How Big is Too Big for Microgreens? Finding the Ideal Size

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how big is too big for microgreens: Microgreens are considered to be too big when they exceed a height of 3 inches. Beyond this point, they transition into a stage known as “baby greens” or “baby leaves.” These larger greens have a stronger flavor and require more time to reach their maximum nutritional potential, making them ideal for different culinary applications.

Benefits of Growing Microgreens

You might be surprised to learn that microgreens are a powerhouse of nutrition. Not only are they an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they also offer impressive amounts of protein and fiber.

On top of that, their versatility in the kitchen makes them a great addition to any meal. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder microgreens have become increasingly popular!

Nutritional Value

Even when microgreens have grown too big, topping out at 3 inches or more, they still retain their nutritional value. This is largely due to the quality of soil and harvesting techniques used in cultivating them.

Microgreens are known to contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their fully-grown counterparts, so it’s important to ensure that the soil used for growing them is rich in nutrients.

Additionally, harvesting techniques play a key role in preserving the nutritional content of microgreens – carefully cutting off the tops with scissors at just the right time will help maximize their nutrient density.


With their small size and rapid growth cycle, microgreens have become incredibly versatile, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and textures in dishes. Not only can they be used as a nutritious garnish or salad ingredient, but many chefs are now incorporating them into entrees like sandwiches, tacos, pizza and more. Microgreens are also becoming popular as an addition to smoothies for that extra nutritional boost.

By ensuring quality with harvesting techniques such as cutting the greens at the right time and preserving freshness for long-term storage purposes, microgreens can be enjoyed year round without sacrificing any flavor or texture. When it comes to microgreen size, it’s important to know when they’ve grown too big so they don’t lose their delicate flavor profile or texture. Generally speaking, once microgreens reach over 3 inches in height they’re considered too large for culinary use and will likely have a much stronger taste than desired. Therefore, it’s best to harvest them while still small so that you can enjoy all the benefits of these nutrient-packed greens!

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How Big is Too Big for Microgreens?

When microgreens grow too big, they can quickly lose their flavor and texture, making them unappetizing. For example, a salad made with sunflower microgreens that’s over 3 inches tall may have a bitter taste and tough leaves.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to practice good weed control in the containers where the microgreens are grown. This helps keep the container size small enough to ensure that the microgreens don’t get too tall before harvest. Additionally, it’s best to harvest them as soon as they reach 1-3 inches tall so that they don’t become oversized. Harvesting too late can also result in an undesirable end product since older microgreens tend to be tougher and less flavorful than younger ones. If allowed to grow too large, they may even produce flowers or seeds which decreases their nutritional value significantly.

Proper harvesting techniques are essential for producing quality greens that will stay fresh for longer periods of time and provide maximum flavor and nutrition when added to dishes or salads.

Another way to ensure your microgreens stay small is by controlling the amount of light they receive each day. Too much light can cause them to stretch out more than necessary and become too large in size before being harvested. On the other hand, not enough light may lead to slower growth rates which could potentially delay harvesting past optimal sizes or cause stunted growth altogether.

The ideal lighting conditions for most types of microgreen plants include 6-8 hours of full sunlight per day with supplemental LED lighting during nighttime hours if possible.

It’s also important to consider soil fertility when growing microgreens as well; adding organic amendments such as compost or worm castings can help improve soil structure while providing additional nutrients needed for healthy plant development.

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With these considerations taken into account along with proper monitoring of water levels throughout the growing process, you should be able to successfully cultivate flavorful and nutritious crops of any type of microgreen without worrying about them getting too big!

What Happens When Microgreens Become Too Big?

When left unchecked, microgreens can quickly outgrow their ideal size and become unpalatable. When microgreens reach over 3 inches in height, they’re considered too big and shouldn’t be harvested for consumption.

If this happens, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Harvesting techniques: A grower needs to pay attention to how early they harvest the greens as well as the care that goes into them when harvesting. Neglecting either of these aspects can cause the plants to grow too large and thus be less desirable for eating.
  2. Soil quality: The soil used to grow microgreens can have an effect on how quickly the plants mature; if the soil is too rich or contains minerals that promote faster growth, then the microgreens could easily become over-sized before they’re ready for harvest.
  3. Temperature and light exposure: Microgreens thrive in warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight but if they receive too much of either one, they’ll likely grow too quickly leading to oversized crops.
  4. Watering schedule: Overwatering can also cause the microgreens to become bigger than desired, so it’s important for a grower to monitor their watering habits carefully when caring for their crops.

It’s important for experienced growers as well as those who are just starting out with growing microgreens to understand what constitutes a good size range so that they can ensure their crops stay within those boundaries and remain tasty and palatable when harvested!

How to Make Sure Microgreens Don’t Become Too Big

You can prevent your microgreens from becoming too big by providing adequate light, fertilizing regularly, and ensuring they are watered correctly.

Make sure the space you’re growing in has plenty of bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day.

Fertilize your microgreens with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks to ensure they have the nutrients they need to grow.

Finally, water your microgreens regularly but be careful not to overwater them- about an inch of water per week should be sufficient.

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With these tips, you’ll find that your microgreens stay at just the right size!

Provide Adequate Light

To ensure microgreens remain at an ideal size, they must be provided with adequate light. Lighting requirements vary by type of microgreen, but most require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day or 16-18 hours with artificial lighting such as fluorescent or LED lights.

When using natural light sources, the intensity can be increased or decreased depending on the season and location to maintain the desired height of the microgreens. Artificial lighting offers more control over intensity and allows you to tailor it for each individual variety. Some growers use a combination of both natural and artificial lighting to optimize growth conditions.

Regardless of the light source, proper spacing between plants should also be taken into consideration to avoid overcrowding, which can lead to larger than ideal sized microgreens.

Fertilize and Water Regularly

Now that you’ve got your lights in place, it’s time to start taking care of your microgreens. Proper soil preparation and container choice are crucial for successful growth. Here are five tips to help you out:

  • Make sure the soil you use is well-draining and nutrient-rich. You can consider adding compost or other organic amendments to give your plants a boost.
  • Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Too much water can lead to root rot and fungal diseases that will kill off your plants before they even have a chance to grow!
  • Fertilize with an appropriate fertilizer for light feeders such as microgreens when they reach about 3 inches in height. This is when they start needing more nutrients from the soil.
  • Choose containers that allow adequate drainage, such as clay pots or trays with holes in them. This will help prevent waterlogging, which can be fatal for these delicate greens.
  • Finally, make sure you harvest your greens when they reach 3 inches in height. Any bigger than that, and they become too tough and bitter tasting!
Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner is the founder of, a popular blog dedicated to helping people become master microgreen growers. Kathy is passionate about helping others learn how to grow the healthiest, most nutrient-rich microgreens. She believes that with the right knowledge and resources, anyone can become a successful microgreen grower. Learn more about Kathy by viewing her full Author Profile.

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