Before diving into how to grow carrot microgreens, let’s establish an idea about micro-greens and carrot microgreens in specific. Microgreens originated from the United States in the mid-1990s and later emerged globally because of its use in the Californian restaurant.
Microgreens, also known as micro herbs, are edible and immature baby greens about 1 to 3 inches tall. Even with their tiny size, they are a nutritional powerhouse and hold superior nutrient levels, paying dust to the other mature vegetable greens. They are also a rich source of minerals, vitamins, natural antioxidant properties, and compounds that include Polyphenols.
They have a delicate aroma, sweet and subtle savor, and vigorous nutrient content. Microgreens are regular attendants in mixed green foods, salads, and several vegan cuisines in elite dining restaurants.
We can grow carrots as microgreens. Carrots are vibrant and flavorful vegetables. Being a magnificent source of antioxidants and Vitamin A, this provides several health benefits that may include boosting the immune system and averting the possibilities of cancer-related diseases.
In this article, we will provide you a complete overview of growing carrot microgreens at home. You will learn to grow them in your gardens and indoor if you do not have a garden facility.
Then we will discuss growing carrot microgreens through distinct mediums and methods with the benefits attached. Initially, you might find this task a little overwhelming, but soon your skills get polished when you start receiving fruitful results.
So, let’s get into it, shall we?
Equipment Needed To Grow Carrot Microgreens
Growing carrots is not a daunting task at all as it depends highly on the type of soil.
Here are a few things to consider and the necessary equipment you might need to grow carrot microgreens:
You will be required to sow seeds. Carrot seeds are relatively small and can be hard to place. Plant several seeds together within 2 inches difference.
A growing medium, or a traditional growing tray, is required that can be conveniently available in your nearest gardening tools center or a hardware store. Size may vary according to your choice. Make sure it comes with holes so that water can get through in this way.
As we mentioned earlier, the growth and production of carrot microgreens depend highly on the soil type. Prepare your soil well enough to get rewarding outcomes. These microgreens need stone-free, clean, and deep soil to flourish.
Cover the upper 8 inches with rich layers of compost and sand to get loose and sandy soil.
Another essential entity is water. You can use a water-can for this purpose, but since these seeds are generally tiny-sized, a maximum splash of water is not encouraged. You can consider using a spray bottle for gentle sprinkles.
As a proper sun plant, carrot microgreens require a consistent and proper amount of sunlight, so ensure they get the needed amount of sunlight. If you are producing carrot microgreens in your garden, it is already reliable. And if the production is happening indoor, then try placing it on the windowsill.
Spoon/ Scale for the Measurement
This step can be executed without any measurement tool, but it is more convenient to keep a calculated check on how many grams of seeds you are putting in and so on.
Growing mat is one of these impeccable growing mediums. It is very beneficial for indoor carrot microgreen growth and production.
A growing mat is an alternate growing tool for producing carrot microgreens. Some people use it depending on their choice and need. Its uses will be elaborated further in the article.
Growing paper is another excellent source of growing microgreens. Growing mat, wood shaving, and growing paper are mostly preferable by people who do not indulge in gardening. It is a convenient and easy-going tool for growing carrot microgreens. It will be discussed further in detail as well.
How to Grow Carrot Microgreens in Soil?
Here is a list of complete steps you need to employ when you plan to grow carrot microgreens:
Step 1 – Work (Hard) On Your Soil
We can not stress enough how much soil type influences the growth and flourishment of carrot microgreens. If you want carrots to develop linear and enlarged roots, give your time to work on the soil to make it smooth and stones free before harvesting. And if you have rocky soil, it will develop small roots.
Step 2 – Choose the Right Seeds
Choosing the right seeds is highly important. Who wants to take in harmful chemicals? Obviously, no one does. So, you must look for certified organic seeds. Certified organic seeds are free from any kind of fertilizer and are chemically untreated.
Step 3 – Planting Seeds
Sowing seeds might come across as an overwhelming task as they are very tiny. Special attention is required as well for the right placement. Plant your seeds in the soil approximately in ¼ inch depth.
Step 4 – Watering
After planting seeds, you are responsible for the growth and nourishment of these crops. Develop the habit of watering them every day. Also, make sure to soak the entire soil while watering because otherwise, water will not reach the roots.
The roots will not be developing maturely if the water only goes through the surface of the soil. Apart from its importance for their development, you will also start finding this activity therapeutic and comforting. Regardless, its significance remains two-way.
