How to Harvest Microgreens? (Best Time, Tips and Tools)

It’s finally time to harvest your week-old crops and learn below when and how to Harvest Microgreens?.

In general, most microgreens take 7-14 days to mature before harvesting. Growers typically harvest them when the first set of “true leaves” appears. If you’re not sure about the “true leaves,” check out this article where we compare microgreens and sprouts.

When to Harvest Microgreens?

You can harvest microgreens at two stages of development. When the seedlings begin to grow, you will notice the first leaf or pair of leaves, known as cotyledons. You can harvest your microgreens at this stage or wait until they develop their next set of leaves, known as true leaves.

Harvesting your greens during either of these stages, which can occur within the first two weeks, is critical. If you wait too long to harvest them, they will turn yellow or grow stunted. Plant stress symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, including soil quality, plant species, and others. This is why you should harvest your microgreens as soon as the cotyledons or true leaves appear.

Read: Microgreens List With Harvest time

How to Harvest Microgreens?

Microgreens are best harvested in the early morning or late evening. Microgreens are more likely to be fresh and healthy if harvested during these times.

A pair of scissors is required for harvesting microgreens. The length of your microgreens should be between 1 and 4 inches. Make sure to leave about an inch of space between your microgreens and the soil. Wash the ends after trimming to remove any excess soil or dirt. If you don’t cut above the cotyledons, the microgreens won’t grow any further. After you’ve finished harvesting the microgreens, you can compost the tray.

Microgreens Harvesting Tools

Here are a few tools to assist you in harvesting the microgreens.

Microgreens Harvester by Farmer’s Friend

The first is called the greens harvester by Farmer’s Friend. This could be useful if you are growing microgreens on a large scale. The machine is simple, does not include a hand drill, and is relatively expensive for microgreen growers.

The machine costs more than $685, and the table stands cost more than $160. The good thing about this device is that it is extremely fast, completing a 1020 tray in just 3 seconds. You literally push the tray underneath the machine and it’s done.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video that shows how to pick microgreens using Microgreens harvester by Farmer’s Friend. You can also order one here.

However, the greens harvester was not designed specifically for microgreens. In other words, you can use it to harvest all of your vegetable crops.

However, because there is no protection when pushing the tray through the machine, there are some safety concerns about using this machine.

Handheld Electric Microgreens Hedge Trimmer

But in case you are wondering how to harvest microgreens at home as I understand that it may be too much for small-scale growers, so I’ve included a much cheaper option below.

The other is a handheld electric hedge trimmer that I purchased from Amazon. The cost is very reasonable.

This is preferred by the majority of home-based growers. It is not only easy to transport, safer, and less expensive. The cutting speed may not be comparable to that of the greens harvester, but it should be sufficient for the majority of the cutting tasks.

But now comes the bad news. When cutting the 1020 microgreens tray, you’ll probably need to lean the tray against a wall or something solid and place a container underneath to collect the microgreens.

However, there will be some dirt falling down as well. Let us hope it is not the entire clump of microgreens soil.

Electric Microgreens Harvest Knife

If neither of these options appeals to you, here is an electric microgreens harvest knife to help you with your harvesting. You can easily slice through the microgreens with this low-cost electric knife.

This electric knife, like any other scissors or knife, is not particularly fast, but it does assist you in sawing through the microgreens horizontally and gracefully. Small-scale growers should consider this.

Doing microgreens for a living? Learn how to make $20-40 per pound selling microgreens. And where you can sell microgreens.

Common Microgreens Harvesting Problems

Below, we’ll go over some common microgreens harvesting issues and solutions.

How to Keep Microgreens Clean during Harvesting?

Many people enjoy eating microgreens raw, even unwashed and straight from the soil. So when harvesting the microgreens, you should probably make sure there is no dirt on them.

Read: Can you eat microgreens raw?

Many growers use a simple method of pulling up the microgreens on top with one hand and cutting them below. This prevents the microgreens from falling into the soil and becoming dirty. However, this method is time consuming and labor intensive.

You can also use the microgreens harvesting tools to assist you. However, after each harvest, the microgreens must be washed, spun, and dried.

How to remove Microgreens Seed Hulls after Harvesting?

When growing the trays,

  1. I discovered that stacking them helps to remove the microgreens seed hulls.
  2. The second step is to vigorously shake and wash to remove any remaining seed hulls.
  3. Finally, when drying the microgreens on a rack, fluff them up. That should get rid of the majority of the hulls.

Read: how to properly store microgreens here.

How to Wash and Dry Microgreens after Harvesting?

How you wash your microgreens will be determined by how they are grown. If you are growing them in soil, it is recommended that you wash the ends to remove any leftover soil or dirt that may have ruined the taste of your food. If your microgreens are grown in another way, you will not need to wash them. To maintain overall freshness, wash your microgreens in cold water. To avoid an unpleasant taste, make sure to remove any damaged leaves or other problem areas.

Drying your greens is a simple and straightforward process. Place the greens in front of a fan to dry for a few minutes, turning them over every so often to ensure complete drying.

Learn how to get rid of mold on microgreens.

How to Avoid Leaning Microgreens?

It’s rare to see all microgreens growing firmly upright under the sun unless you grow microgreens indoors under the provided light.

As they stretch out to follow the light source, most microgreens lean to random sides. The only way to do so is to provide a light source that shines evenly on the greens. The best lighting for microgreens can be found here.

As a result, harvesting the crops can be much more effective and reduce loss.

How do you Harvest Microgreens? FAQs

How many times can you harvest microgreens?

Microgreens are a one-and-done crop, a one-use deal. You can only harvest microgreens once unlike regular plants like tomato.

When are microgreens ready?

In general, most microgreens take 7-14 days to ready for harvesting. Growers typically harvest them when the first set of “true leaves” appears.

How to Store Microgreens after Harvest for Longer Shelf Life?

Growing Microgreens Indoor vs Outdoor – A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Method