ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Microgreens Pak Choi Quantity: 3.5 grams per wooden punnet

Temperature / Humidity levels : The ideal temperature to grow is around 70° F (68 to 72) - 21 degrees celsius
Blackout Time: 3-5 days
Germination Rate:  high
Germination Time: 2 to 3 days
Microgreens Harvest time: 8 to 12 days
Microgreens Ideal Harvest: 10 days
Micro Greens Flavour: fresh, sweet

 

Pak Choi is a pale green microgreen with a slightly sweet, robust flavour, with white stems and bright green leaves.

Please note there are 'extra notes' at the end. We recommend reading through all the guide before starting to sow your seeds.

 

Day 1 - Germination Stage - Sow your seeds

 

Step 1 : Add 375ml of water to one coconut brick into a large mixing bowl. This will hydrate the coir and create volume. The brick will make enough coir for all four wooden punnets. Ensure to thoroughly mix together and break up any lumps.

Step 2 : Using one of your wooden punnets, add the coir into the punnet so that the punnet is full. Ensure that the coir is level, it doesn’t have to be compacted down but must be evenly spread within the punnet. Tamp the surface gently to flatten.

Step 3 : The coir should be moist enough after hydrating it, but if the coir feels a little dry then you can lightly mist spray the top with water. You want the coir to feel damp but not too wet or over soggy.

Step 4 : Carefully sprinkle the Pak Choi seed evenly over the entire surface of the coir. The seeds should not overlap and sit directly onto the coir.

Step 5 : Mist spray with water over the entire surface area. This helps to push the seeds into the coir surface.

Step 6 : Place another wooden punnet over the top to cover the seeds.

Step 7 : Place the wooden punnet on the black tray and then using the second black tray upside down over the top of the punnet(s) to ensure there is limited light to the seeds underneath. The top tray acts like a lid.

Step 8 : To add a little weight, place a small reading book on top of the tray. (This helps to push the top wooden punnet down onto the seeds making sure the seeds have contact with the coir to ensure better germination).

Step 9 : Place is a dark warm place. Ideally not a cupboard. It is important to have good air flow around your microgreens to ensure there is no problems with mold. A small fan can help to achieve this very well. Make sure the surface that you place your tray on (shelf or table top) is level, so when you water later the water is evenly reaching all of your plants and not just sitting at one end of your bottom tray.

 

Day 2 - Germination Stage

 

Keep covered with the top black tray/book weight and keep warm.

 

Day 3

Check your Pak Choi seeds, if the surface looks dry than lightly spray mist with water (uncover your top tray, remove the top wooden punnet to check your seeds and spray water if needed). 

Observe your seeds, you will start to see root hair developing and small white shoots/ yellow leaves appear. When you see this happening you can now remove the wooden punnets covering your seeds and the book that has been used as a weight. Then turn the top tray upside down so it now acts like a lid.

Today / tomorrow the top tray will act as a lid, it creates a dome effect covering your seeds but giving them a little space to grow upwards. Moving you into the black out stage.

Day 4 - Blackout Stage

 

This stage often gets forgotten but we feel it is a very important stage. By keeping your seeds in darkness for a further 24 hours it slightly stresses the plants as they are trying to find the light. What happens under the dome (top tray) is that the shoots are growing upwards and in turn lengthen in height. This little amount of stress actually strengthens the stems and overall your plants will be slightly taller and stronger once they hit the light (tomorrow)

 

Day 5 - Move into the light

 

When you first move your seeds from the blackout stage to the light they will be yellow/white in colour, this is normal as they have been until now deprived of any light. The leaves soon starts to change in colour (after a few hours) as the light stimulates the leaves.

 

Remove the top black tray and move your greens to at area where they can receive light. This may be indoors or outdoors (during warmer months). Your microgreens will grow more evenly if you keep them out of strong sunlight. If you decide to use a window sill then make sure you turn the tray regularly to ensure an even growth of you plants.

 

Favourable temperature range of 18 to 24°C and relative humidity (RH) of 40 to 60 per cent would meet the needs of most plants.

 

Make sure the surface that you place your tray on (shelf or table top) is level, so when you water later the water is evenly reaching all of your plants and not just sitting at one end of your bottom tray.

 

Once you move your Pak Choi into the light you continue to water twice a day. The only difference is you now only water from the bottom, meaning pour water into the bottom black tray, ensuring the water covers the entire tray. The holes in the wooden punnets allow the water to soak up into the coir and feed the roots of your plants. When watering if you are unsure of how much water to use, we recommend less and keep checking your plants. If the wooden punnets feel heavy then the coir is probably moist enough. If the surface of the coir looks dry then add more water. Generally the centre of the punnets hold the most water and the outer edges will be drier. 

 

Day 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

 

Once you move your Pak Choi into the light you continue to water twice a day from underneath.

Favourable temperature range of 18 to 24°C and relative humidity (RH) of 40 to 60 per cent would meet the needs of most plants.

Depending on the sunlight / grow light make sure you turn the tray regularly to ensure an even growth of your plants.

 

Day 8 - 10 - Harvest Day

 

For Pak Choi we find the best day to harvest is day 10, but if you prefer a younger tasting plant then from day 9 is also recommended. After day 10 Pak Choi continues to grow, when you start to see the ’true leaf develop then the taste of the Pak Choi may alter and become more bitter. 

 

To harvest Pak Choi

 

We recommend using a sharp knife (rather than scissors) to cut your live microgreens, this ensures they stay fresher for longer.