Step 5 – Attention to Detail
Need a quick and gentle reminder? For performing all of the steps prior and after, you need to have an observant eye and attentive attitude. Verify the right root sizes and shapes. Keep a check on the time they take to grow. Never forget watering them. Stay patient and consistent. Treat them as your little babies.
Step 6 – Make Room for Baby Plants
An Agriculture Science term “thinning” is implied in this practice. Thinning is a methodology when you take out/ remove some plants to clear the room for the other young plants to evolve and blossom.
Similarly, you will need to thin out your plants when your carrots have grown up to 2 to 3 inches in height. So, they have enough distance and space to develop.
Step 7 – Harvesting
The final and the most awaited step comes in, where you get to eat the fruit of your hard work. These plants are fully grown in about 65 to 75 days. Pull them out when you observe complete growth. Wash with fresh water and store in the refrigerator or any cold space.
How to Grow Carrot Microgreens with A Grow Mat?
Grow mat is a perfect medium for growing almost all sorts of plants and practically; microgreen herbs. And it is very convenient for the folks who do not have garden space or a passion for all that soil stuff.
So here we will enlighten you about the necessary practices on how to grow microgreens with a grow mat:
Step 1 – Arrange the Tray
Thoroughly clean up the tray before putting it on the growing mat. The size of the tray might vary according to your choice and need. After the washing part, arrange to cut the mat to match the tray size.
Step 2 – Soak Through the Mat
After arranging the tray and aligning the mat’s size with it, place the mat into the tray and pour water until it is saturated. Leave it levitating overnight. The next day after this activity, release the mat from all the water, and it will leave you with a damp mat.
Step 3 – Plant the Seeds
In this step, start spreading and unrolling the seeds over the damped mat in a smooth manner. Unlike the soil scene, there is no need for compost and sand layers involved. Just place it on an illuminated area, and it’s good to go.
Step 4 – Minimal Watering
Like most vegetables, carrots also do not require excessive watering. In fact, they barely need an inch of water. And seeds won’t be needing the water until four days, so that saves your time there. You can apply delicate water sprinkles to the seeds once a week. But you have to wash the mat regularly.
Step 5 – Aircheck
It is mandatory to keep the mat in a stable condition. Therefore, keep a regular check on providing the perfect amount of air to the mat. Try shifting it to a breezy location now and then but just do not get it completely dry. Maintain a balance.
Step 6 – Harvesting and Storage
Carrot microgreens are best to harvest when they are 2 to 3 inches tall (approximately 25 days old). And once it happens, it is time for harvesting. So, pull them out softly from the grow mat and store them in the refrigerator or any cool spot you might consider.
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How to Grow Carrot Microgreens on Wood Shavings?
Though Wood Shavings is an unorthodox methodology to grow microgreens, it serves as a great alternative. It is preferable for people who can not afford to use growing mats, as wood shavings are relatively cheaper. You can get your hands on one of them by buying it from a wood store directly or get one specifically made to grow microgreens.
Here is a brief guide on how to grow carrot microgreens on wood shavings:
Step 1 – Prepare A Tray or Pot
Get a draining holes free tray/pot/container, whatever you find easily or by your choice. Ensure to wash it before use and cover the holes.
Step 2 – Load With Shavings
In this step, start filling up your pot/tray’s space with a few wood shavings.
Step 3 – Spread the Seeds
Once you have managed to prepare the tray and filled it with wood shavings, start spreading and circulating the seeds on it, in a linear manner, as much as you want.
Step 4 – Manage Watering and Sunlight
As we mentioned earlier, it won’t be needing much water that leaves you free from this hassle. Just arrange a spray water bottle and develop the habit of sprinkling water once a week.
Keep a check on the air and light as well. As a full sun plant, carrots need to be placed in a position where they sunbathe for at least ten to twelve hours a day. Windowsills are the ideal options for this.
Step 5 – Harvest Time
The moment you see the fresh leaves peaking through, know that it is time to harvest. Usually, it would take about 60 to 70 days to evolve till the final stage of harvesting.
How to Grow Carrot Microgreens on Growing Paper?
Another alternative to growing carrot microgreens is growing paper. Free of lethal plant diseases, it is comparatively a pretty clean approach for growing microgreens and taking care of crops.
Here are all the essential steps needed to grow microgreens on a growing paper, filter paper, or paper towel:
Step 1 – Paper Preparation
You will be required to perform this activity on a special paper or even filter paper. Now each one of these can be handly available in the online market. Once you get the piece, do not forget to cut and mold it according to the tray size.
