When planting your microgreen seeds, water them twice a day from the top-down and continue doing this during the germination phase. Once the seeds start growing and forming stems and leaves, you still water them twice a day.
Watering microgreens can be a frustrating process for some, but it doesn’t have to be. While microgreens can die easily if they receive too much or not enough water, this article will help you to better understand the process. You will no longer need to guess if you are giving your plant the right amount of water.
Is the watering process the same for microgreens in soil vs. microgreens grown via the hydroponic method?
No; how much water your microgreens need depends on how they are being grown. Each growing method is different, requiring different strategies when it comes to watering.
How do you water microgreens in soil?
You can control your watering by implementing this simple two-step method. Before you learn how to water your microgreens, you need to make sure they are set up for success first.
Grab two containers or trays and poke small holes into the bottom of one to create a drainage system. Place the tray with holes over the top without holes. This way allows the excess water to pool in the tray while watering your microgreens from the bottom to the top.
What are the two steps to watering microgreens in soil?
There are only two steps to watering microgreens in soil. You transition into the second step once the leaves and stems start forming.
- During the planting and germination phase, water from top-down.
- During the growth phase, water from the bottom to the top.
Step 1 – What is top-down watering?
Top-down watering is watering your plants from the top of the microgreens. This is the common way to water most plants and is no different from how you would water your garden.
How do you know when to use top-down watering?
Top-down watering is done early in the plant’s life before roots or leaves appear. When using this method, keep in mind that microgreens are fragile, so you do not need a lot of water pressure. Take care not to overflow the seeds or knock down your microgreens as they grow stems.
How do you water microgreens during the planting stage?
After you plant your seeds and wait for them to germinate, you need to water from the top since there are no roots yet. They are very fragile in this stage so handle them with care, being sure not to overflood them.
You are aiming for a heavy mist to moisturize the soil without drenching it. Using a spray bottle will give you a consistent spritz. Pat the soil between each spray to make sure you are not overwatering.
Avoid using a watering can as this can wash away the seeds. Alternately, you can use the mist setting on a hose or use a spray bottle.
How do you water during the germination stage?
Once you plant your seeds and place them in a dark space (also known as the blackout phase), you will find them germinating and showing signs of roots. Continue watering from top to bottom to promote root growth.
What are the ideal growth conditions?
Shoot for a home temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, moderate humidity levels, and ample airflow. If you do this, you will only need to water once in the morning and once again at night. if you live in colder or warmer climates then you will need to adjust accordingly.
Watering microgreens from the bottom up mean that water is being given straight to the roots. This method keeps the roots strong as they are getting direct hydration.
Once your seeds begin to germinate and show their roots, you can remove them from their dark storage place. They are now ready to grow under light, otherwise known as the growing phase. This is when the transitioning changes to now watering the microgreens from the bottom up.
How should you water microgreens during the growth stage?
During the growth stage is when you will need both sets of containers to ensure that the microgreens grow efficiently.
The dual containers with the drainage holes allow water in without overdoing it. Overwatering your microgreens can lead to rot or mold.
To tell if you gave your microgreens enough water, check the bottom of the tray. If there is water in the tray when you check at. night, then there is too much water in it. Remove the excess water, let the plant sit for a day or two, and spritz it gently.
How do you water microgreens using hydroponics?
If using the hydroponic method to grow your microgreens, check between the growing pad area and edges of the container. They should be receiving water regularly, and require more water if the pads dry up.
When hydrating the pads do not pour the water directly onto the growing pad as it can wash out some or all of the seeds.
Are there any cons to using hydroponics?
According to a study done by the Penn State Dept. of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology Archives, damping-off was the only issue they ran into.
Per the Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension, damping-off is a common but deadly disease. It attacks seeds trying to germinate in cool, wet soil. They are most susceptible to damping-off in their early stages of life, but their odds lessen as they age.
How can you avoid damping-off? Make sure not to overcrowd the seedbeds, do not over moisturize the soil, and make sure that the soil temperatures are not too low or too high.
What are some tips on watering microgreens?
Microgreens are fragile and delicate. If you take care of them correctly, you will reap their tasty rewards. Here are some things to look out for when watering your microgreens:
- Look for mold – mold can appear if there is not enough drainage or if there is too much moisture in the soil. Check to make sure there are enough drainage holes and scale back on watering if need be.
- Check the pH level of the water to ensure that it is reading at 6.0. To help balance the pH levels, add two teaspoons of lemon juice to each gallon of water you have,
- Make sure to check the soil. Soil is the most reliable source of knowing whether to give more or less water.
- Record your findings, especially if growing microgreens for the first time. If you track the time, how you water them, and how much water they receive, this can help you find out what you did wrong or right or later on.
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.