Enjoy experimenting with using your Microgreens with different dishes -  Harvest, Eat and Repeat

 

Pak Choi Microgreens are great for

 

  • Served well with Chinese/ Asian/ Thai/ Indian foods

  • with seafood, prawns is a great example

  • garnishes over salad bowls

  • on a homemade sandwiches

  • in coleslaw

  • added to soups

  • added to risottos, dips

  • added to stir-fries

 

Pairs well with

 

  • Sushi

  • Beansprouts

  • Rice

  • Noodles

  • Soy Sauce

  • Oyster Sauce

  • Chicken/Pork

  • White fish

 

As part of a healthy diet, Pak Choi microgreens are a great source of vitamins B2, B6, C, A, K, beta carotene, folic acid, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Please click here to download the PDF in either French or English 

 

Extra Notes :

 

Growing Medium - In our grow-room we use a mix of compost and vermiculite to grow our plants. We recommend using this medium. Please note : for convenience and ease we have included coconut coir into our Micro Starter Packs so that you can get started straight away growing microgreens. If you enjoy the process and wish to continue growing on a regular basis then we recommend sourcing compost and vermiculite from you local garden centre.

Vermiculite helps to aerate soil while simultaneously retaining water and nutrients, which it then releases over time. Vermiculite is therefore useful in seed sowing and propagation.

Coco Coir is short for Coconut Coir and is made directly from actual coconuts. This material is made out of coconut fiber. Coconut coir is one of the most effective growing media for water retention out there. It can absorb up to 10x its weight in water, meaning the roots of your plants will never get dehydrated. Coir is 100% organic and a renewable resource, it is uniform in composition, odourless, provides good drainage / good aeration, high water holding capacity, great absorption, and promotes strong root growth.

Our Wooden Punnets - 250ml in size. 100% biodegradable with their composition in wood from French poplar resources managed in an eco-responsible way and without treatment. Food safe.

 

Air Flow - What we use are the computer fans that help to keep air flowing. What we use are the computer fans that help to keep air flowing. For every level of our vertical grow space we have a computer fan fitted. Plus we use table top and pedestal fans situated in different areas of the room which helps to keep a good constant circular flow of air around the plants. We use a dehumidifier in our grow room to keep the humidity levels at a maximum of 60%. The ideal temperature to grow is around 70° F (68 to 72) = 21°C . Favourable temperature range of 18 to 24°C and relative humidity (RH) of 40 to 60 per cent would meet the needs of most plants.

 

Heat - During the germination stage it’s important to ensure your seeds have warmth. At this stage this is what they need, they don’t need light to germinate. We don’t use heat pads underneath our trays. If you have one then you can use one but we prefer to keep our grow space at a constant good all year temperature and have portable heaters for the cooler months which have thermostats/ timers to keep a constant temperature in the grow-room.

Germination / Black Out Stage - we have a section in our grow room for our germination/ black out stage. As the grow room is a working room it is not 100% in darkness but the system we use to add an extra tray over the germinating seeds is enough to gives the seeds enough darkness that they need. When we write black out it doesn’t mean it is required to be 100% black (dark).

 

Moving from germination to blackout stage will depend on the growth of your plants. Do not worry if some plants need a little longer than 3/4 days in these stages. One reason may be down to temperature as the plants will take longer to germinate if the temperature isn’t warm enough.

 

Watering - we water twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. During the germination and black out stages we water using a mister and water the seeds from the top. When the seeds move into the light (approx day 4/5) we then ONLY water from the bottom, meaning pour water into the bottom black tray, ensuring the water covers the entire tray. The holes in the wooden punnets allow the water to soak up into the coir and feed the roots of your plants. When watering if you are unsure of how much water to use, we recommend less and keep checking your plants. If the wooden punnets feel heavy then the coir is probably moist enough. If the surface of the coir looks dry then add more water. Generally the centre of the punnets hold the most water and the outer edges will be drier.

 

Grow Lights - All crops need sunlight and darkness to grow. So in our indoor vertical grow room the lights are kept on for a total of 15-18 hours each day. Then we switch them off. Some microgreen growers leave there lights on 24/7 but we don’t recommend doing this as in our experience it doesn’t increase the size of the plants and it doesn’t quicken the time needed before harvest, in fact we have seen the opposite. By giving the plants a break from the light it actually produces stronger, healthier plants. The cycles of nature light / dark are important to growing great microgreens.

 

If you want to more information about what grow lights we use please get in touch. If you decide to use a grow light then it is best positioned above your plants (approx a distance of 21-22cm above) so that your plant grows evening upwards towards the light.

 

Composting & Cleaning - Once you have harvested your microgreens then the waste can go in the compost, this included the wooden punnet, if you do not wish to reuse for another grow. Keep your microgreen trays clean, once used, wash with hot soapy water, dry well (ideally in the sunlight as this helps to kill any bacteria) and store well. 

 

Storing Seeds  - store your seed packets in a cool dry place. We use air tight containers with small rechargeable humidity sachets inside.

 

Mold / Root Hair what is the difference? - Root hair has a bright white color and radiates from the roots only.  It helps the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients. Mold or mildew, in contrast, has a white grayish tint, appears not only in the root zone and spreads everywhere with long threads like a spider web. If you are still not sure whether you have mold or root hairs, the best test is with a spray bottle. Spray water over the area. If it is root hairs, they will seem to disappear completely when wet. Mold will not disappear, but will gather water droplets and lay against the soil and greens.

 

Please click here to download the PDF in either French or English 

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Your Guide to Growing - Micro Pak Choi