Do Microgreens Need Soil? Exploring Soil-Free Growing Methods

HomeGrowingDo Microgreens Need Soil? Exploring Soil-Free Growing Methods

Quick Answer:
Microgreens can be grown with or without soil. Soilless methods, such as hydroponics or growing on mats, are becoming more popular because they are cleaner and more efficient than traditional soil-based methods. However, some growers prefer to use soil because it can provide additional nutrients and may produce better-tasting microgreens.

Microgreens have become increasingly popular in recent years, due to their nutritional benefits and delicious flavor. But do you know what they need to grow? Have you ever wondered if microgreens need soil? Well, I’m here to answer that very question! In this article, I’ll explain why some microgreens require soil while others don’t—and offer tips for growing your own at home. So get ready to learn about the basics of microgreen cultivation!

The first thing you should know is that not all microgreens require soil. Some varieties can be grown hydroponically or with an aeroponic system. Hydroponics are a form of gardening where instead of soil, plants are grown in nutrient-rich water. Aeroponics involves suspending plant roots in a misting chamber so that they can absorb oxygen and nutrients from the air around them. Both options involve less mess than traditional gardening methods and may be better suited for certain kinds of microgreens.

However, it’s important to note that most types of microgreens still prefer being planted in soil. The right kind of soil can provide the essential ingredients needed for healthy growth and development. It also helps keep the moisture levels consistent throughout the entire process—which is especially important when growing delicate greens like cilantro or kale. With the right preparation, anyone can successfully cultivate their own crop of flavorful microgreens at home!

Growing Conditions

Yes, microgreens do need soil in order to grow. The kind of soil used is important for the optimal growth and development of these plants. It should be nutrient-rich but light enough so that it won’t weigh down or overcrowd the baby greens as they develop. Hydroponic systems can also be used instead of soil; however, you will still need something like an organic potting mix to provide a stable growing medium for your microgreens.

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When it comes to light requirements, make sure the area where you are growing the microgreens is well lit by natural sunlight or artificial lighting sources. The ideal temperature range for most types of microgreens is between 60-75°F (15 – 24°C). Humidity levels should remain around 40%-60%. If temperatures get too high, then this could lead to wilting and other issues with your crop.

In addition to providing adequate light and humidity levels, fertilizers are essential when growing microgreens. Organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion or compost tea work best since they contain beneficial nutrients that help promote healthy root development and strong leaf growth. Make sure not to over-fertilize though, as too much fertilizer can cause stunted growth and discoloration in your crops.

With proper care and attention given to the environmental conditions necessary for their growth, you’ll have no difficulty cultivating a robust harvest of nutritious microgreens! Nutritional benefits from consuming these tiny greens are numerous – from supplying antioxidants and vitamins to promoting healthier skin and hair health – making them a great addition to any diet!

Nutritional Benefits

Yes, microgreens do need soil in order to grow. However, the nutritional benefits of these tiny little greens are undeniable. Microgreens have higher mineral-content and antioxidant-levels than their mature counterparts. Their dietary-fibers content is also much higher, which can help improve digestion and cardiovascular health. Plus, they boast extremely high vitamin-profiles—in fact, some studies suggest that microgreens contain up to forty times more vitamins than mature plants! They’re also incredibly rich in phytochemicals like carotenoids and phenolic compounds, making them an excellent source of antioxidants for overall well being. So while microgreens may require soil in order to thrive, their nutrient profile provides a great reason to give them a try. Next up: soilless mediums for cultivation!

Soilless Mediums For Cultivation

Moving on from the nutritional benefits of microgreens, let’s discuss soilless mediums for cultivating them. There are a few popular options to choose from when it comes to growing these tiny plants without soil. Coconut coir is one option and can be found in brick form or as loose fibers. Rockwool cubes are another great choice which provide excellent drainage and aeration while keeping moisture levels consistent. Coir pith is also an effective medium, providing plenty of oxygen and allowing excess water to drain away easily. Last but not least, you could opt for a vermiculite mix or create your own vermiculture bed with composted cow manure, aged wood chips, coconut coir, and worm castings.

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No matter what type of soilless medium you decide to use for growing your microgreens, it’s important to make sure that it is well-draining yet able to retain enough moisture for the seeds and seedlings. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure proper air circulation within the container since this will prevent mold growth and other issues caused by poor aeration. With all that said about soilless mediums for cultivation, let’s move onto planting and harvesting methods used for microgreens!

Planting And Harvesting Methods

Growing microgreens is relatively easy and doesn’t require a lot of space or experience. You can direct seed your microgreen seeds into the soil, or use a hydroponic setup. Container gardening is also an option.

Here are three steps to follow when planting and harvesting microgreens:

  • Planting – sow the seeds directly in soil-less mixture or onto moist paper towels for germination;
  • Growing – keep the plants moist by misting regularly with water;
  • Harvesting – cut-and-come-again once they reach two inches tall, at which point they are ready to eat!

No matter which method you choose, it won’t take long until you have fresh nutritious microgreens on hand to enjoy. With careful handling techniques such as keeping them out of direct sunlight and making sure not to overwater , your microgreens will thrive and be delicious too!

Now that you’ve harvested your microgreens, let’s look at how best to store and preserve them…

Storage And Preservation

Storing and preserving microgreens is like a game of chess. All moves must be carefully considered to ensure maximum freshness for the longest period of time. The following table shows how different storing methods affect preservation:

Method Long-Term Preservation?
Refrigeration Yes
Vacuum-sealing Yes
Drying No

Refrigeration is an ideal way to store microgreens, as it keeps them at optimal temperature while preventing their wilting or spoiling. This method allows you to keep your greens safe and flavorful for up to two weeks. Vacuum sealing also works well, allowing you to extend the life of your produce even further. However, drying should be avoided as this will make your greens lose flavor and texture over time.

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It’s important to remember that all methods have their pros and cons – but with careful consideration, you can make sure that whatever storage option you choose yields the best results possible!


My conclusion is this; microgreens are a nutritious, delicious addition to any home garden. With the right conditions and care they can be grown both in soil and without it. The methods required vary slightly when growing them soilless, but the end result will always be worth the effort put forth.

Growing microgreens is similar to raising children – you nurture them with love and attention until they’re ready to show off their unique flavor and health benefits. It takes patience, dedication, and an understanding of the basic principles behind caring for these delicate greens. By following these guidelines you can enjoy your own bountiful harvest season after season.

It’s encouraging to know that even if you don’t have much gardening experience or space available, you can still reap all of the nutritional benefits offered by microgreens! So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today and see just how easy (and rewarding) it is to cultivate your very own crop of delicious mini-veggies!

Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner is the founder of, a popular blog dedicated to helping people become master microgreen growers. Kathy is passionate about helping others learn how to grow the healthiest, most nutrient-rich microgreens. She believes that with the right knowledge and resources, anyone can become a successful microgreen grower. Learn more about Kathy by viewing her full Author Profile.

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