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Microgreen problem, Seeds not sprouting = mold

 
Sandra Bodinger
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Hi!

Im new to microgreens and have tried a couple trays, but i keep failing. My first problem is that not all seeds are sprouting, which causes my second problem, which is that the ones that are not sprouting, start to mold, which destroys the whole crop -.- . Im starting to get discuraged, i really want this to work!
I have wheat seeds that are specially for sprouting ( i wanted to make wheatgrass), but the sprouting rate is about 50/50 and then there is that one black sheep that decides to start to rot. *sigh*

This is how ive done it:
Soak for 8-12h
Rinse and sprout in glas jar with thin fabric up side down in 45° angle so that excess water can go out.
Rinse the seeds for about 1,5 days until sprouting has started (there are quite many though that has not moved at all at this point
And then put them on soil with plastic cover that has holes in it and that i can open on the sides in it seems to humid in there.''
water in the morning, misting in the evening
and boom on day 4 while the sprouted ones looks healthy, there is one unsprouted seed that has started to mold.

I would think that either the seeds are bad, or there is bad air circulation... or both.
What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance <3
 
Tobias Ber
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Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey sandra ...

welcome to the forums.

perhaps you should try other seeds. i use "normal" wheat which is not special sprouting seed. and it works well.

in trays i got mold all the time. no i do deeper containers. like the ones for balcony flowers. i sprout them in a jar, like you do. but i cover them with maybe half and inch of soil. adding lots of sand to the cover will help. i try to keep the surface dry. i water at the sides of the container, where water will soak deeply into the soil. sometimes i poke holes for drainage. i want the roots to have water but the surface to be somehwat dry.

i also have earthworms in the containers. they probably eat some stuff that is starting to rot.

in these containers i can go for 2-3 cuttings of grass. i also do barley grass, which i like more than wheat grass. i also do peas and sunflowers.


good luck and blessings
tobias

 
Sandra Bodinger
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Tobias Ber wrote:hey sandra ...

welcome to the forums.

perhaps you should try other seeds. i use "normal" wheat which is not special sprouting seed. and it works well.

in trays i got mold all the time. no i do deeper containers. like the ones for balcony flowers. i sprout them in a jar, like you do. but i cover them with maybe half and inch of soil. adding lots of sand to the cover will help. i try to keep the surface dry. i water at the sides of the container, where water will soak deeply into the soil. sometimes i poke holes for drainage. i want the roots to have water but the surface to be somehwat dry.

i also have earthworms in the containers. they probably eat some stuff that is starting to rot.

in these containers i can go for 2-3 cuttings of grass. i also do barley grass, which i like more than wheat grass. i also do peas and sunflowers.


good luck and blessings
tobias




Thank you for your input =)
Very interesting stuff! Some questions arises since im quite new to this.
How deep is the soil in your containers?
How exactly do you water when you do it from the sides?
Do you have your own compost where you then put the soil with roots and worms and all when the batch is done? I would feel bad for the worms if i just threw them away.
and then for the next batch, you just take "new" worm and put in the container or how do you do it?


 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 436
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey... depth varies. maybe 15-20 cm = 6-8 inch

to water from sides: just push the sides of the plastic containers away a bit. or poke some deep holes into the soil

i collected the worms (earthworms, not the "normal compost worms") when harvesting potatoes. i keep them indoor in the stairways. any kind of worm bin would be good to re-process the used soil from the tray. maybe along with some leaves, kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper etc.
i first used a plastic bucket. but a few days ago i switched to a plastic bag. one of a 40 or 60 liter potting soil package. that sits upright in a plastic bowl. a plan to cut an opening near the bottom and harvest finished soil mixed with worm-compost. should be great.

when i harvest that, there ll be some worms and or eggs in it. but worms in trays are not neccessary, but i think, they ll be a good add-on. but they help processing the soil/roots of the used trays much faster and improve soil quality. and this will affect health and nutrient-content of the grass/soil-sprouts.

i want a somewhat closed system. i want the system to create my own, living soil. it also will use some kitchen scraps and maybe leaves or grass collected from nature.

i find it much easier to grow grass/sprouts in deep soil.
 
Katy Whitby-last
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Location: North East Scotland
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forest garden goat trees
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Have you tried soaking for a shorter period of time? I don't do micro greens but I do sprout grain for my goats and with my set up I avoid mould and get good sprouts with a 30 - 60 minute soak.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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do you clean you seed? A rinse in bleach water (bleh, but that is what normal people recommend) or vinegar solution can kill mold spores that are on the seed.
 
Sandra Bodinger
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Tobias: sounds like a great idea about doing the worm-casting straight in the soil bag. i think i will try some other seeds to see if i can succeed with something else. We do have a quite warm apartment, so that maybe affects too.


Katy: I will definetly try soaking for a shorter time to see if there is a difference. thanks!


R Scott: ive only rinsed it with tap water before putting them for soaking. But cleaning with a vinegar solution is absolutely worth a shot.
 
Tobias Ber
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Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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to water you could also use a spatula to push the soil a bit away from the sides of the container. or use container withe holes in the bottom, put them in a tray and put water into the tray to water from below.
the roots of the grass will go very deep quickly. just keep the soil somewhat wet when you sow. when the grass is 1-2 inches dry, the surface of the soil will have dried but there is normally still enough moisture down where the roots are
 
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