Sunflower microgreens are perfect for healthy snacks, such as salads, sandwiches, even salads for babies. It takes only two weeks to sprout sunflower seeds, and they are ready for harvesting and eating. Adding a serious nutritional boost to salads, soups, sandwiches, and dips, these nuts are a tasty and healthy addition to any food.
Grow Your Sunflower Microgreens
Some important materials needed to grow sunflower microgreens:
- Plant growing trays
- Sunflower seeds
- Growth medium
- Coco coir
- Misting bottle
- Antifungal spray
Considerable Sowing Steps
- Getting soil
- Soaking of seeds
- Sowing of seeds
Preparation of Growth Medium and Seed for Sowing
Okay, so we are on the first step for our sunflower microgreens to grow. What we’re going to need is some form of bowl or something you can put your seeds into and a way to measure that for us.
Today we have our scale which we are going to turn on and we also have our scooper for this growth. We’re going to be using the black oil sunflower seeds and we got these from the local market.
We’re going to use 125 grams so we know that one scoop is equal to 125 grams. So, let’s just get this measured out. So, we got our 125 grams of black oil sunflower seeds.
They’re a lot different than the other microgreen varieties that we grow because of these we do soak them. We’re gonna go ahead and move over to the sink and will go over.
Here we have two different buckets one of the buckets is going to have our water and our sunflower and then another bucket we’re gonna place on top to push the seeds down during the soaking period.
Now the other thing you’re going to need is some water to fill this bucket up, however, you don’t need much water at all.
Then we’re also going to balance pH and start filling our bucket up. We will filter the bucket up to the one-and-a-half-liter mark and the reason is that we have a small number of seeds and it doesn’t need a lot of water.
Now what we’re going to do for our next step is we are going to begin pH balancing. We’re gonna drop the pH to the 5.56 range because the pH for normal water is at 7.0 approx. Therefore, we’re gonna bring that down and the reason is that we can get better germination results doing it.
Some people like the sanitizer seeds at this process but we don’t like to do that here so we’re just gonna stick to pH balancing. pH can vary according to the available growing medium which you can balance accordingly.
No okay, so we’re finally at the range that we want to be at all right. So now what you’ll need is some kind of strainer or just some way of washing off your seeds because sunflower seeds tend to be pretty dirty. You can switch the mister to a shower setting and just do your best to rinse them off really well. However, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Now we are going to grab our bucket again, bring it back over here and add seeds in it to soak them. Next, we are going to take the second bucket that you can place on top and of the seed to push those seeds into the water.
You will not use ones that are just floating on top, you will use ones that are on the bottom because they will show a good germination rate. Set the timer for 8 hours and let them soak properly.
If you will not soak the seeds you may start to see less germination and also notice that the seeds decay a lot quicker causing issues like molding. Therefore, it is important to keep the seeds soaked between the 8-hour mark. However, we do encourage you to try other soaking times because what may work for us may be different for you.
After that pull out the seeds which have been set down and give seeds a rinse. Just try to rinse them the best that you can.
Types of Growing Trays
Now gonna move on to the actual seeding process but first, we’re gonna talk about the trades you’re gonna need. So, you’re gonna need three trays:
- The bottom tray which is gonna is where your bottom watering is gonna go and this tray would have absolutely no holes in it.
- The second tray is going to be where your growth medium is gonna go which will then later have your seeds on top of it. For this, you want to use something that does have holes so that the roots can grow through and go to your bottom tray to get that water.
- Then on top of that, you’re gonna have another tray like your first tray which is gonna have absolutely no holes on it. That tray will be used to sit on top and have your weight on top of it whenever it needs to put into the blackout.
Sowing of Sunflower Microgreens Seed
Now go ahead and fill up a tray with some coco coir. And for this purpose, we chose these local quarries where you can use whatever premium you prefer. However, we just know that we get great results with coco coir.
Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to begin seeding it. Sometimes whenever you soak your seeds the seeds tend to stick together a little bit more so it does make it a little more difficult to see your trays but it’s not too bad so just try to get it as even as possible. It will be a little bit harder than then if the seeds would be dry but just do your best to get it even and if you see clumps just go back later and try to fix that.
While sowing seeds, if you have any areas that have big clumps just do your best to kind of spread that out because what will happen in areas where you have bigger clumps is you’ll tend to find more problems with disease in those areas. Therefore, just try to make that as little as possible and get those threads out.
Watering and Plant Protection Practices
So now you have to begin watering the seeds that have been seated in trays. You can do this, either way, using a portable mister or a hose hooked up to our water source with an expandable hose. However, the expandable hose is great because it can reach across our gross space which is awesome.
Now that you have finished watering, give it a quick light pass with antifungal spray. As an antifungal spray, you can use food-grade hydrogen peroxide two tablespoons in one liter of water. We usually do this because sunflower seeds tend to mold and decay after they’ve been soaked and this helps to prevent that.
Beginning of Seed Germination
Now take that other tray and put it on top of the seed. Put the15 pound brick over it and put it on the shelf. And to double-check the germination and condition of the tray remove the brick the next day and set that aside. You will see there are a couple of seats stuck to the top, however, it’s not bad you just knock these out because it will not harm germination as it is so early into germination.
As those seeds might have a chance to slug germinating seed so take a peek as you will already start seeing germinating seeds which is an awesome sign. Seeing little roots coming out is a sign to keep your efforts going on.
