To grow microgreens at home, you require only a few basic supplies: seeds, a container, a growing medium, and an area that provides at least four hours of direct sunlight per day. Microgreens are fast and easy to grow and require only minimal maintenance to thrive.
The rest of this article details everything you need to start growing microgreens, how to provide them with the optimum conditions, and what to do with them once harvested. Read on for a simple guide to enjoy your own homegrown microgreens in as little as 1-2 weeks!
What Is Needed To Start Microgreens?
- Seeds (organic/chemical-free)
- Potting soil or alternative
- Spray bottle
- Seaweed solution
- Paper towel to line tray
Microgreens require around four hours of direct sunlight per day; they may need more in winter. If your greens grow pale, it’s a sign that they do not have enough sunlight exposure.
How Do I Get Started With Microgreens?
Set up a container, anything from a plastic take-out dish to an empty salad box. If your container doesn’t come with drainage holes, ensure you poke some through the bottom before filling.
Can I Use Regular Seeds For Microgreens?
It’s important to note that not all seeds are safe to use when growing microgreens. Commercially produced seeds often utilize chemicals such as fungicides and pesticides to prevent them from developing mold.
These chemicals can be harmful to human health, and it’s not a good idea to use them for homegrown edible plants.
How Do You Grow Microgreens At Home?
When working with store-bought seeds, ensure you read the packet for any special instructions before you begin. For larger seeds such as mung beans, peas, or beetroot, soak them in warm water for a few hours before planting to help the seeds germinate quickly.
Add an inch or two of moistened soil or potting mix to the bottom of your container. If the bottom of the container allows the mixture to fall through, line it with paper towels or cloth to prevent this from happening.
Flatten the soil level using your hand or a piece of cardboard but be careful not to compress the soil too tightly.
Scatter seeds evenly over the top and gently press into the soil with your hand or the cardboard. Then, cover the seeds with another thin layer of soil.
Can I Grow Microgreens Outside?
Yes. Microgreens are very easy to grow and can be planted in a garden bed outside.
In mild climates, microgreens will grow outside year-round; however, in cooler climates, they will need to be brought inside during the harsher winter months.
Are Microgreens Easy To Grow?
Microgreens are among the most simple plants to grow. They require minimal time, cost, and effort and come with a whole host of benefits:
- They are fast growers and will be ready to consume within one to three weeks of planting.
- You can grow a multitude of plants in a small area.
- Their requirements are simple. They require light, water, and a growing medium.
- They can be grown in all climates.
- You don’t need a garden. Microgreens can be grown anywhere from a greenhouse to a kitchen windowsill.
- They are a nutrient-dense food that comes in a variety of colors and textures.
- The cost is low, and seeds produce multiple harvests.
How Do You Prepare Soil For Microgreens?
Potting soil is a tried and tested way to provide everything your microgreens require, with organic potting soil working exceptionally well. When you plant the seeds, lightly water the soil; it should feel like a sponge, not too dry or wet.
Once microgreen seeds have germinated, they have used up their internal food sources to grow. At this point, you can add a seaweed solution to the soil to improve the flavor and boost the nutrition of your microgreens by providing them with trace elements.
How Do You Water Microgreens?
Lightly water your microgreens, ideally with a mist bottle, as this prevents the seeds from being dislodged. Water regularly to keep the seeds from drying out but avoid overwatering as this can drown the seeds.
Aim to create a warm and humid environment for your seeds, as this is where they thrive. A plastic lid or covering can help achieve this setting, but ensure there are holes to provide adequate airflow.
Can You Grow Microgreens With Just Water?
It is possible to grow microgreens using only water through a process known as hydroponics. However, this process requires specific conditions for your microgreens to flourish.
As microgreens are sensitive to pH, you will need to regularly test your water to ensure it sits in a range of 5.5 and 6.5. You will also need to keep your seeds covered as light can encourage algae to grow in the water.
Additionally, you will require a grow mat that should be dampened but not saturated and leave a little open space around the corners of your container.
How Long Does It Take Microgreens To Sprout?
Microgreens will take around two to three weeks to be ready for harvest, depending on which seeds you have chosen. Once you see their first true leaves appear, snip the greens just above the soil line.
The stalks should be around 1 – 3 inches tall when you cut them. Check the individual seeds you are using to ensure you harvest them at the optimum time.
What Do I Do With My Microgreens After Harvesting?
Wash the microgreens with water and dry using a paper towel or salad spinner; your microgreens are ready to serve!
If you want to store your microgreens for later use, seal them in a plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Can You Reuse Microgreen Soil?
Though microgreens do not grow back after harvest, you can reuse the soil for up to two more seasons by turning it over.
Turn, sprinkle your seeds and cover with a light new layer of soil. Reusing the soil is not only cost-effective but environmentally friendly too.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Grow Microgreens?
If you’re looking to grow microgreens on a budget, spend most of your money on organic seeds and quality potting mix. You can make everything else you require from items you already own or recycle, such as food containers and old plastic trays.
Looking for a simple guide to growing microgreens at home? Click here for the answers to all of your questions.