Step 2 – Tray Preparation
After adjusting the shape of the paper, situate it into the bottom of the tray.
Step 3 – Damp the Paper
Fill the tray with water and let the paper be thoroughly wet. Leave it floating in this state for about 2 hours.
Step 4 – Planting Seeds
Since the paper is ready, it is fair to put seeds on it. Start placing and scattering the seeds altogether on paper. Also, after seed placement, this paper requires natural light, so consider that.
Step 5 – Misting and Sunlight
A moderate amount of water sprinkles is encouraged. Do not practice watering too often or so less that it becomes try. Also, as mentioned in the previous step, you need to manage so that paper acquires proper light. So, try locating the tray on the window ledge.
Step 6 – Happy Harvesting
When you figure glimpses of baby leaves emerging, you know it is the glorious harvesting hour. So, remove them tenderly.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Carrot Microgreens?
Carrot Microgreens are rich in nutrients. The most important fact is that they are beneficial antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamins A. These Carrot Microgreens protect you from many diseases by enhancing your immune system.
Prevent the Risk of Diseases
Antioxidants are excellent protection against fatal diseases like many types of cancers and heart diseases.
Antioxidants are considered free radical scavengers. Antioxidants are found in abundance in Carrot Microgreens, which are no less than protective shields against the attacks of the diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, Parkinson’s’ disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancers.
Enhance Your Immune System
The immune system is the only defense against all diseases. If it is weak, you are always at risk. If it’s strong, you can escape many diseases without taking so many medicines.
Nothing can be more beneficial for you than Carotenoids. Carrot Microgreens are the best source of carotenoids. You can get a good amount of Vitamin A, which will not only make your immune system strong but also it is suitable for your eyesight.
Make Your Skin and Hair Healthy
Your bodily tissues are always in need of Vitamin A for their growth and strength. Carrot Microgreens is the best tonic for your skin and hair. It increases the required amount of sebum production- the oily and waxy substance of your skin, which is needed in a reasonable amount to maintain the levels of your skin moisture.
Vitamins A keeps your skin hydrated. It will give you an attractive, radiant glow to your skin. It also provides healthy dermis and epidermis, which are the top two layers of your skin. Thus, it gives good strength and flexibility to your skin. The best source of vitamin A is Carrot Microgreens.
Prevention from Diabetes
The antioxidants which you get from Carrot Microgreens ultimately stop sugar from entering your body cells.
Rich Source of Potassium
Potassium is one of the vital minerals found in your body, the function of which is regulating your fluid balance. It also produces a suitable effect on muscle contractions and nerve signals. It also reduces blood pressure in case it is high and keeps it in balance. It also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
How Can You Speed Up the Growth?
The growth of microgreens can be speeded up by using a heat mat. It raises the temperature and hence accelerates the process of germination.
What Pests/Diseases Can Damage Microgreens and How to Stop Them?
There are many diseases that are constant threats to your Microgfreens crops, on all steps, from cultivation to harvesting. But nothing is to worry about because some practically proven solutions are discussed here, which are stronger than the threats.
It is a sort of fungus that makes an attack on the soft parts of plants, particularly in the condition of high humidity. It causes a grey mold on the leaves of the plants.
It forecasts some symptoms before its entire appearance, like spots, discoloration, wilting, and withering on the affected parts of the plants. It does not let the buds and the tender parts of the plant bloom.
The remedy of this type of plant malady must be scientifically proven. It is like removing the affected parts of the plants. Give up watering plants at night.
Ensure that plants have good air circulation as proper circulation of air is a must for the plants’ growth and safety from being affected by fungus. If you are in close contact with your horticulture consultants, you can plan better to grow your plants well.
Damping-off is a disease of seedling, rotting of the stem and root tissues below the soil surface. Sometimes, it causes disguise damage, as even being infected, the plant germinates and bloom fine, but eventually, it dies away within a few days.
Damping-off in plants can be prevented by using LED grow light.
Root rots are often caused by fungi. In this condition, plants lose strength in growth, become yellow, and at last die. They don’t get the effects of any fertilizer. It does affect not only seedlings but also the grown-up roots.
Scientifically proven research recommend that you can face this danger by practicing
crop rotation strategy. It can also be dealt with by avoiding planting related crops in the same area for several years.
Moreover, pulling up and discarding the affected plants is also a practical solution. Make sure that your soil drainage reasonably good. Besides, you need to be in regular contact with your Cooperative Extension Services for recommendations.
