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Colorful Microgreen Varieties

Posted by Nick Greens, Horticulturist/Consultant on 2/4/2019

Microgreens offer a wide variety of choices in taste, texture, and even color. Growers can find success by adding an extra step or otherwise increasing their knowledge on microgreen growing. Below is a round-up of 7 different colorful varieties.

Mustard, Ruby Streaks - Improved dark-purple variety with light-green stems and spicy flavor. Based on yield trials, seeding is recommended at 9.5 gm per tray at approximately 3 flats per ounce of seed. Average days to maturity was 14.5 days when harvested at the first true leaf (as opposed to harvesting in the cotyledon stage). Ruby mustard greens have green leaves with reddish-purple veins, deep green and deep red leaves, green leaves with a purple blush, or reddish-purple leaves with a reddish-purple blush. Cool weather is needed for the colors to deepen beyond green.

Basil, Dark Opal - Variable expression of purple, green, and variegated leaves.
This variety features mostly purple leaves with 10% variegated, or green leaves. It adds robust, sweet-and-spicy flavor and visual interest to any meal or beverage. Based on yield trials, seeding is recommended at 5 gm per tray at approximately 5 flats per ounce of seed. Average days to maturity was 25.5 days when harvested at the first true leaf (as opposed to harvesting in the cotyledon stage). Basil requires steady warm temperatures. Using a heating pad helps with germination when nighttime temperatures drop. These seeds can be difficult to germinate, but light also helps with germination. If the seeds are kept in darkness, they will likely still germinate, but they may have a lower germination rate.

Amaranth, Garnet Red - Attractive fuchsia stems and leaves.
Amaranth has a mild, earthy flavor and unique color. Seeding is recommended at 7.5 gm per tray at approximately 3.5 flats per ounce of seed, based on yield trials. Average days to maturity was 17 days when harvested at the first true leaf (as opposed to harvesting in the cotyledon stage). Amaranth requires consistency. Fluctuation in temperature results in slow or low germination as well as poor growth after germination.  

Sorrel, Red Veined - Bright lemon flavor and distinctive red veins.
Sorrel can add color and flavor contrast to microgreen blends, and it has the same sharp, tangy flavor as regular sorrel. Based on yield trials, seeding is recommended at 3.5 gm per tray at approximately 8 flats per ounce of seed, for very small leaves. Sorrel germinates in 4 to 5 days at temperatures below 65 °F and 5 to 6 days at higher temperatures.

Cabbage, Tokyo Bekana - Large light-green leaves.
The pale-green color of cabbage blends well with and complements dark-green and dark-red varieties in mixes. Based on yield trials, seeding is recommended at 14 gm per tray at approximately 2 flats per ounce of seed. Average days to maturity was 10 days when harvested at the first true leaf (as opposed to cotyledon stage). Cabbage offers distinctive bright yellow-green leaves.

Popcorn, Yellow - Sweet-flavored shoots.
Popcorn shoots are bright-yellow in color when blanched. They are typically harvested from 3-4" or any size that the market prefers, and can be eaten fresh, added to salads, or used in a wide variety of dishes. Read more about growing popcorn shoots here.

Sunflower, Gray Striped - Mild nutty flavor.
Sunflower microgreens are typically harvested from 3-4" or just before the first true leaves emerge. Like popcorn, sunflower shoots can be eaten fresh, added to salads, used as a garnish, or used in a wide variety of dishes. The leading seeds to use to grow sunflower shoots are black oil sunflower seeds in their shells, the same seeds that are used to make sunflower oil. In their shells, black oil sunflower seeds retain their viability for a long time, and it is recommended to store them in the refrigerator.

What’s your favorite colorful variety of microgreens? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Microgreens

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