Many types of microgreen mats are reusable. The type of reusable microgreen growing mats include those made from coconut coir and jute, while bamboo, synthetic, and biostrate growing substrates are typically disposable. Some experienced growers say that most all microgreen mats can be reused, but multiple uses of the mats may lead to diminished or damaged crops, so it might not be worth all the work to prep them.
The following article covers the different types of microgreen mats available, whether they are reusable, and the most common questions surrounding the topic of microgreen mats.
Can all hydroponic microgreen mats be reused?
Many growers suggest that most all hydroponic microgreen mats are reusable, but that it might not be worth the trouble. It takes work to prep the mats for the next round and most people find that their crop is diminished, especially by the third or further rounds of microgreens.
Are some microgreen mats designed not to be reused?
Yes, there are several types of microgreen mats that are specifically made to be disposable. These types of mats are thin, compact and don’t withstand much wear and tear. Most of these types of microgreen mats are designed to be placed and grown directly within the deliverable trays.
These non-reusable microgreen mats include:
- Micro Mat Hydroponic growing pads
- Ecotone Hydroponic grow mats
- Bamboo Microgreen grow mats
- Biostrate Felt Hydroponic Growing pads
Are some microgreen mats designed to be reused?
There are not many microgreen mats that are specifically designed to be reused due to the degradation that occurs to the growing medium from the growing roots, constant moisture, and possible contaminates that can grow during the growing cycle. But there are some materials that will hold up to these pressures longer, allowing them to be reused easier.
The reusable microgreen mat materials include:
- Coconut coir
What are the different types of microgreen mats?
Microgreens were originally grown with soil, but now there is hydroponic technology that allows the microgreens to be grown on soilless mats. There are various types of mats, all with their own pros and cons. Some of the highest rated types of microgreen mats are biodegradable and compostable.
Some of the non-soil type microgreen growing mediums include:
- Natural fibers like coconut coir
- Burlap made from jute
- Synthetic woven plastic
What are the pros and cons of using coconut coir microgreen mats?
Coconut coir is one of the original and most popular types of soilless growing mediums. These microgreen mats have great water retention, are very sturdy, and work great with small seeds. coconut coir microgreen mats are reusable until the mat starts to fall apart. But they can be expensive, hard to cut, and do not work well with large seeds such as sunflowers.
What are the pros and cons of using jute microgreen mats?
Jute growing mats are cheap and readily available options for microgreen growing. Microgreen mats made from jute can be reusable until they start to fall apart. But due to jute’s tendencies to have fluctuating moisture levels, it can be a difficult material to work with until you find the right balance.
What are the pros and cons of using bamboo microgreen mats?
Bamboo microgreen mats are a relatively new product on the market, but they have gained popularity fast because of their effectiveness, sustainability, superior water retention, and biodegradable properties. This is one of the only types of soilless materials that does not transfer its taste to the microgreens. Microgreen mats from bamboo can technically be reused, but it is not usually design to be reused and it might be a lot of work because of how fibrous the material is.
What are the pros and cons of using synthetic microgreen mats?
Microgreen mats made from synthetic woven plastic materials are durable and typically mold resistant, but they have unnatural compounds that could change the taste of the final product. These products are typically not designed to be reused.
What are the pros and cons of using biostrate microgreen mats?
Biostrate microgreen mats are felt made from combining biopolymer and natural fibers. They were specifically designed for microgreens. They can retain water without being too thick for the delicate roots to break though for a good hold. Unfortunately, they are prone to mold quickly, usually very thin, and compostable, which does not make them ideal for a long-term cultivation process or multiple uses.
Biostrate can consist of materials such as:
- Rock wool
- Volcanic cinder
- Crushed granite
- Inland sand
What do I need to do to prep a microgreen mat to be reused?
You need to clean the debris off the mat the best that you can. It can be gently rinsed and set out to air dry. The mat can then be thrown into the dryer on high heat to sterilize it from any mold spores. It can then be used at least once more, depending on how the material holds up to the penetration of the growing roots.
What can I do with a microgreen mat instead of reusing it?
You can give your old microgreen mats a second life by using them as compost or simply mulch them into your garden soil. If the mat is made from coconut coir or similar natural fibers, then you can use it on top of the soil of your houseplants as a barrier from your pet, especially cats.
What is one of the cheapest microgreen mats to use?
Microgreen mats made from jute are very inexpensive. Unfortunately, they do not retain water as well as other microgreen mats and need to be checked more often for moisture level. Inexperienced growers might want to choose a mat that is easier to keep at a constant moisture level even if it might come at a higher cost.
What is the best reusable microgreen growing mat?
The consensus in the microgreen growing field is that coconut coir microgreen mats are the best in terms of being reusable. They have been reliable products for many years. They have great water retention capabilities and provide an excellent base for growing roots.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.