Growing microgreens is becoming an increasingly popular pastime. But, despite what people may say, it’s not going to give you a supply of fresh microgreens every day, unless you learn how to store microgreens properly.
Of course, you could indulge in a staggered planting schedule which would extend the harvesting period of your live microgreens, potentially allowing you to harvest just what you need each day. But, at some point, you’re going to miss a day, or have too many; leaving you needing to know how to store microgreens!
It’s worth learning, storing them means that you can keep the fresh, even if it’s just until the evening for that all-important dinner party.
Microgreens are incredibly nutritious, often having 4-5 times the minerals and vitamins of a mature plant, that makes them incredibly healthy, as well as delicious.
Best Way To Store Fresh Microgreens
The only place you can keep microgreens is in your fridge. They need to be kept cool as this will prevent any mold growing on them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly mold can grow, it will affect the taste of your microgreens and can even carry diseases that are harmful to humans.
Once you’ve harvested your microgreens you need to remove excess moisture; this is one of your biggest enemies; not only will it encourage mold growth, it will also make your microgreens soggy, ruining their taste and crispiness.
To remove moisture and ensure you maximize the shelf life you need to place your harvested microgreens between two paper towels. Gently dab the microgreens through the towels, this will help to eliminate the moisture, but don’t forget that microgreens are fairly delicate; you don’t want to break or squash them.
Once you’re happy that they are dry you should place them into a plastic bag or a plastic container, with the lid on. You can then place them in your refrigerator and they should last for up to a week.
Top Tip: If you need to wash your microgreens before you can prepare them for storing, use cool water. Cold water or hot water will damage them and their nutritional content.
It is important to note that while air-circulation is essential to the mold-free growth of the plant, and it can aid in drying; it is not as important when storing.
In fact, air moving across the harvested microgreens can help them to dry out prematurely.
To deal with this you can add a damp paper towel to your storage bag and leave it slightly open, allowing the air in; the damp paper towel will stop the plants from drying out. But they must still be stored in your fridge.
Make sure you give yourself enough time when harvesting your microgreens, you want them to be left at room temperature for as short a time as possible.
To really ensure your microgreens stay fresh, keep them covered, or in their container, right up to the last minute; this will make sure you and your family/friends really get to appreciate their taste.
Best Way To Store Microgreen Seeds
It’s not just the harvested microgreens you need to think about when it comes to storage. The seeds also need to be stored properly; if they are not they will germinate or go bad before you’re ready for them.
Seeds are also attractive to various pests, especially rodents; which is why you have to pay special attention to the container you store them in.
The container you use should be plastic or metal, to reduce the risk of rodents getting to them. It is also a good idea to lift the container off the ground; making access difficult.
The seeds need to be stored in temperatures between 55-70°F, this will help to prevent germination. It also needs to be dark. But, most importantly, you need to ensure there is no moisture present, as this will encourage germination and ruin your seed collection.
You can reduce moisture content by keeping the temperature where they are stored constant, this will prevent condensation. You can also add small bags of silica or baking soda, these attract moisture; keeping it away from your seeds.
Top Tip: Get a moisture meter, this will allow you to play with the environment to find the lowest moisture setting possible; the lower the moisture level the better!
If you do this then you’ll find that most peas, beans, and even lentil seeds can be kept for up to 5 years. Grain seeds are generally good for 3 years, while leafy veg seeds are good for 4 years. The exact amount of time will depend on which microgreen seeds you’re trying to store.
It is also worth noting that you can extend the storage time of any seeds by putting them in the freezer. They will need to be in a container as direct contact with the ice will kill the seed. Refrigerators do not offer the same extension as the humidity level can fluctuate quite drastically.
You should also make sure that you remove the frozen seeds you need and then return the container straight to the freezer, don’t wait for them to defrost if you plan to put any back in the freezer. The process of defrosting and then re-freezing will dramatically increase humidity and ruin your seed collection.
Storing Special Seeds
Some seeds, particularly grains and leafy greens, are particularly attractive to insects. These are best frozen to ensure the insects can’t get near them. But, if you do need to store them in a container, make sure it is off the ground, well sealed, and, if possible, double contained.
Now you know how to store microgreens you can start planning which microgreens you really want to grow and get your order in. If you’re hoping to keep the harvest gong throughout the year it is much easier, and more cost-effective, to bulk purchase your seeds and store them until you need them.
If you follow the above protocols you’ll have all the seeds and microgreens you want!