Sclerotinia is also known as white mold. It resembles with spiderweb. It crawls on the surface of the growing material where the plant grows. It has the ability to climb up the plants and destroy them before they start their proper growth.
Decreasing humidity and enhancing air circulation is the solution to save your plants. Overcrowding seedlings is one of the causes of the problem. Clean seeds thoroughly in case of reusing.
Lacking proper exposure to light can cause yellow foliage besides overs stuffing and insufficient nutrition. Providing proper air circulation and adequate light is good enough for saving your Microgreens plants from yellow foliage. Giving light fertilizer in the right amount when you notice any signs of yellowing is also a good safety measure.
These are the colorful insects. You can easily recognize them. They appear in green, red, black, and peach colors. These are the dangerous disease-spreading insects. They eat inner parts of the seeds turning the seeds hollow. A sticky type of residue is left by them on the foliage, which attracts ants.
A simple remedy to get rid of such insects is attracting predators- insects killing and eating insects like lady beetles and wasps, which feed on aphids and remove them from the foliage. Some harmless insecticidal sprays can also be used to save your crops.
Deer destroy your Microgreen’s crop entirely. A well-designed and strong barrier can stop them from intruding your corps to the ground.
These are small hopping beetles that primarily live on foliage for their survival. A careful rotation of plants with the other families of the plant is a practicable safety measure. Another other option is to use floating row covers to save your foliage from impending danger.
Rabbits destroy your plants thoroughly. They chew the leaves of the plants. It is most favourite to them. They cause less damage to your crops in comparison with those of deer, which annihilate the crops.
You can prevent them by fencing and barricading the area in which you have grown the plants. Any rabbit repellent can save your crops as well.
These types of pests make large holes in the foliage. They may eat the foliage completely. They usually assault the corps at night. They appear most harshly in wet weather.
There are many options to save your corps like- handpicking at night if possible, attracting the slugs to trap like cornmeal or beer, digging a hole in the ground, and putting a big bowl into the hole.
Following are a few questions (that you may have in your mind) and their answers:
Carrot Microgreens Vs. Carrot Sprouts (Which Is Better?)
Carrot Microgreens are better than carrot sprouts because carrot microgreens are more nutritious than sprouts. Carrot microgreens can be eaten in raw form, whereas carrot sprouts are riskier if we eat in raw form.
How Much Light Do Carrot Microgreens Need?
Four hours of exposure to sunlight is enough for microgreens in summers. Whereas, in winters, they may need up to seven hours of light to thrive.
What Temperature Do Carrot Microgreens Need?
Carrot microgreens require 18 to 24 degrees Celcius. However, if the temperature is higher than that, it may cause inhibition of germination in microgreens.
How Long Do Carrot Microgreens Take to Grow?
Contrary to other microgreens, carrot microgreens take quite a long time to grow. Carrot microgreens take about seven days to germinate and four more weeks to be ready for reaping.
Do Carrot Microgreens Regrow After Harvest?
If you want your microgreens to regrow after harvest, you must plant them in a large container/box/pot/tray, and while harvesting, cut the crop from above the lower leaf.
How Should You Harvest Carrot Microgreens?
There are two possible ways to harvest your carrot microgreens. First is by cutting them just from above the lower leaf, leaving them to grow once again. And the second is by pulling them out with the roots intact.
How Should You Store Carrot Microgreens?
After you have harvested your microgreens, wrap them in a damp paper or towel, put them in a container or plastic bag that you can use again, and store them in your refrigerator.
Why Are My Microgreens Falling Over?
There are various reasons for microgreens to fall over—for example, low humidity, high temperature, low nutrient content in the soil, or lack of moisture.
Carrot Microgreen Flavour + How to Use Them?
It has a mildly sweet carrot flavor. You can use carrot microgreens in omelets, salads, and even as topping for your pizza.
How Do You Prevent Damping Off/Why Is Air Movement Important?
Damping-off may occur due to the absence of adequate light. You can use LED Grow lights to prevent that from happening. Air movement maintains an adequate humidity and temperature for microgreens to grow healthfully.
We hope that all the above-mentioned facts and information about Carrot Microgreens must be convincing for you in making up your mind to grow Carrot Microgreens on your own instead of wandering about here and there in search of buying them.
Each and every requisite and prerequisite of growing Carrot Microgreens, from equipment to methods of growing, caring to harvesting, and above all, the benefits it has for you to keep yourself healthy, have been discussed in detail.