Starting your own microgreens and tips on growing

Learning to grow your own food is fun, affordable, and rewarding. Microgreens are one of the best ways to be introduced to gardening as it is small scale and the harvest is relatively quick. As most gardeners know, getting that first harvest is very inspiring for the seasons to come and can blossom into a life long passion.

Affiliate links are located throughout this article.

Starting your own microgreens can be as easy or, as difficult as you would like to make it. From hydroponic setups with in-line fertilizers to growing them on a paper towel in your window, microgreens can be grown using a wide variety of methods. In this article we will be closer to the paper towel and soil end of the spectrum.

If you are interested in learning more about hydroponic systems, I recommend watching this video by On The Grow.

Where to start


Being in the internet age almost anything is deliverable in a few days or more. The same can be said about microgreens. If you wanted start growing microgreens by the end of the week place an order today! Growing microgreens is a simple process that can also take time to master.

Ready to harvest broccoli microgreens

You have a few options when choosing the soil and water method. You can purchase all of the pieces individually, this is recommended if you intend on growing consistently and want to save money. However, if you wanted to just try growing microgreens, a kit would come in handy. Kits are covered in a later section of the article.

Build your own kit


It’s similar to Build-a-bear but different. Your first time placing an order it is best to create a list and think out everything you might need. Nothing like going to sow your seeds and come to find out you don’t have something. Trays, soil, water, seeds, and a sunny spot or grow light are the basics anymore than that and you’re just having fun.

Seeds

The amount of seeds available to you by doing this method are only limited by what you think would make a good microgreen. Choosing what types of microgreens to grow can be so much fun. Most seed distributors will describe the microgreen flavor and texture on their websites. If you are curious about some of the ones we offer at Myers Greens check out our Products page.

1000s of seeds or headaches right there

How many seeds should you buy? I would start with a 1 oz. or 4 oz. pack, unless you are sure you will grow them all. Nothing like buying 4 lbs. of seed and only using 2 trays worth in 6 months. Here are the seeds I recommend starting with when growing microgreens as they are easy to grow and produce a good harvest.


Broccoli Microgreens- 1 Oz ~1000 Seeds – G…

Broccoli Microgreens Seeds. Broccoli microgreens have high sulforaphane content, are da… [More]

Price: $4.63
Seeds: Speckled Pea Sprouting – 1 Lb – Org…

Certified Organic. Non-GMO. Speckled peas are particularly fine for pea shoot (microgre… [More]

Price: $8.18
Black Oil Sunflower: 4 Oz ~6,400 Seeds – S…

Conventional. Whole (Shell On) Non-GMO. Sunflower sprouts and microgreens have a nutty … [More]

Price: $4.71

Trays

Starting out, I recommend using two trays. One with drainage holes and one without. The one with holes will hold your soil and seeds. The bottom tray or watering tray is where you will water your microgreens from once they germinate.

Purchasing a sturdy tray that isn’t too large is important. Over time I have noticed that deeper setting trays break more easily and have a lot of excess soil post-harvest. I switched from a 2.5″ deep tray to a 1.5″ and have noticed wonders of improvement in strength of the tray. The shallower tray also allows for more trays to be stacked in a smaller location, saving space as well.

The trays you purchase are going to be an investment that will be used countless times. I highly recommend spending the extra $10 USD on better trays. True Leaf Market Offers a deeper tray available here.

Gorgeous purple radish leaves

To see these trays in action check out our video on sowing purple radish microgreens.

Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire(Sun) needed
Soil

Yay! We get to get dirty! The soil mixture you use for your microgreens is vital to their growth. They are only “alive” and growing for 7-21 days and need quite a bit of root structure. Some soil mixes may be too loose and not provide the roots enough to grab onto and establish themselves.

A tried and true soil recipe I use is: 4 parts coco coir and 1 parts vermiculite. I have grown almost all of my microgreens in this mixture with great success. The coco coir is inert and void of the fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides usually found in potting mixes available at hardware stores. They are still a viable option, and work very well.

