High-quality seeds are one of the most important factors for a successful microgreens business. Without high-quality seeds, it is impossible to grow high-quality microgreens.
There are six primary factors (and many secondary factors!) to consider in procuring the best microgreens seed:
- Germination Rate
- A high germination rate is important to ensure your seeding density produces the crop you need to meet your expected yield. Germination rates vary amongst different crops so check with your seed supplier to see how their crop stands up to recognized germination standards. You can see minimum germination rate requirements for registered seed in Canada here.
- While organic growing methods are crucial for the sustainability of all agriculture they are particularly important for microgreens where the seed is often the part of the plant being consumed. Be sure to source your microgreens seeds from only certified organic sources. Remember, if it’s not certified then it’s not organic.
- Grown Using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
- Good microgreens seed starts with the planting of the crop that will produce that seed in a process that requires careful handling from seed to seed. The seed is the most likely source of human pathogen in a sprouting or microgreens system and seed growers that utilize Good Agricultural Practices for microgreens and sprouting seed ensure the seed is at minimal risk of being contaminated with a pathogen during the seed production process. This is your first line of defense against introducing a pathogen into your growing system.
- Pathogen Tested
- The conditions for growing healthy microgreens are remarkably similar to those that grow good pathogens: warm, moist, and with lots of food! Finding a microgreens supplier that pathogen tests their seed is your second line of defense against introducing pathogens into your growing system.
- A vigorous growing crop ensures you can take your microgreens from seed to sale as quickly as possible. Vigour is a sign of good seed quality and of well-stored seed in cases where the seed is older.
- Uniform-sized seeds usually give you uniform-sized and uniform-growing crops. A uniform corp at harvest time makes harvest quicker and easier, and with crops like sunflower, reduces time picking hulls which shed as the crop matures.
Where do you get high-quality seed?
Selling seed is a business, and you need to find a seed supplier that can meet all the requirements of good microgreens seed. Urban Micro recommends Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds as your primary seed supplier in North America. Beyond meeting the above requirements, Mumm’s offers a great selection at great prices and can ship anywhere in the world. Mumm’s also works directly with farms to procure 80% of their seed. Learn more here!
Also check out our two-part interview series on seed:
In Part I I talk with Diego Footer from Paperpot Co. and Farm Small Farm Smart about seed and seed quality.
In Part II, Diego and I talk with Lisa Mumm of Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds about how Mumm’s sources the highest-quality microgreens seeds possible, primarily through farmer contracts with Canadian organic farmers.
We also cover seed extensively in Lesson 3.4 of the Complete Microgreens Course.