so now you’ve learned about microgreens, you’ve ordered your seeds and now you want to grow microgreens for the first time? it’s easy!
we've put together a quick guide for you to grow microgreens at home. first, we talk a bit about growing theory, but not for too long, because as the saying goes, "all theory is gray, and grayish are its heralds." 😉
prerequisites for successful cultivation
the following five prerequisites are especially important to make microgreens growing work:
if you want to grow microgreens, we recommend good organic soil. hemp mats, coconut fiber mats and other natural materials are also possible, but in our opinion, the young greens grown on soil taste better, are more vital and you do not need to fertilize. the plantlets can feed perfectly with the nutrients contained in the healthy soil without stunting. when growing on mats, fleece or similar, you should re-fertilize after about 10 days to offer the green the needed nutrients (please use only organic fertilizers and not too much of it!).
the optimal temperature to grow microgreens is between 18 and 22°c and develop the fastest in temperatures that are steady. at higher temperatures, bacteria and fungi can appear, while your seedlings will dry out faster. and at lower temperatures, the plantlets absorb less water and develop more slowly, which can introduce problems with mold.
sufficient air and light
microgreens need sufficient light when growing in order to produce chlorophyll and their valuable vital substances. if you do not have a bright windowsill, you can also install a small additional lighting. for example, you can buy very good led lamps with daylight spectrum. please be careful not to expose the tender plants to direct sunlight, especially in the first few days, so that they do not burn.
regular aeration is important - especially in the last days of growing - to get rid of excess moisture. this way you can avoid rotting quite effectively from the very beginning.
only organically-cultivated microgreen seeds are sure to be relatively uncontaminated and unexposed to chemical pesticides + artificial fertilizers.
microgreens seed trays
for the cultivation of microgreens there are special trays, which are usually not higher than 6 cm. please make sure that there are drainage holes in the bottom of the trays so that excess water can run off and waterlogging is prevented.
if you don't have professional trays at hand, or if you want to see 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 now enough about growing theory - we don't know about you, but our fingers are itching 🙂 .
step by step instructions for growing microgreens
- soak microgreens
we recommend that you first rinse and then soak larger seeds, such as sunflowers, peas, mung beans, or chard in water 8-12 hours before planting (ideally overnight). please use three times the volume of water than the amount of seeds, because the seeds can swell up a lot.
however, there are exceptions to (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 table you will find soaking times for different microgreens seed varieties.
- grow microgreens
take a shallow tray with a height of 3-7 cm and fill it about 2-4 cm high with organic growing soil. then create a smooth and even surface with a pusher, so that you can distribute the seeds well and they do not collect in holes in the soil.
now you can distribute your seeds evenly over the soil. the correct distribution density requires a bit of tact 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 use too little either, so that you make the best use of your growing space.
after distributing the seeds, press them down lightly with a press tool to make sure that all the seeds are in contact with the soil. now you can moisten (best with a pressure sprayer) your tray. again, you need to be careful: please do not water too much, otherwise everything will be flooded, but also not too little, so that all seeds and the soil are moist enough.
now you're almost there!
if your seeded variety is a light seedling, you can just leave the tray open or cover it with plastic wrap. if you leave it open, please make sure that your seeds do not dry out. otherwise, it's best to check once or twice a day to make sure it's not getting too dry. if it does - spray it! the soil should always be moist, but not soggy.
if your microgreen variety is a dark seedling, you can either put a little soil on the seed or cover it airtight and dark with a second tray or cover. this will ensure that there is enough humidity in your tray and the seeds get the darkness they need for optimal germination.
our secret tip: it's best to say "hello again" to your microgreens once or twice a day 😉 and check the humidity. experiments have proven time and again that plants grow better and more magnificently when we talk to them and we can confirm this from our own experience.
for more information and tips and tricks on your favorite leafy greens, visit our respective seeds page.
- wait & enjoy the harvest anticipation
now you only need to wait about 3-4 days until all seedlings have germinated and reached a height of about 1-3 cm. then you can remove the cover. from now on, please keep an eye on whether it is moist enough in the tray.
if your tray has holes at the bottom, it is best to water it for about half an hour in another tray with water and let it refuel by itself.
if your tray does not have holes at the bottom, you can also water it with a hand sprayer, this is no problem with robust microgreens like peas, sunflowers etc.. you should be more careful with fine microgreens like broccoli, amaranth and the like, they don't like moisture on their leaves that way and rot faster.
- microgreens harvest
until the harvest after 7 to 20 days, only regular watering is necessary. after that, depending on the variety, you can cut your microgreens finger-width above the soil at the desired time and enjoy!
please cut only as much microgreens as you want for your meal, because after harvesting the little greens should be used directly.
a little tip about the soil you used: unfortunately, the soil is not suitable for another round of use, as it may start to mold due to seed residue. you can either dispose of it in the compost or reuse it in flower beds.