Step By Step Instructions For Growing Microgreens
You know by now that microgreens are more than the package of cress you had to plant at school, your seeds are freshly ordered and now you want to grow microgreens for the first time? Nothing easier than that!
We have put together a short guide for you if you want to grow microgreens. This includes the theoretical part first, but it shouldn’t be too long. 😉
The following five conditions are particularly important for microgreen cultivation.
If you want to grow microgreens, we recommend good organic soil. Hemp mats, coconut fibre mats and other natural materials are also possible, but in our opinion the vegetable greens taste better when grown on earth, are more vital and you don’t have to fertilize. The plants can feed themselves with the nutrients contained in healthy soil without withering. When growing on mats, fleece or similar, you should fertilize after about 10 days to provide the green with the nutrients it needs (please use only organic fertilizers and not too much of them!).
The optimum temperature for growing microgreens is between 18 and 22° C. Microgreens like an even temperature, then they develop the fastest. At higher temperatures, bacteria and fungi can appear, while your seedlings dry out faster. At lower temperatures, the plants can absorb less water and develop more slowly, and you could have problems with mould.
Sufficient air and light
Microgreens require sufficient light during cultivation to form chlorophyll and its valuable vital substances. If you do not have a bright windowsill at your disposal, you can also install a small additional lighting. You can buy very good LED lamps with daylight spectrum for example. Especially in the first few days, please take care not to expose the delicate plants to direct sunlight so that they do not burn.
Regular ventilation is important – especially in the last days of cultivation – to get rid of excess moisture. In this way you can prevent mould quite effectively from the very beginning.
Buying microgreens seeds from organic cultivation you can be sure that they are relatively uncontaminated and have not been exposed to chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
For the cultivation of microgreens there are special trays, which are normally not higher than 6 cm. Please pay attention to drain holes in the bottom of the trays so that excess water can drain off and stagnant moisture is prevented.
If you don’t have professional trays at hand or want to try out if you enjoy growing them, you can also use any discarded (plastic) tray that has holes in the bottom, e.g. a tray from the supermarket where blueberries, raspberries, etc. were sold.
So enough with the theory, we don’t know about you, but we cannot wait to get finally started! 🙂
1. Soaking microgreens
We recommend that you first rinse larger seeds such as sunflowers, peas, mung beans or swiss chard 8-12 hours before cultivation and then soak them in water (ideally overnight). Please use three times as much water by volume as seeds, as the seeds can swell considerably.
However, there are exceptions to this rule for (small) seeds that should not be soaked under any circumstances, such as arugula, cress and chia seeds. These are slime-forming and after soaking they degenerate into a gelatinous mass that is impossible to use further.
In our chart you will find soaking times for different types of microgreens seeds.
2. Growing microgreens
Take a flat tray with a height of 3-7 cm and fill it with good organic soil to a height of 2-4 cm. Then create a smooth and even surface, so that you can distribute the seeds well and they do not collect in holes in the ground.
Now you can distribute your seeds evenly on the soil. The right distribution density requires a bit of sensitivity and experience: make sure that you take just enough seed so that the seeds do not lie on top of each other. But don’t take too little either, so that you make the best possible use of your cultivation area.
After spreading the seeds, it is best to press the seeds lightly, so that all the seeds have earth contact. Now you can moisten them (preferably with a pressure sprayer). Again, you need to be very careful: please do not water too much, otherwise everything will be flooded, but also not too little, so that all seeds and soil are moist enough.
Now you have almost made it!
If your sown variety is a light germinator, you can simply leave the tray open or cover it with cling film. If you leave it open, please make sure that your seeds do not dry out. Also in other respects: It is best to check once or twice a day to make sure that it is not too dry. If it does: spray it! The soil should always be moist, but not soaked.
If your microgreen variety is a dark germinator, you can either put some soil on the seed or you can cover it with a second tray or cover it airtight and dark. This ensures that there is enough air humidity in your dish and that the seeds get the necessary darkness they need for optimal germination.
You can find more information and tips and tricks for your favourite microgreen variety on our respective seeds page.
3. Wait & see!
Now you only need to wait about 3-4 days until all the seedlings have germinated and reached a height of about 1-3 cm. Then you can remove the cover. From now on, please keep a close eye on whether there is enough moisture in the tray.
If your bowl has holes at the bottom, it is best to put it in another bowl of water for about half an hour and let it fill up by itself.
If your bowl has no holes at the bottom, you can also water it with a hand sprayer. This is also possible for robust microgreens such as peas, sunflowers etc. You should be more careful with fine microgreens such as broccoli, red amaranth, etc., as these varieties do not like moisture on their leaves and rot faster.
4. Harvesting microgreens
It takes 7-20 days until the microgreens can be harvested. Until then only regular irrigation is necessary. After that you can cut your microgreens off above soil level with a pair of scissors, and enjoy them!
Please only cut off as many microgreens as you want for your meal, because after harvesting the small greens should be used directly.
Bon microgreens appetite! 🙂
A little tip about the soil you used: Unfortunately, the soil is not suitable for a new cultivation, as it could start to go mouldy due to seed residues. You can either dispose of it in the compost or reuse it in flower beds.
There are countless possibilities if you want to grow microgreens, this is just one of them. This is not intended to be a complete instruction manual, but only a rough guide. Just try out a lot, let your creativity run wild and find your optimal way. If it doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid, no master has fallen from the sky yet 😉! Of course you can also contact us if you have any questions.