GROW CYCLE DAYS
12+ days (using grow lights)
stacked with light weight
3 Bootstrap Farmer microgreen trays
2x trays without holes + 1x tray with holes
we recommend loose coco coir
Water & sprayer
in the absence of a water source with spray nozzle, we recommend a pressure sprayer
SowYummy Garlic Chive seeds
1 portion per 1010 tray, or 2 portions per 1020 tray
5-10 lb weight
If using a medium other than loose coco coir, prepare it according to manufacturer's instructions.
Nest the tray with holes inside one tray without holes.
Pack the tray with coco coir about 1/2 full. We use approximately 1 3/4 litres of loose coco coir per 1020 tray. If the tray is too full you won't have enough space for a top layer of grow medium.
Be sure to distribute the coco coir as evenly as possible throughout the tray and into the sides and corners to ensure good water retention.
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.
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 around the perimeter, then filling the rest of the tray.
Garlic Chive is sown quite densely, but try to avoid clumping as that promotes mold and damping off.
Give the seeds a light misting of water to activate them. Then cover the seeds with a moderate layer of grow medium, no more than ~1/4". Mist the top layer with the anti-fungal solution.
Stack the second tray without holes in a nesting position over the sown seeds. Place your weight on top. Two large mason jars full of water work great for us.
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.
Every day during germination while the Garlic Chive is under weight, remove the weight and top tray, and mist with the anti-fungal solution.
On day 4, remove the weight and top tray, and mist with the anti-fungal solution. Replace the top tray but do not replace the weight. Leave the weight off for the remainder of germination, but continue to mist with the anti-fungal solution daily. In two or so days you should start to see Garlic Chive tips begin to poke through the top layer of grow medium.
PRO TIP When calculating germination/grow cycle days, we consider the day you planted your seeds as day 0.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Once you see the Garlic Chive start to poke through the top grow medium layer, it is time to put your microgreens under lights.
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.
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.
Water your microgreens daily - a little goes a long way. Garlic Chive microgreens grow densely and don't need a lot of water. Overwatering will cause rotting in the centre of the trays.
After the first two days, if you notice that your Micro Garlic Chive is lifting the top layer of grow medium, brush your hand gently over the top of the canopy to knock the grow medium off the tray, or to knock it down between the shoots. Do not leave grow medium sitting on to of the growing microgreens, it will impede air flow and obstruct photosynthesis.
PRO TIP Wait until day 3 before attempting to knock off the top layer of grow medium to avoid accidentally damaging the young shoots.
Garlic Chive husks remain attached to the plant, are perfectly safe to eat, and add a delightful crunch to the microgreens.
HARVESTING & STORAGE
We prefer to harvest Garlic Chive microgreens at about 12-16 days, before the secondary shoot develops. In our experience their flavour is most enjoyable during this time.
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 Garlic Chive microgreens, using one hand gently grab hold of a small amount of the greens and slice the knife blade across the stems a little above the substrate to avoid picking up grow medium. If you notice any grow medium attached to the stems, brush them off gently with your fingers.
PRO TIP Micro Garlic Chive tends to release an aromatic and sticky juice from the cut stems, we recommend wearing nitrile gloves for easier and cleaner harvesting.
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.