What ACTUALLY Causes Microgreens Mold? (The TRUTH)
If you grow microgreens, chances are you've heard about the potential mold problems or maybe you've even experienced it for yourself. You need to know what actually causes mold in the first place if you want to prevent it from happening, so let me explain what's really going on here…
I've been growing microgreens commercially for years, and I've dealt with my fair share of mold problems. In the beginning it was happening a lot and I lost quite a few trays due to mold, fungus and damping off. By paying close attention and learning about mold in general, I've been able to improve my growing techniques and form my own conclusions about the true cause of mold in microgreens.
Let me say right now that I have never sanitized my microgreen seeds, because I don't believe them to be the root of the problem. This may sound surprising to you, but I rarely experience any mold at this point and I'm excited to share with you the truth behind what actually causes mold in microgreens.
Mold is in the air around us. We breathe it in constantly and it generally doesn't form any problems until it starts proliferating. The real problem isn't the mold itself, but the conditions that are allowing the mold to replicate and thrive. Mold will start colonizing when it has a food source and the environment is moist, warm and stagnant. Mold specifically loves moisture, and a temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit will encourage rapid growth. When air is stagnant, mold spores can settle and colonize because they're no longer being consistently moved through the air.
Let's keep in mind also, that mold itself isn't bad. It's actually an essential part of the cycle of life because its purpose is to break down, or decompose, natural materials. Without mold and fungi, nothing would actually break down! Mold spores are in the air around us and there's no way to actually get away from them. And this is why sanitizing your seeds will not solve your mold problems.
Now that we know a little bit more about mold in general and how it functions, let's see how this information relates specifically to growing microgreens so we can figure out why mold forms in microgreens trays.
Let me also reiterate - mold spores coming in on your seeds, is likely not the problem and I truly believe that sanitizing your seeds is just a waste of time and resources.
The first potential problem involves sanitation. If you don't properly sanitize your trays and equipment, they can start to harbor mold which you may not even notice until it's a real issue. On the other hand, excess mold due to preexisting conditions (like a damp basement) will also likely cause problems and is an important factor to consider.
Improper environmental controls within your grow room will also cause problems. Like I mentioned earlier, mold thrives in moist conditions, so if the humidity in your grow room is too high, it will promote mold growth. Too high a temperature and stagnant air will also encourage mold growth, so be sure to consider these environmental factors within your grow room if you're dealing with mold problems.
Mold issues can also arise from your farming practices and procedures. Over-watering will cause excess moisture, and too high a seed density will reduce airflow across the plants, causing more moisture to be trapped underneath the canopy. Un-germinated and dead seeds will also cause problems in your microgreens tray, because mold is naturally going to try and decompose them.
Now you know what actually causes mold in your microgreens trays, there's a lot more to learn about growing microgreens and microgreens business. So be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and ring the bell, that way you get notified when I come out with a new microgreens video every Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Link To This Video: https://youtu.be/JWb2y3EIexo