Are Microgreen Seeds Different from Regular Seeds?

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If you are interested in growing a sustainable crop of microgreens, you may be wondering what the best seeds are to begin the process. During the spring months, seeds are abundant in many home improvement and garden stores. There are so many varieties it can be overwhelming to make the best choice, and you may be tempted to grab the first thing you see. 

Are microgreen seeds regular seeds? You can find seeds labeled as microgreen seed mixes, but you can easily grow microgreens from regular garden seeds. If you choose to use regular seeds, you must research them first to ensure there are no extra chemicals that have been used on them.

While growing microgreens is quite simple, you want to be sure to take the time necessary to purchase quality seeds to do so. In this article, you will learn about microgreen seeds and what may set them apart from regular garden seeds. You will also learn why you may want to use organic seeds instead of regular seeds. 

What are Microgreen Seeds?

In all actuality, microgreen seeds are just regular seeds, but there are some minor differences. First, it is essential to remember the purpose of growing microgreens. Microgreens are harvested before they reach their full growth potential, and they are not harvested from the root, which means they can produce food for an extended period.

It is also important to remember the germination time is relatively short for microgreens. This is where you may notice the difference between regular seeds and seeds that are marketed as microgreen seeds.  

Regular Seeds

When you use the term regular seeds, you are technically talking about any seed you can purchase on the market that can be used to grow a plant. Microgreen seeds do fall into this category, but not all regular seeds can produce plants that can be harvested as microgreens.

Most regular seeds are formulated and tested for a long germination period. You know the usual planting process. You plant your seeds in the ground, water them, and then wait several days for the seedlings to emerge from the soil. Because the time for germination is so long, often, the seeds have a special chemical coating on them to provide nourishment as they grow. 

Regular seeds are also formulated to grow in uniform once they are planted, and there are precise instructions when it comes to planting the seeds, such as spacing and the depth the seed needs to be planted in.

Microgreen Seeds

There is a possibility that you will find seeds specifically marketed as microgreen seeds. These seeds have been specifically chosen and placed together because of their ability to germinate quickly and provide lush greens that you can use within about a week. 

Because the seeds are being sold as microgreens, it indicates the seeds have been tested and formulated to grow in a shorter time frame so they can be harvested more rapidly. If you are looking to utilize your microgreen garden quickly, you would be best served to purchase seeds labeled explicitly for this microgreen growing. 

What are The Best Seeds to Plant?

If you are set on creating a microgreen garden, you are likely wondering which greens are best to plant and harvest. Much of this will come down to personal preference; however, the most common microgreens to grow are beets, arugula, spinach, radishes, dill, common herbs, and several kinds of grass. Typically, when you choose to grow microgreens, you want to look for the most flavorful greens that don’t need to reach full gestation before harvesting.

RELATED: The 14 Most Nutritious Microgreens to Grow and Eat

Once you have determined what you would like to grow, you need to search for the best seeds to use. Again, you may choose to stop at a local garden store to purchase seeds, or you may choose to browse online. No matter where you are browsing for your seeds, it is highly recommended that you do not settle on the first seeds you find.  

Remember, you are eating these greens before they have fully grown, so you want to make sure you are limiting the number of pesticides on the seeds you choose. So, be sure to do your research before buying.

Top Rated Seed Mixes

You will likely find microgreen seeds sold as a mixture, which means you will be planting a variety of greens at one time that will all grow together. If you don’t want your greens mixed and you need to have everything separate, mixes aren’t likely a good fit. However, if you are looking for a mix, here are some for you to explore. 

Superfood Microgreen Seeds Mix – This mix is a salad mix, which means the greens will complement one another when they are harvested, so there is no need to worry about separating them. These seeds are also non-GMO. 

Rainbow Radish Sprouting Seeds Mix – This mix is made only with radish varieties, so you won’t find any other greens included in this mix. These are also non-GMO.

Sulforaphane MICROGREEN Seed Mix – This mix is a variety of seeds with kale, cabbage, broccoli, and turnips. It is also a non-GMO product. 

As you can see, there is a large variety of mixes you can purchase to begin your microgreen garden. But you may be wondering how microgreen seeds are classified, especially with all the mixes that you can purchase. 

Regular Organic Seeds

Remember, regular seeds can be used to grow microgreens, but you need to be very cautious about what they are treated with if anything. Organic is likely the best if you use regular seeds. Here are some options if you choose to use regular seeds. 

Survival Garden 15,000 Non-GMO Heirloom Vegetable Seeds – This is a HUGE pack of seeds that you could easily share with a group of people. There is a large variety of seeds that you can choose, some of which will allow you to experiment with your microgreen garden. 

HARLEY SEEDS 1000+ Kale Mixed Seeds  – This mix contains a large variety of kale seeds that can easily be mixed.

Classification of Microgreen Seeds

When you go to a garden center looking at regular seeds, the classification of those seeds is easy to understand. You have vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. When looking at microgreen specific seeds, you are going to notice classifications or families of seeds that may not look familiar. Here are some of the most common family names you may see when looking for seeds.

Family NamePlants Included
Amaranthaceae familyQuinoa, swiss chard, spinach, beet
Asteraceae familyLettuce, endive, radicchio
Brassicaceae familyArugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, watercress
Lamiaceae familyHerbs (mint, basil, rosemary, sage)
Amaryllidaceae familyChives, garlic, leeks

You will notice that each of these families has several items that are in the classification. Because of this, you will likely find mixes that contain these plants. Because they are in the same family, they will complement one another. 

Final Thoughts

Before you begin to grow your microgreen garden, be sure to plan so you know exactly what you are going to grow and the seeds you will need. If you choose to use regular seeds, be confident they are organic or not treated with any type of chemicals.  

Also, remember regular seeds may take longer to germinate than microgreen seeds. If you choose the proper seeds, you will likely be able to harvest from your microgreen garden several times before needing to replant the garden. Take your time. Plan accordingly, and enjoy your very own microgreen garden. 

Microgreens Corner
Microgreens Corner
We are Janette & Jesper, and we love microgreens.

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