GROW CYCLE DAYS
9+ days (using grow lights)
stacked with weight
soak 6hrs min - 24hrs max
3 Bootstrap Farmer microgreen trays
2x trays without holes + 1x tray with holes
we recommend Pro-Mix BX or HP for Fava microgreens
Water & sprayer
in the absence of a water source with spray nozzle, we recommend a pressure sprayer
1 portion of SowYummy Fava Bean seeds per 1010 tray, or 2 portions per 1020 tray
PREPARE YOUR SEEDS
A minimum of 6 hours and a recommended maximum of 24 hours before you intend to plant your Fava Bean microgreens, soak the seeds in room temperature water to activate the seed.
PRO TIP Mesh nylon produce bags work well to contain the seeds.
In ou experience, while a bare minimum soak time will do, Fava germinates quicker with a soak time between 12-24 hours.
Before you're ready to plant, drain the seeds, rinse them well, and allow excess water to run off them ("drip dry"). Sow your seeds while they are still wet.
If using a medium other than Pro-Mix, prepare it according to manufacturer's instructions.
PRO TIP Though coco coir works as well, we find that Fava Bean microgreens grow healthier and quicker in Pro-Mix grow medium.
Nest the tray with holes inside one tray without holes.
Pack the tray with Pro-Mix about 3/4 full. We use approximately 2 1/4 litres of Pro-Mix per 1020 tray or 1 1/4 per 1010 tray. If the tray is too full too much light will get in during germination, if it's not full enough, air circulation will be impeded.
Be sure to distribute the coco coir as evenly as possible throughout the tray, packing it into the sides and corners to ensure good water retention and to give the plants something to anchor to.
Gently press the second tray without holes over the top of the coco coir to even out the surface. You don't need to press too hard, we are not compressing it just smoothing it out. Don't worry about the minor channels created by the tray, these will smooth out during watering and don't affect germination or growth.
The video below is sped up to reduce its length.
CONDITION GROW MEDIUM
In a pinch you can use a spray bottle for this step, however, to ensure adequate saturation a spray bottle will be onerous.
Using your pressure sprayer set to medium/light intensity, spray over the grow medium in a zigzag pattern from edge to edge, starting at the top of the tray, slightly overlapping each stroke. We find that 1-2 passes over the tray are sufficient.
The medium needs to have enough water to sustain germination for about 3 days, but not be so wet that fungus will grow or that young shoots start to rot while in germination. Think damp not soggy.
To check if your medium is adequately saturated, make a small hole in a corner of the tray with your finger. The coco coir should be wet all the way through but not dripping into the bottom tray.
PRO TIP If you're working indoors and are concerned about water on floors or other surfaces, place your tray inside an adequately sized storage bin to contain the overspray.
Using your hand, spread seeds as evenly as possible all over the grow medium. We like to start with Fava Bean seeds at the centre , spreading it out to fill the rest of the tray. It may seem like you aren't sowing densely enough however Fava microgreens develop a large leafy canopy so over-planting can prevent late bloomers from accessing adequate light and developing to their full potential.
On a 1010 tray the seed will be quite dense. Use your hand to spread the seed so that every pieces makes contact with the medium and the seed isn't in piles.
Fava Bean seeds do not need to be misted.
Stack the second tray without holes in a nesting position over the sown seeds and place a weight on top. Between 10-15 lbs is ideal. We use 15 lb sandbags.
Place the tray in a cozy area where it can stay undisturbed for a few days. A temperature between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) is needed for healthy and even germination.
PRO TIP If heating your space is not an option, you can use a seedling heat mat under your tray.
Fava Bean needs 3-4 days to germinate.
PRO TIP When calculating germination/grow cycle days, we consider the day you planted your seeds as day 0.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
On Day 3 or 4 your Fava Bean shoots are ready for light. At this point some growers will put Fava Bean into blackout to force the shoots to grow taller. We find this unnecessary as Fava Bean stretches up towards the light very well.
Your Fava Bean shoots will be very small and pale. On the first day under light give your microgreens a generous bottom watering, almost a cup.
To bottom water, lift only the tray with holes and pour water into the bottom tray without holes, then lower the tray with holes. The grow medium and microgreens will absorb the water through capillary action.
HAPPY & HEALTHY GROWTH
You can grow your microgreens using other light sources but we recommend using complete spectrum LED grow lights.
Give your plants 16-18 hours of light every day. Over the first couple of days Fava Bean micro greens will begin to photosynthesize and slowly grow taller. On about day 5 or 6 they will spring up in height and become more leafy.
PRO TIP Even plants need to sleep so if the space where you are growing your microgreens is exposed to sunlight, schedule the time your lights are off to coincide with nighttime.
Make sure you have adequate air circulation in the space where you are growing your microgreens as it is vital to the health of your crops.
PRO TIP Water your microgreens daily. Fava Bean is incredibly tolerant and can survive overwatering and missed waterings, making it the perfect microgreen for beginners.
HARVESTING & STORAGE
We prefer to harvest Fava Bean microgreens between day 9 and 12. In our opinion Fava Bean microgreens are most flavourful at this stage.
If you intended to store the harvested microgreens, make sure the canopy and stems are dry. Microgreens stored when wet will start to decompose quickly.
The best way to harvest any microgreens is using a clean and sharp knife.
Scissors can work fine if you are harvesting to serve, however, if you intend to store harvested greens, scissors are not recommended. This is because scissors tear the stem rather than cut it, and torn stems bruise and start to decompose much quicker than stems cut cleanly with a disinfected knife.
We disinfect our knives using a solution composed of 1 part 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide mixed with 2 parts filtered water.
To harvest Fava Bean microgreens, using one hand gently grab hold of a modest handful of the greens and slice the knife blade across the stems a little above the substrate to avoid picking up grow medium.
Store any microgreens in a clean airtight container in the fridge. If you are going to wash them, do so only when you intend to use them.
In our experience healthy, properly harvested and stored microgreens will keep in the fridge for at least 10 days.