it back up to the fill line as the seeds and roots need oxygen to thrive!

The other factor is when you are removing the paper. Removing the paper too early can cause a low germination rate as some seeds will dry out too quickly before they can set down their roots. Please keep these two in mind while you are caring for your next seed quilt!

Allie
Allie

July 31, 2020

Hi Linda!! So happy you are enjoying your growing! We are always happy to help :D

Christine Padilla
Christine Padilla

July 30, 2020

I have the same question/complaint that a few others have had, but I can’t find the answer. I’m at day 5 and some of my seed quilt ballooned, but the sections in the middle have barely any sprouts that I can see (have not ballooned at all). What should I be doing?

Darlene Billstrom
Darlene Billstrom

July 15, 2020

The cover peeled off nicely, but 3 of the middle pods have not sprouted. Can I help it along?

Linda Cherry
Linda Cherry

July 12, 2020

I really appreciate the emails especially with this being my first time and all. Before I saw this email, I had already taken a picture and asked the FB page if they think I should o ahead and peel the cover off. Of course, they all said yes and I did! Nevertheless, when I looked on my computer and saw this email, I really felt as if you all are walking this out with me. I felt so much better. Thank you!

Wasabi Plant
Wasabi Plant

March 30, 2020

WOW, the fuzzy white roots look so cool!!

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