We love Bull's Blood beet microgreens. Look at the color of those microgreens in the cover photo, as well as in the photograph below.
Beet microgreens have more going for them than looks. They taste distinctively like beetroot with earthy overtones.
However, beet microgreens do have one downfall. The problem is the seed husk or hulls often stay on the leaves of the greens.
Beet seeds are huge compared to most other microgreen seeds. Not only are they large, but they're tough, hard, and woody.
So when the husks stay on the greens, the hulls make them un-edible. Unless, of course, you take the time to go through the harvested greens and pick off the seed husks.
Does Pre-Soaking The Seeds Help?
Previously, we tested if soaking beet microgreen seeds before planting improved or sped up the germination. You can read that article by clicking this link. We've included links to all of the articles discussing beets in the highlighted box presented later in this article.
Pre-soaking the seeds doesn't help remove seed husks. The photos below show the results of the test. We grew two trays of beet microgreens side by side. The seeds of one tray we pre-soaked for about 24-hours. In the second tray, we planted seeds that were not soaked.
After harvesting the microgreens, we took the time to pick through the greens and count the seed husks that remained attached.
Even though there appear to be more seed husks in the first photo, the difference is only two or three husks.
So soaking the seeds didn't loosen up the husks and remove more as the plants grew.
Back to the drawing board.
A Reader Encouraged Me To Try Something
The reason we like writing these articles and making YouTube videos is the feedback we receive. The input gives us encouragement, tells us if we need to explain a process better, or snaps us out of our own world and back to reality.
A reader did the latter by sending us an email with a suggestion to cover the Bull's Blood Beet seeds with soil.
Covering seeds with soil isn't new to us. We do it with pea seeds as it anchors the plant in the soil better than top planting. Although admittedly, it can make more of a mess as the soil can be lifted up and out of the tray.
So we don't usually recommend burying seeds under the soil, or even with vermiculite (why buy another soil media?).
Anyway, we didn't even think about covering up the seeds until it was suggested.
Here's what we did.
How We Now Plant Bull's Blood Beet Seeds
As you saw in the video, we plant Bull's Blood Beet seeds under a layer of potting mix. The coconut coir potting mix is heavy enough to remove the husks as the plants emerge.
At harvest, the only husks that remain on the microgreens are those attached to weaker and late germinating plants for some reason. These number in the single digits and aren't a problem to cull from the microgreens.
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Bull's Blood Beet Microgreen Planting Progression
Bull's Blood Beet Seed
We lower the initial soil level to a 1/4 of an inch below the top of the tray. For the Home Microgreens Tray, this is to the second ledge on the tray.
The soil is leveled, compacted, and wetted as we suggest with any other regular microgreen seed. The only difference is the height of the soil in the tray.
The beet seeds are then covered by about 1/8 an inch of dry potting mix.
The dry mix is then leveled, gently compacted, and thoroughly wetted with water. The tray is then placed in a blackout period, including adding weights to the top of the tray. The same as we grow most other varieties of microgreens.
The Microgreens Podcast Episode 020
How to grow Beet Microgreens
During the blackout period, weights are added to the top of the tray and covered with a tea towel.
Take a peak after 48-hours to make sure the surface of the soil is still moist. If not, you can give it a spritz or two with the spray bottle. Then cover the tray again with the weights and towel.
Bull's Blood Beet Germination
Most likely, it will take 3-days before there any signs of germination. As shown below, only a few will be breaking the soil surface.
It's nice to know that the beets are growing, but again, place the tray back into the blackout.
Removing Bulls' Blood Beets From The Blackout
In the example shown herein, the tray of beet microgreens stayed in the blackout for 5-days. When the plants reach this stage (see photo below), regardless of how many days have passed, it's time to place the beets under a light.
Yes, they look crunched and twisted at this point. But the plants will straighten out once they receive light.
Bull's Blood Beet Microgreens After 1-day Under Light -Day 6
I'm amazed how quickly microgreens respond to light. Beets are no exception; they spring upward from their twisted and contorted life in the dark and beneath weights to stand upright and start photosynthesis.
No Seed Husks Remain On The Beet Microgreens
As you see, no seed husks are remaining on the plants. I'm not going to say that this is always the case, as sometimes late germinating seeds or weak plants retain seed hulls.
But for the most part, covering beet seeds with soil will remove the seed husks or hulls from the microgreen plants.
Beet microgreens are much easier to harvest and prepare when they don't retain the seed husks.
Covering the beet seeds with soil is how we will grow beet microgreens from now on.
Caring For Bull's Blood Beets Until Harvest - Don't Overwater
Caring for the growing beet microgreens is the same as with other microgreens with one exception.
We've found that beet microgreens don't use as much water as other microgreens.
In fact, we've had some problems where the excess water wasn't removed from the watering tray, and the plants suffered.
The plants start to wilt and layover. Most likely, this is because of root damage. We've not been able to bring plants like this back to health.
Be careful with watering, it's best to water less but more often.
With Careful Watering Bull's Blood Beet Microgreens Are Beautiful!
Below is a timeline (after day-6) of the Bull's Blood Beet microgreen growth stages.
Click on any photo to enlarge the size.
Want To Grow Bull's Blood Beet Microgreens?
You can use the links below to purchase a Bull's Blood Beet Microgreen Kit or microgreen seed to grow in your trays.
Beet Microgreen Products
Bull's Blood Beet Seed
Most spectacular colored microgreen grown.
Organic Detroit Red Beet Seed
Not quite as red as Bull's Blood Beets, but have a sweeter taste.
Bull's Blood Beet Microgreen Kit
All you need to start growing microgreens
Planting Bull's Blood Beet Microgreens - Summary
Below are the steps we use to plant meet microgreens. The primary purpose of changing our standard method is to remove the tough seed husks or hulls that can stay on the microgreens.
This method removes the husks from the seeds, making them easier to process once the microgreens have matured.
Steps to Plant Beet Seeds
- Don't fill the tray with soil to the top. Instead, keep it 1/4 to 3/8's inch below the rim.
- Spread dry beet seeds (no need to soak) on the level, moistened and compacted soil surface. Click here to see how much seed to use.
- Cover seeds with dry soil to the top of the tray. Level and slightly compact the soil. Water the soil until the newly added soil is moist.
- Place the tray into a blackout period for up to 3 or 4 days.
- Once the beet seeds have germinated and started to grow (see photos above), place the tray under a light.
Growing Beet Microgreens After Germination
Once the beet seeds have germinated, treat them like any other microgreen except for watering.
Be sure to water beet microgreens less more often for best results. They appear to be susceptible to root rot if the tray remains too wet.
That's all there is to growing beet microgreens. The method explained above produces spectacular Bull's Blood Beet microgreens without the troublesome seed husks remaining on the mature microgreens.
Give them a try; they taste great and add so much color to your plate!
Let us know how this method worked for you. Come on back after giving it a try and leave a comment below. Everyone learns when the community provides feedback.
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