Definition - What does Hydroponic Microgreens mean?
Microgreens are sprouts that are harvested when plants produce one set of true leaves. Microgreen sprouts are often cultivated in soilless growing media or fibrous sprouting mats. When microgreens are grown this way, they are considered hydroponic microgreens.
Hydroponic microgreens are sprouts that were started in and grown in a hydroponic system, rather than being started in soil. Using hydroponics is a simpler way to grow flavorful, healthful greens for personal consumption, and are increasing in popularity as a commercial crop, as well. Hydroponic growing methods allow some types of seedlings to mature enough for consumption or sale in just five days.
Commonly grown hydroponic microgreens include baby-leaf greens like spinach, lettuce, chard, and wheatgrass. Sprouts and pea shoots are also very popular.
MaximumYield explains Hydroponic Microgreens
Microgreens have been around for some time. The trend started in California, but has spread across the country and around most of the world at this point. If you’ve ever enjoyed bean sprouts on a sandwich, then you’ve participated in the microgreens movement.
There are several key benefits to growing microgreens hydroponically. For instance, there is less risk of contamination with salmonella or other pathogens in a hydroponic system. Hydroponic systems are also more easily controlled (in terms of lighting, nutrient mix, etc.), allowing microgreens to be grown at a much faster rate than would be possible in a tray or planter.
Harvesting hydroponic microgreens is also a simpler matter. They usually just need to be removed from the nutrient mix and given a quick rinse with clean water. Microgreens grown in a traditional soil-based set-up must be removed from the soil carefully (slowly) to avoid damage, and then cleaned thoroughly.
Almost any type of vegetable plant can be grown as hydroponic microgreens. Bean plants are among the most popular, but there are hundreds of other options. Really, any edible plant can be consumed in sprout/green form, rather than waiting for it to mature and fruit.
There are some claims that microgreens are also more nutritious than mature plants, and that by consuming them in larger quantities, you’re able to increase your own body’s uptake of essential vitamins and nutrients.