Cultivation of sunflower microgreens
Sunflower microgreens are hugely popular, and for good reason, they have a pleasant nutty flavor, are juicy, and add great texture to both salads and sandwiches.
Growing sunflowers is fairly easy and they don't take long to mature. There are a few tricks that make it easier to grow sunflower microgreens and we will cover a few of those tricks in this article.
The first trick is to soak and treat the seeds to germinate them.
In this article we test whether it is better to pre-soak the seeds for 12 or 24 hours, with a comparison side-by-side cultivation.
Or is it best to cut the soak down to just 6 hours?
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Soaking and treating microgreen sunflower seeds
First of all, there are as many ways to grow sunflowers as there are people who produce them. We have found that a lot of variability depends on the seed lot. That's the way it is, and when it comes to growing sunflowers, precautions and solutions need to be in place.
That's why we didn't include sunflowers in oursList of the six easiest microgreens to grow.
The soft and porous seed coat of sunflower is the ideal place for fungal spores to attach. For this reason we recommend treating sunflower seeds as wellFood grade hydrogen peroxidebefore soaking or planting.
We do not recommend using drugstore peroxide as it contains stabilizers to extend the peroxide's shelf life. For more information on what food grade hydrogen peroxide is, seeCheck out this article.
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Treatment of microgreen sunflower seeds
We recommend pouring 1 teaspoon of it3% food grade hydrogen peroxideabout every 25 grams of sunflower seeds. Pour the peroxide directly onto the seed and stir the seed. Let the seeds soak for 5 or 10 minutes, then pour room temperature water over the seeds until they are covered with about 1 inch of water.
The hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water, so there is no need to rinse the seeds before adding the water.
For more information on how to plant sunflower microgreens and see how the peroxide reacts when added to the seeds, watch the videoHow to grow sunflower microgreens at home.
More articles about sunflowers
Growing Sunflower Microgreens - Soaking the Seed
How to grow sunflower microgreens at home
Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition - Including 5 Awesome Health Benefits
Setting up the 12 stanza 24 hour soak
The purpose of this test is to see if soaking sunflower seeds for an extended period of time prior to planting will have any effect on the sunflowers as they grow.
We treated two batches of sunflower seeds in the same way with a hydrogen peroxide solution and let them soak.
After 12 hours, the first batch of sunflowers is planted and placed in aBlackout, including a weight placed on the lid. The second seed set was soaked for an additional 12 hours before planting.
Below is a photo of these seeds. You can see some of theradicleshave begun to emerge from the seed.
Microgreen sunflower seeds after 4 hours soaking. Radicals have formed.
Below is a photo of both sunflower bowls. The seeds in the tray labeled Sunflowers Tully (the tray was for a microgreen workshop) were soaked for 12 hours and were in a weight on blackout for 12 hours. Notice how even and flat the seeds are.
The tray marked "48 Hour Soak" has just been planted.
The seeds in the tray labeled "Tully" were soaked for 12 hours and were planted for 12 hours. The tray that says 24 Hour Soak has just been planted.
Note that the first tray planted and removed from the blackout period (left tray) has also germinated and that the radicles have not only formed but are growing into the soil medium.
Below is a close-up (click on any photo to enlarge).
Note that radicles also grew on the tray planted after a 12-hour soak.
So in reality it doesn't matter how long the seeds are soaked for as long as they are covered and stay moist (like the blackout period does). In fact, we think it's better to plant them earlier since the radicles have already found the soil surface by the 12-hour soak.
The seeds in the 24 hour soak, although they may have germinated a bit more, are still confused after planting. They have to reorient themselves in order to take root in the ground.
As you can see in the next two photos, both shells have similar growth. In fact, the tray planted after just 12 hours can be more advanced than the one soaked for 24 hours.
Click on the images to enlarge the size.
Sunflowers 4 days after the start of soaking.
Sunflower microgreens 8 days after they start watering. The tray on the left was soaked 12 hours before planting; the right tray was planted after a 24 hour soak.
Our thoughts on the microgreen sunflower seeds
The results of the test show that sunflower seeds soaked for 24 hours can accelerate germination. However, even seeds soaked for 12 hours, planted and placed in a blackout will germinate and the radicles will find the planting medium faster than those soaked for a longer period of time.
Seeds soaked for 12 hours seem to come out ahead throughout the test.
We see no reason to soak sunflower seeds longer than 12 hours.
Microgreen Sunflower Seeds
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Treatment of sunflower seeds with hydrogen peroxide
We have planted many trays of sunflower seeds, both untreated and treated with food grade hydrogen peroxide.
Although some of the untreated seeds grew great, many others ended up with fungus (see below).
We now pre-treat sunflower seeds with the peroxide each time they are planted.
Since we wet the seeds with liquid peroxide anyway, we soak the seeds between 6 and 12 hours before planting them.
It seems to work best for us. Even some of the pre-treated seeds will occasionally fungus. But a quick spray with a 3% solution of food grade hydrogen peroxide will kill the fungus and the sunflowers will grow great.
Sunflower seeds that have not been pre-treated with food-grade hydrogen peroxide are prone to fungal growth. Even so, H2O2 can kill the fungus and not harm the sunflowers.
Our recommendations for soaking microgreen sunflower seeds
We recommend pre-treating sunflower seeds before planting. Because these seeds are pre-treated with peroxide and water, they might as well soak for up to 12 hours.
Soaking the seeds for a long period of time doesn't seem to speed up the process.
Generally we soak the seeds overnight and plant in the morning, or soak them in the morning and plant later in the afternoon.
Using food-grade hydrogen peroxide reduces the likelihood of fungal growth. If fungi appear on the seeds, spraying with hydrogen peroxide will kill the fungus and will not harm plants in the early stages of growth.
Startseite Microgreens Sunflower Microgreen Soaking Method
We treat sunflower seeds with one teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide per 25 grams of seeds. After 5 to 10 minutes, we add fresh water to the seeds until the seeds are covered by an inch of water.
After 6 to 8 hours we drain and rinse the seeds and then plant them in a soil medium and place them in a blackout period. If necessary, the seeds can be soaked for up to 12 hours.
What are your experiences with sunflower microgreens? Do you use hydrogen peroxide and soak your seeds?
Leave a comment below and let us know.
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