Why Your Microgreens Smell (And What to Do About It)

Growing microgreens can be a touchy issue, especially when bad smells become involved, so it’s important to approach this is a sensible fashion.

Why do microgreens sometimes smell? A lot of this has to do with decay, though, it is not always the case and this should certainly be taken with a bit of an open mind. More often than not, when the greens themselves begin to die and decompose, they are going to produce a bad smell. As to what causes this to happen, it can be any number of things.

Fortunately, there are ways in which you can grow your microgreens better so that you won’t have to deal with this issue again.

Best Ways to Grow Microgreens

Since issues with the smell of microgreens can largely stem from the actual growing of these greens, it only makes sense to start our discussion here. Simply put, if you want to make sure that your microgreens will not smell rotten or unpleasant in any way, you will want to make use of the best methods possible.

These methods apply to everything, including:

·         Choosing

·         Planting

·         Caring

·         Maintaining

·         Harvesting

·         Replanting

You never want to take the prospect of microgreens being quite the difficult plants to take care of for granted, especially if you are the kind of person who would rather avoid unpleasant smells. Microgreens might be healthy, but they are not exactly the most enjoyable things to grow and eat. With that in mind, you can take a look at the methods below for your growing pleasure:

Choose your greensIf you want to avoid having microgreens that would smell bad, then you have to make sure that you choose ones that will not rot easily or do not have a bad smell, to begin with
Use a propagatorIf you really want to control the conditions under which your microgreens grow so that you won’t have to deal with unintended consequences like bad smells, using a propagator is highly recommended
Reliable drainage systemWhen water builds up, this can cause the roots of your microgreens to rot, so you have to make sure that there is reliable drainage when you are planting
Higher humidity for crisp greensDifferent microgreens can often come with different needs and when it comes to crisp greens, higher relative humidity is ideal
Proactively combat molds and fungiFungus and molds are the mortal enemies of anyone growing microgreens, so make sure to prevent the buildup of too much moisture or trapping humidity
Keep seed density in mindYou only have a limited amount of space when you are growing microgreens, so make sure that you keep the seed density in mind to avoid overcrowding
Streamline your methodsFinally, you can’t just wing your approach when growing microgreens and should instead follow a streamlined process that you create based on the situation

If you do any of those things, it is likely that you won’t have to deal with stinking microgreens ever again. However, there will always be exceptions and you cannot be expected to get things right every single time. There are just times when things go out of control.

Why Microgreens Can Smell

There are actually several possible reasons why microgreens would smell when you are growing them and it is possible for more than one to occur. Among the most likely factors that come into play include:

·         The plant’s natural smell

·         Decay and rot

·         Fungal infection

·         Poor drainage

Starting with the natural smell of the plants, it is only to be expected that there are just plants out there that smell bad by default. Take broccoli, for example, which is not exactly the most tempting vegetable, to begin with. However, in its microgreen form, it has one of the nastiest smells you can think of and that’s saying something.

Of course, the reason could just as easily be because the microgreens that you planted are now rotting and you will not want to deal with that particular issue. Whether you just used the wrong soil or you watered the greens too much, they have basically died and are now decaying. Although it is possible to save these greens, your best course of action would be to get rid of them.

Another possible cause for why your microgreens might be dying and decaying is a fungal infection, which is a major issue when growing microgreens. They thrive in basically the same conditions as the tiny plants. As a result, you are encouraging the growth of mold in the same way you encourage the growth of microgreens.

Finally, just as a flooded area inevitably starts to smell of the water becomes stagnant for too long, poor drainage can lead to quite the stink when growing microgreens. So you might want to look into that if you did everything else right.

What to Do When Microgreens Smell

Assuming that the worst has happened and now your microgreens are starting to smell. There are a few things that you can do in response and not all of them are that pleasant. To start with, if the issue has to do with rot, you can check to see which of the greens is going bad. If it is only a few out of the whole, you can get rid of those and save the rest.

However, if a vast majority of the greens are already dead or dying, you need to go get rid of all of them altogether. Even if some of the surviving greens look fine, there are no guarantees that what killed the rest is not in them already.

If the issue has to do with fungus, the same principle applies. Find those that are not infected and if there are significantly more of them, just get rid of the ones that have been infected. However, there are no guarantees that this will not happen again. This is why you need to be proactive about addressing the issue.

Related Questions

Do Microgreen Regrow After Cutting?

Microgreens can actually regrow a few times after cutting the sprouts for consumption, but this will depend on the plant and the condition of the growth. There are some microgreens that you can only really harvest once and then you will need to plant anew.

Do Microgreens Need to Be Washed?

Much like any other kind of organic produce, you will need to wash your microgreens before you eat them. This is doubly the case for when you eat the microgreens raw because you would then have fewer control points in which you will be able to prevent illness that is borne from the food.

Mistakes in Growing Microgreens

There are a ton of mistakes that you can commit when you are trying to grow microgreens and they can actually vary depending on the circumstances. Generally speaking, though, there are only a few that you will want to watch out for. They include:

·         Not using enough soil

·         Using the wrong seeds

·         Watering the plants too much

·         Letting moisture and humidity run amok

·         Not allowing the water to drain

·         Not giving the greens enough space

These are just a few of the mistakes that you can commit when you are growing microgreens and from a gardening standpoint, you definitely want to make sure that you avoid them. However, not all mistakes are the same and some will have a bigger impact than others.

What’s more, you can also bet that if you are going to grow microgreens, some mistakes can still be remedied. Even if this was the case, though, you should not be complacent. You need to be ready and proactive in dealing with potential issues that could cause your microgreens to smell or die.

This is why you need to make sure that you are keeping the mistakes above in mind whenever you do anything at all with microgreens. For example, you need to make sure that you are using enough soil for your microgreens to thrive whenever you are planting. There is just no excuse for you not to do so when you have plenty of time to make this arrangement.

You should also use the right seeds that you can easily grow wherever you may place the microgreens. Do not overextend yourself by trying to grow something that will be forever out of your grasp. You need to take your own situation into consideration, after all. You can’t grow microgreens that thrive in cold weather while you are somewhere hot.

Why Grow Microgreens?

Since there appears to be a lot of issues related to growing microgreens, one has to wonder as to why you would do it in the first place. What exactly is there for you to gain by going through all the trouble of caring for such sensitive plants only to risk them getting infected and dying? To start with, there is the matter of having access to healthy food.

The health benefits of microgreens have been lauded in the food sector for quite some time and the fact that they are practically still in their sprout stages makes for quite the new experience. Of course, this does not mean that they are the best options for this particular point of concern, but you do have to admit that it is convenience.

Another reason for caring for microgreens is the satisfaction that you get in growing such complicated and sensitive items. This is a side to gardening that any serious enthusiast would easily understand. Few other things can compare with the happiness that you feel in seeing the plants that you grow thriving so much under your care.

The fact that you can eat them is just a nice bonus. Some of them are quite delicious, as well, so there is that for you to consider. It is worth pointing out, though, that some microgreens are actually quite pleasing to the eye. Obviously, they will not be the same as when you are growing flowers or other exotic plants, but there is something to the look of vegetables that give them charm.

At the very least, it gives your dwelling more of an organic look. 

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