Why Your Sunflower Microgreens are FALLING OVER
If you're wondering why your sunflower microgreens are falling over, you're in the right place because I'm about to share with you the different reasons why this could be happening, as well as how to solve the problem.
I have grown a TON of sunflower microgreens and I've noticed some of their nuances in the various stages of their lifecycle. They can be a frustrating variety to grow, but they're very rewarding once you dial in your process. I've noticed that they do fall over under certain circumstances, so, I'm going to share with you what those circumstances are, as well as how to prevent them from falling over in the first place.
There are a few reasons why your sunflower microgreens could be falling over.
The first and most common reason is dehydration. If your sunflower microgreens don't get enough water ( this actually this goes for all varieties) they will get dehydrated and fall down. This may seem obvious, but I still see so many growers posting pictures wondering what happened to their microgreens, meanwhile the plants are completely dehydrated and sitting in bone-dry soil. So if your microgreens are falling over in general, chances are they're probably just dehydrated!
If your sunflower microgreens are falling over around the edges of the tray and specifically in the corners, definitely watch my video on how to grow sunflower microgreens because chances are you're not getting enough of your growing medium into the corners and along the sides of the tray. This can result in dehydration around those areas because the soil is too loose to hold and wick the moisture and therefore your sunflowers in those areas will get dehydrated and fall over.
Another reason why your sunflower microgreens could be falling over is because they're simply weak in general. This could be due to low quality seeds or a problem with your growing process. Again, if you check out my video on how to grow sunflower microgreens, I talk about how stacking trays during germination helps, and actually forces, the plants to become stronger because they have to push up on the weight that's above them.
Another reason your sunflower microgreens are falling over, but less common, is over watering. If you're really over watering your sunflower microgreens, they can get weak and exhausted and fall over. If this is the case, they typically start damping off - the stems will start rotting, and they will fall over, forming a nasty, rotten clump of sunflower microgreens.
Keep in mind also that sometimes sunflower microgreens will fall over, and it's really not a problem in the first place! Sometimes a few stragglers will fall over the edge of the tray instead of staying together with the group of microgreens. If your greens are healthy in general, then this isn't a problem and you shouldn't worry about it. They will also fall over a bit and get all disheveled after you swipe their hulls off, so that is completely normal. They will actually come back up naturally over time as they suck in more water and grow back towards the light.
Now you know the potential reasons why your sunflower microgreens could be falling over, so let's talk about how to prevent that.
First and foremost, be careful with your watering. Under-watering is definitely the most common cause of sunflower microgreens falling over, but overwatering can also cause this, like I mentioned before. Pay attention to how much water you're putting into your trays and how the sunflower microgreens are responding. This will inform you on how much water these greens actually need and will also force you to really dial in your process of watering - one of the most important skills to have as a microgreens farmer.
Second is to grow healthy plants. If your microgreens are healthy in the first place, they should be able to stand up on their own, so dial in your growing process. If you wait too long, the plants can get overgrown and too tall and fall over for that reason as well. They will also taste bitter at this point, like I talked about in my last video on when to harvest sunflower microgreens.
I've heard some people giving advice of using deep trays to help the plants to stay upright. I don't like the idea of this because the thinner trays allow better airflow across the base of the plants which is where the mold problems normally arise. Instead, you can actually train them to grow inward towards the center of the tray naturally by using only ONE high quality grow light on your microgreens shelf like I do. This forces the plants on the outside of the trays to grow up and inward towards the light, keeping them nice and tidy.
If these techniques don't solve your problem, it very well could be your seeds. Low quality seeds will give you problems, making it very hard to grow high quality sunflower microgreens in general, let alone plants that will stand upright without falling over. But more on this in my next post on seeds.
Link to this video: https://youtu.be/PtfOnYs0GY4