The shortened life of these plants makes fertilizers not necessary and may damage your harvest crop. The microgreen grows by using what nutrients are available in the cotyledons or first leaves. These leaves release a rapid burst of energy and shoot up to get a good sunspot among its competitors. Without a sturdy foundation the roots would not be able to support this growth.


Sunlight
Lettuce Microgreens

After the blackout period is over and your seedlings have emerged, they will be looking for those sweet golden rays of sun. Or maybe the purple red glow of that grow lamp.

Either way they will require adequate sunlight. These little plants only have so much energy to expend before they have to start pulling from the soil. If they spend it looking for light it my not have the flavor or aroma you are looking for. Also the appearance of stringy microgreens is not very appetizing.

Grower House offers a wide variety of LED grow lights. These are a great option as they are low on the electricity bill and last for a long time.

Watering

They drink a lot of water and will require you to water them every 1 – 2 days depending on how dry your environment is.

Microgreens that are lacking in water will begin showing signs by shriveling up and then drying out completely. Once they begin to bend over and dry out, I have found it is best to toss the tray and start over. The sacrifices of all those plants were for the good cause of R&D. o7

Dun Peas on day 2 after the blackout period

Air flow

Having a good air flow across your microgreens has quite a few benefits. Most of which are vital to the healthy growth and edibility of them. Placing an oscillating fan or having air circulation is no secret in the gardening world, but why is it so important for microgreens?

Moving air assists the microgreens is producing sturdy stems as the air pushes past the stem has a sort of resistance training against it. This helps it produce a thicker stalk and won’t fall as easy in transport. The other added benefit is mold prevention. Mold can be very tricky when growing 1000s of seeds in a dark damp tiny space. The air adds to the protection of that by keeping the leaves and emerging microgreens dryer and not giving mold or other bacterial growth a chance.


Pre-packaged Kits


True Leaf Market offers a variety of microgreen kits, which includes the following:

  • Grow Container (4.5 inch diameter, 1.5 inches deep)
  • Humidity Lid
  • Pre-measured Soil Puck (just add water to reconstitute)
  • Mist Sprayer
  • Pre-measured Organic Seed Packet
  • Detailed Instructions

The seed choices available are Radish, Mustard, Salad Mix, Sunflower, Arugula, and Pea Shoots. I have personally grown all of these, except the Arugula with every intention to try them soon. All of these kits are shown below with description, a link to the product page, and the price.

Once your kit arrives, follow the instruction packet and within 7-21 days you will be eating some enjoyable microgreens. I have not heard any complaints about these kits and think they are a great way to try growing your own food.


True Leaf Market Microgreen Kits

Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Radish – Gr…

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77
Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Mustard – G…

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77
Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Salad Mix -…

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77
Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Sunflower -…

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77
Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Arugula – G…

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77
Mini Microgreens Growing Kit – Pea Shoots …

These single serve mini microgreens kits are a fun and inexpensive way to start growing… [More]

Price: $6.77

Reviews from TLM


Growing your own Food!

Growing microgreens is a great way to be introduced to the process of early plant life. With the rapid growth and excitement being proportional as you watch these hard chargers climb for the light, it makes a great experiment for kids as well. Watching 100s of seeds emerge overnight can be pretty awe inspiring. So if you are growing for eating, science, or just something to do, hopefully you can get started with a leg up.


If you found the article interesting or helpful in anyway please share it to Facebook or any other social media outlet as it helps me out tremendously.

Keep mother nature alive and prospering, your own livelihood depends on it.

I am an affiliate and links located throughout the article will provide me with a commission on any purchases made.

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Myers Greens LLC

Myers Greens is a nursery located in southwest Iowa. With the main goal of providing top quality microgreens and fresh herbs. Follow the blog to keep up to date on what we are growing.

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Published by Myers Greens LLC

Nursery / Growing Operation located in Southwest Iowa.

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