Along with double-checking, the trays do start misting and put the trays under the light so that the plants can start making their food and utilize it for their germination. It is recommended to again give a slight spray of hydrogen peroxide after you have done watering and place the top brick back on the tray.
Now keep repeating the same practice until you plan to harvest the microgreens according to the needs of plants and growing medium. Along with misting the upper area of the tray try to keep misting the roots as well to keep them moist and hydrated.
During this, all processes do not remove the blackout unless seedlings grow long enough. However, remove the brick after 3 to 4 days as you start seeing sprouts so that they cannot get damaged.
Now move the top tray off and remove any seat holes so stuff like that you don’t want to put back in there. So, what you have to do is just knock that onto the floor and come back out later to vacuum that off. Along with this, you will observe great germination to make you happy and keep working on it. You may not see any signs of mold which is awesome.
Development of Sunflower Young Seedlings
On day 5 of our sunflower growing, pull off the shelf and take a peek. Now you can already see some sunflowers sticking out from underneath the blackout tray which tells me that they’re starting to get taller and the growth is looking good. In the same tray, you will see quite a few seed holes so today keep the blackout for another day but will repeat all the other steps as above.
Now we’re going to pour regular filtered tap water in the bottom tray so that the seeds can start loosening up more. Water helps the seeds be softer and moisturized to boost seedling.
Now we’re going to do a little trick so make sure your hands are completely washed. You don’t want your dirty hands rubbing all over your product. We’re gonna do this and if you see you can see seed holes starting to pop off of them and this just kind of help loosen those seed holes and it’s a good way to do that. So, let’s just try to get you off you don’t wanna do it super hard because if you do it hard, you’re gonna break your plants and you want to give a light little back and forth there are good ideas.
We like to switch directions that way it just starts to loosen them and you’ll do this throughout the next process until harvest day. Later that night you must come back and give it another cup of water so that it never dry.
You must do that little trick that we taught you guys and that way you can just get a kind to loosen and soften pop off, however, remember to make sure your hands are clean do not do this if your hands are dirty.
On day 8 of sunflower, growth let’s take the tray off the shelf and take a peek at it. Today you will notice right away that our cotyledons are a lot smaller than what we usually get on our sunflowers and we believe that this is because we started a new batch of seed with this tray, not the old batch of seed.
Apart from cotyledon size today is harvest day so what you are going to do is you will not be watering. Now you can begin the harvesting part of these microgreens.
What you’re going to need is a knife and make sure that your knife is very sharp so that way whenever you go to cut them it just glides right through it rather than having to do this motion because it will affect your end product.
Now that you have done that part, begin harvesting so just lightly grab the tops of them and just glide right through. Sometimes some flowers are a little bit harder to glide through than other crops like saying amaranth or swiss chard. So just do your best to light it there as easily as you can.
After finishing the harvesting and bagging, you can use the leftover product as a compost pile in your outdoor garden. You must never bring coco coir back into space after you have used it because that’s just potential for pathogens and we just don’t want that in our final product.
You have noticed a different size in the number of seed holes so with sunflowers they tend to be a little bit more of a tricky crop and it can be very finicky and things like the seed batch being different makes a big difference.
Nutritional Importance of Sunflower Microgreens
In addition to providing healthy unsaturated fats, sunflower microgreens also contain calories. As a bonus, you can mix them into salads to make the dish healthier and more filling.
Moreover, the digestion of microgreens is easier than that of dry sunflower seeds. It is reported that microgreens from sunflowers contain about 200 calories per quarter cup. In addition, this same quarter cup contains 16 grams of fat.
Calcium and iron are both plentiful in sunflower microgreens. Serving sizes range from .2 to .8 grams. They provide you with about 2% of your calcium and 8% of your iron needs per day. Along with nutrients they provide several health benefits such as boosting immunity and reducing disease risks.
They also possess a high fiber content, as well as vitamins a, b complex, and vitamins c, d, and e. There is also a trace amount of zinc and copper, as well as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and manganese present in them.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Microgreens
Providing complete protein, sunflower microgreens are a great source of nutrition. A balanced composition of essential amino acids is the great advantage of proteins which also enhances enzymatic activity in the body, resulting in muscle cell regeneration.
- A recent study found that sunflower microgreens improved muscular, skeletal, and neurological functions in the body.
- Boosts mental and physical health.
- Congestion in the chest can be revealed with sunflower sprouts.
- Enhances overall immunity.
- In addition to containing lecithin, sunflower microgreens help to prevent arterial wall blockages by breaking down fatty acids.
- Keeps the heart-healthy.
- Maintains bone and tooth health.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s.
- Provides gastrointestinal aids.
- Provides pregnancy support.
- Sunflower seeds and sprouts can boost your fertility.
- Sunflower sprouts provide an antioxidant boost.
- Supports thyroid health.
- The presence of chlorophyll in them benefits the body in many ways, enhancing blood circulation, stimulating tissue regeneration, and more.
- Vegetarians can get enough protein from sunflowers.
- Vitamin b is abundant in sunflower sprouts.
Uses for Sunflower Microgreens
Sunflower microgreens are a delicious addition to any dish. To learn more, see these ideas:
- Add to egg dishes.
- Cook lightly in oil.
- It’s a healthy snack that can be eaten on its own.
- Make a salad base out of it.
- Make a smoothie by blending it with all other ingredients.
- Serve as a topping for avocado toast.
- You can also put it on sandwiches, tacos, and wraps.
- You can use it to garnish.