Microgreens having been growing in popularity in recent years both for the home gardener and the commercial producer.
In fact, growing microgreens at home can pull in a nice $1000-$2000 every other week just ground 50 lbs of microgreens in a small 60 foot space. Some even do it entirely indoors!
In this article we’ll cover the most common questions about microgreens to help you decide if this is something you want to do for your own family or even for profit.
How Many Grams of Microgreens Per Tray?
Most miniature farmers report that between 14-56 grams of small seed planted in a 10×20 tray is enough to produce anywhere from 8-12 dry ounces of microgreens. Sunflower greens and a few other more exotic options are more dense, so they may be able to produce higher yields for the same amount.
How Much Light Do Microgreens Need?
Quality of light is important when assessing this issue. Six or seven hours of natural daylight is usually sufficient, but few people want to leave their microgreens trays out under the elements.
Around 12-16 hours of good artificial light should suffice in all other cases.
Do Microgreens Need a Blackout Period and How Long Should it Be?
Once again, this isn’t an easy question to answer because it largely depends on the type of crops that you’re growing. In general, you’ll want to give your seeds a blackout period during their germination process.
As soon as they’ve fully done so, the blackout period should end right away.
Do Microgreens Need Weight?
Sunflower greens, kale and radishes need weight. This will lead to a faster and more complete germination.
Most other types of microgreens don’t need much in the way of weight, so it can usually won’t bring as big an advantage with it.
Best Temperature for Microgreens
Since microgreens are not biologically any different from any other plants that belong to their species, you want to check the normal growing instructions for an ideal temperature. Eternally, the seed supplier should be giving you this information when providing you with seeds.
Those who end up making their own seeds will want to follow the temperature plan for the initial stock plants.
Best Humidity for Microgreens
Most microgreens require quite a bit of humidity, but you don’t want to oversaturate them. A good pan is to use a spray bottle or other simple instrument to keep them lightly misted in much the same way as you would with any other crops you were growing.
Do Microgreens Regrow After Cutting?
Pea shoots will regrow after cutting as will a few other plants. Some farmers find it more effective to start over after harvesting each tray, but those who’d rather not waste anything may want to focus on pea shoots and related plants.
What Are the Best Microgreens to Grow?
Best is a subjective term, and there’s going to be a fair amount of variation as to what constitutes the best of anything. If profit margins are what you judge success by, however, then these might have the most generous ones for many gardners:
- Sango Radish
- Osaka Mustard Green
- Dark Opal Basil
- White Kohlrabi
Prices quoted at individual farmers’ markets will change depending on which locale you’re in, but these are rare enough in the industry that they should offer generous margins in almost any environment.
What Are the Easiest Microgreens to Grow?
While different environments are conducive to the cultivation of different crops, it seems that tt-home gardening enthusiasts seem to agree that the following are the easiest to grow:
You’ll want to keep an open-mind when it comes to growing them, however, since there’s a high probability that another option might be a little easier to cultivate. That’s especially true if you don’t have the right level of humidity for these plants.
What Happens If You Don’t Harvest Microgreens?
In effect, they won’t be microgreens for very long. It’s likely that they’ll just continue to grow until they reach a size that’s too large for the tray you planted them in.
Is It Expensive to Grow Microgreens?
Upfront costs are the most expensive, but it goes down considerably once you have trays and lighting fixtures in place. According to some estimates, it should only cost around $2-9 to plant each tray once you have everything up and running.
Can I Reuse Soil for Microgreens?
Some indoor farmers suggest that you shouldn’t ever reuse soil. Others have instead insisted that it’s fine to do so as long as you make sure to add additional nutrients later on.
Do Broccoli Microgreens Regrow After Cutting?
Broccoli microgreens can regrow after cutting, but they’re not one of the crops that are best known for doing so. In general, it’s pea shoots and related plants that have a tendency to grow back the most vibrantly.
Can I Use Regular Seeds for Microgreens?
Technically, all microgreen growers are using regular seeds because microgreens are just the same as any other plants that belong to the same family. You can elect to use special seeds, which have been chosen from stocks to produce better microgreens, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use traditional ones as well.
How Do I Start Microgreens at Home?
Growing microgreens at home is almost as easy as growing any other crop, as the following instructions illustrate:
- Procure seeds – microgreen seeds are of the same species as any other plant in its family
- Assemble a growing tray
- Fill tray with nutrient mix include high-grade soil
- Level tray and apply seeds
- Gently sprinkle water over the top, taking care not to damage the underlying structure
- Add a nutrient mix to the soil if necessary
- Use a spray bottle to mist the tray
- Separate seeds into distinct areas to allow crops to grow freely
- Create a gravel bed for those plants that require it
- Leave the tray in an area with a controlled environment
- Use a fitted growth lamp assembly to provide sufficient light supplies
- Wait for tops of microgreens to expand
- Check to ensure uniform cover
- Moisturize the crops gently when they need water – this will depend on the species that you’re growing
- Harvest once they’re poking completely through the soil
How Do I Know My Microgreens Are Ready to Harvest?
Height and weight are usually your determining factors. When they’ve reached the desired dimensions, you should be able to harvest them without any additional difficulties.
Should Microgreens Be Washed?
All vegetables, microgreen or not, should be washed before use because they could have come into contact with some kind of inedible material or bacterial growth. Washing them is a quick way to deal with this.