Hydroponic Microgreen Gardening


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Microgreens are tiny edible plants, harvested at the peak of tenderness. They may be small but they deliver intense bursts of |avour and . Microgreens have become more popular in recent
years thanks to increases in supply and demand: they are being used more as a complement to cooking and they are also becoming a viable proposition for hydroponic farmers.
Most microgreens are easy to germinate with just five to ten days from seedling to harvest. Microgreens can be grown in as little as a few square inches making then ideal for home gardeners.
On a larger scale, microgreens make a profitable commercial crop, well-suited to soilless production methods and hydroponic systems to deliver a high-quality, clean and grit-free product- and of course hydroponics go hand in hand with container farming!
Microgreens are edible seedlings including vegetables and herbs, which have been used, primarily in the restaurant industry, to embellish cuisine since 1996. The rapidly growing
microgreen industry faces many challenges. Microgreens share many characteristics with sprouts, and while they have not been associated with any foodborne illness outbreaks, they have recently been the subject of seven recalls. Thus, the potential to carry foodborne pathogens is there, and steps can and should be taken during production to reduce
the likelihood of such incidents. One major limitation to the growth of the microgreen industry is the rapid quality deterioration that occurs soon after harvest, which keeps prices high and restricts commerce to local sales. Once harvested, microgreens easily dehydrate, wilt, decay and rapidly lose certain nutrients. Research has explored preharvest and postharvest interventions, such as calcium treatments, modified atmopsphere packaging, temperature control, and
light, to maintain quality, augment nutritional value, and extend shelf life. However, more work is needed to optimize both production and storage conditions to improve the safety, quality, and shelf life of microgreens, thereby expanding potential markets.
Microgreens are an emerging class of produce that have gained increasing popularity. They are the seedlings of edible plants harvested 7–14 days postplanting when the first true leaves start to emerge. Microgreens have been used primarily in the restaurant industry to embellish cuisine and are most commonly consumed fresh in salads, soups, and sandwiches. An assortment of colors, visual textures, aromas, and flavors give appeal to these tender young greens.
Microgreens are ideally suited for indoor production and are part of the global movement towards controlled environmental agriculture (CEA). This movement is driven by population growth, shrinking arable land, and the need for ensuring food security. The short
time to harvest for microgreens and high market values makes them important CEA crops
The microgreen market is growing rapidly, limitation to the growth of the microgreen industry is rapid quality deterioration postharvest. Microgreens are difficult to store, due to their high surface area to volume ratio, high respiration rate, and delicate leaves that easily wilt, and
rapid postharvest decay transpiration, leakage of nutrient rich exudates, tissue damage, and early senescence.