Growing carrot microgreens is an excellent way to have some sort of fresh food year-round. They contain a ton of nutrients that the mature plant would, but in a much smaller package.
Table of Contents
- 1 Micro Carrot Nutrients
- 2 Micro Carrots vs Carrot Sprouts
- 3 How to Grow Micro Carrots
- 4 What You’ll Need
- 5 Harvesting Carrot Microgreens
Micro Carrot Nutrients
Carrot microgreens have a lot of the same nutrients as the mature, full carrot plant would have. They contain lots of vitamins and nutrients like:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Micro Carrots vs Carrot Sprouts
Sprouts are not the same as microgreens. They are essentially what you would harvest right after the seed shoots out a little branch.
Microgreens are a little more mature than that as they’ll have leaves on them, but much less mature than the full grown plant.
Yield: 2 to 1 microgreens to seeds
- 1 ounce of seeds will produce 2 ounces of microgreens
How to Grow Micro Carrots
Growing micro carrots is pretty straightforward, but it does take a bit longer than typical microgreens.
What You’ll Need
- Carrot seeds
- Soil or another growing medium
- Microgreen trays – 1 with drainage holes and 1 without holes
- Water source
- Grow lights
- Heat mat
1. Choose Your Carrot Seeds
Types of Carrots
- Purple carrots
- Rainbow blend <– this one is cool to see grow and delicious!
All types of carrots can be grown as microgreens. You will get the delicious microgreens leaves on any of them.
2. Soak Your Carrot Seeds
While this step is optional, soaking seeds for around 30 minutes to an hour seems to produce a more uniform germination (i.e. more of the seeds will sprout at the same time)
3. Prep Your Seed Trays and Soil
You’ll want one tray with holes to drain any excess water, and another on the bottom without holes to catch any water (and keep your grow room from looking a mess!)
Evenly spread out your seed starting mix in the tray, making sure to leave a little room at the top so you can add a small layer of soil on top of the seeds you’ll be sowing.
Dampen the soil with a watering can or spray bottle before you plant your seeds. I tend to use a spray bottle because it keeps me from overwatering the seeds too much. Wetting the soil before planting helps you make sure you’re not washing away the seeds.
4. Sow Your Carrot Seeds
Sprinkle seeds across the top of your microgreen tray. The seeds can be quite small so be careful when you first open up the bag.
Try to evenly spread them out – if you accidentally pour a bunch of seeds in one spot just use your hand to rake them around.
Add a very thin layer of soil on top of the seeds, about 1/4 inch. Alternatively, you can gently press the seeds into the soil with your hand or the bottom of an extra tray.
5. Let There Be Light!
After seeds have sprouted, they need light to survive. I use these grow lights to provide my plants with proper lighting for photosynthesis. It is important to provide your plants with a direct light source and make sure not to leave the soil dry.
Your microgreens will need this light for the rest of their growing life in order to produce a good harvest.
Without enough light, seedlings will start to growing too quickly in the direction of whatever light they do find. This can lead to leggy seedlings that will start to bend over because their roots are not as strong.
Legginess can also be caused by too much heat, like when you leave your trays on the heat mat past the point of germination/sprouting….definitely NOT talking from experience here 😉
6. Keep them moist
Once your seeds are planted, you want to make sure you are properly watering them and not allowing the soil to get too try.
At the same time, you don’t want to overwater your soil which will attract fungus gnats. For this reason, I love bottom watering my microgreens so the top layer of soil stays dry and doesn’t attract those pesky gnats, but the roots of the plant are damp and have enough water to grow big and strong.
Using a spray bottle helps make sure you don’t overwater them as well, so you can choose between those two options.
7. Be Patient
Don’t start worrying if they take a bit longer to grow than you’re used to.
Carrot microgreens take longer than others to mature enough for a harvest.
This can be around 21 days, whereas other microgreens might be ready in about 7-10 days.
Harvesting Carrot Microgreens
Once they’ve reached about 4 inches in height, it’s time to harvest your micro carrots!
You can use scissors, but the cuts are a bit uneven and not really ideal if you’re planning on selling your microgreens. This knife is awesome for harvesting and usually runs you less than $10.
Don’t wash your microgreens after harvest until you are ready to use them. You can store your carrot microgreens in a plastic container or bag in the refrigerator for around 7-10 days. Not washing them will help keep them fresh and lessen your chances of mold growing there.