Growing Sunflower Microgreens
Sunflower microgreens are very popular, and for a good reason, they have a pleasant nutty flavor, are juicy, and add great texture to salads and sandwiches.
Growing sunflowers is quite easy, and they don’t take long to mature. A few tricks make it easier to grow sunflower microgreens, and we’ll cover a couple of them in this article.
The first trick is pre-soaking and treating the seeds to get them germinating.
In this article, we test if it’s better to pre-soak the seeds for 12 hours or 24 hours with a side-by-side comparison grow.
Or is it best to shorten the soak down to only 6 hours?
- Growing Sunflower Microgreens
- Pre-soaking and Treating Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
- Home Microgreens Store
- Treating Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
- Additional Articles About Sunflowers
- Setting Up the 12- verse 24-hour Soak
- Our Thoughts on the Soaking Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
- Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
- Treating Sunflower Seeds With Hydrogen Peroxide
- Our Recommendations For Soaking Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
- Home Microgreens Sunflower Microgreen Soaking Method
Pre-soaking and Treating Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
First off, there are as many ways to grow sunflowers as there are people that produce them. We have found a lot of the variability depends on the seed lot. That’s just how it is, and precautions and solutions need to be ready when growing sunflowers.
That’s why we didn’t include sunflowers in our Six Easiest to Grow Microgreens list.
The soft and porous seed shell of sunflowers is the ideal location for fungus spores to attach. Therefore, we recommend treating sunflower seeds with food-grade hydrogen peroxide before soaking or planting.
We don’t recommend using peroxide from the drug store as it contains stabilizers to extend the shelf life of the peroxide.
Home Microgreens Store
Treating Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
We recommend pouring one teaspoon of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide over every 25 grams of sunflower seeds. Pour the peroxide right on the seed and stir the seed around.
Let the seeds soak for 5 or 10 minutes, then pour room-temperature water over them until they’re covered by an inch or so of water.
The hydrogen peroxide will break down into oxygen and water, so there’s no need to rinse the seeds before adding the water.
For more information on how to plant sunflower microgreens and how the peroxide reacts when added to the seeds, watch the video How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens at Home.
Additional Articles About Sunflowers
Setting Up the 12- verse 24-hour Soak
This test aims to see if soaking sunflowers seeds for a more extended period before planting will have any effect on the sunflowers as they grow.
We treated two sets of sunflower seeds similarly with a hydrogen peroxide solution and allowed them to soak.
After 12 hours, the first batch of sunflowers is planted and placed in a blackout, including a weight on the cover. The second set of seeds continued soaking for 12 more hours before it was planted.
Below is a photo of those seeds. You can see that some of the radicles have started to emerge from the seed.
Sunflower microgreen seeds after soaking for 4 hours. Radicles have formed.
Below is a photo of both sunflower trays. The seeds in the tray labeled Sunflowers Tully (the tray was for a microgreen workshop) soaked for 12 hours and have been in blackout for 12 hours with weight on them. Notice how level and flat the seeds are.
The tray labeled “48-hour soak” was just planted.
The seeds in the tray labeled “Tully” soaked for 12 hours and have been planted for 12 hours. The tray labeled 24-hour soak” was just planted.
Notice that the first tray planted and removed from the blackout period (left tray) also has germinated and that the radicles have not only formed but are growing into the soil media.
A close-up is below (click any photo to expand the size).
Notice that radicles have also grown on the tray planted after a 12-hour soak.
So, it doesn’t matter how long the seeds soak as long as they’re covered and keep moist (as the blackout period does). In fact, we think it’s better to plant them earlier as the radicles on the 12-hour soak have already found the soil surface.
The seeds in the 24-hour soak, although maybe sprouted a bit more, are still discombobulated after planting. They will need to reorient themselves to root into the soil.
As shown in the following two photos, both trays have similar growth. The tray planted after only 12 hours might be further along than those soaked for 24 hours.
Sunflowers 4 days after the start of soaking.
Sunflower microgreens 8 days after they started to soak. The tray on the left was soaked 12 hours before planting; the right tray was planted after soaking for 24 hours.
Our Thoughts on the Soaking Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
The results of the test show that sunflower seeds soaked for 24 hours may speed up germination. However, seeds soaked for 12 hours planted and placed in a blackout also germinated, and the radicles found the planting media quicker than those that soaked for a longer period.
The seeds soaked for 12 hours seem further ahead throughout the test.
We see no reason to soak sunflower seeds for longer than 12 hours.
Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
Start growing your sunflower microgreens now! The Home Microgreens Store supplies seeds in the perfect quantity for various tray sizes and by the ounce, quarter-pound, and pound bags at competitive prices.
Treating Sunflower Seeds With Hydrogen Peroxide
We’ve planted many trays of sunflower seeds, both untreated and treated with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
Although some untreated seeds grew great, many others developed fungus attacks (see below).
We now pre-treat sunflower seeds with peroxide every time we plant.
Since we are wetting the seeds with liquid peroxide anyway, we soak them between 6- and 12 hours before we plant them.
It seems to work best for us. Even some of the pre-treated seeds occasionally grow fungus. But a quick spray with 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide kills the fungus, and the sunflowers grow great.
Sunflower seeds not pre-treated with food-grade hydrogen peroxide tend to grow fungus. Even like this, H2O2 can kill the fungus and not harm the sunflowers.
Our Recommendations For Soaking Sunflower Microgreen Seeds
We recommend pre-treating sunflower seeds before planting. Since these seeds will be pre-treated with peroxide and water, they might as well soak for up to 12 hours.
Soaking seeds for extended periods doesn’t appear to speed the process up.
Generally, we soak the seeds overnight and plant in the morning or soak them in the morning and plant them later in the afternoon.
Using food-grade hydrogen peroxide does reduce the chance of fungus growing. If the fungus does appear on the seeds, spraying it with hydrogen peroxide will kill it and not harm the plants in the early growth stage.
Home Microgreens Sunflower Microgreen Soaking Method
We treat sunflower seed with a teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide per 25 grams of seed. After 5 to 10 minutes, we add fresh water to the seeds until the seeds are covered by an inch of water.
After 6- to 8 hours, we drain and rinse the seeds, then plant them on a soil media and place them into a blackout period. If necessary, the seeds can soak for up to 12 hours.
What is your experience with sunflower microgreens? Do you use hydrogen peroxide and soak your seeds?