Grow Microgreens Without Light: Unconventional Cultivation Techniques

HomeGrowingGrow Microgreens Without Light: Unconventional Cultivation Techniques

While microgreens require light for proper growth, they can temporarily sprout in darkness. This initial stage of sprouting can be done in a dark environment, but once the sprouts emerge, they need to be exposed to light for photosynthesis.

How to Grow Microgreens without Light

You can’t rely on rays of sunlight to get your greens growing, so how can you cultivate these delicious plants without light? Fortunately, it’s possible to grow microgreens in darkness.

Growing microgreens without light requires two components: a suitable container and quality soil that provides the necessary nutrients for the plants. When selecting a container, it’s best to choose one that is shallow and wide as opposed to deep and narrow; this allows the roots of the plant to spread out easier. Additionally, make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of your chosen container so excess water can escape. The size of your container will depend on how much space you have available and what type of microgreen you’re growing.

The second component for successful growth is soil quality. It’s important to use a potting mix with high-quality organic matter that will help retain moisture but still allow air flow – this helps encourage healthy root development. If you find commercial potting mix too expensive or difficult to obtain, try making your own using equal parts composted manure and vermiculite or perlite; adding peat moss may also be beneficial if you’re looking for added richness in your soil mixture.

Once you’ve prepared both components – container and soil – place them together in a dark spot such as inside a cupboard or under kitchen sink. Add water until moist but not soggy before planting your seeds according to instructions on their packaging. Finally, cover them lightly with plastic wrap which will provide some warmth as well as humidity needed for germination.

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Check daily for sprouts then remove wrap once they appear – usually within 2-3 days – then move them near bright window where they’ll receive indirect light until harvest time (usually around 7-10 days). With proper care and attention, even without direct sunlight, you should be able to enjoy fresh microgreens in no time!

Benefits of Growing Microgreens in the Dark

Although they don’t need light to get their start, growing microgreens in the dark can still offer plenty of benefits! For one, the lack of light will help conserve soil nutrition. Since photosynthesis doesn’t occur without light, less energy is used, and thus fewer nutrients are depleted from the soil.

This means that when you’re ready to move your microgreens into a sunny spot or even harvest them after some time in the dark, more nutrients will remain available for future crops. Additionally, since there’s no risk of over-exposure to sunlight for those grown in total darkness, container size is much more flexible.

Containers don’t need to be as deep or wide and can easily fit on windowsills or shelves. The smaller space also helps keep moisture levels stable and prevent mold growth since it’s easier to cover with plastic wrap or other material if necessary. Moreover, growing microgreens without light eliminates the need for a grow lamp which can be expensive and take up valuable counter space.

And although it takes longer for seeds to sprout in total darkness than with supplemental lighting, once they do begin germinating they’ll develop faster than if planted outdoors during winter months due to higher temperatures indoors. Finally, because no additional lighting is needed while growing microgreens in complete darkness, you don’t have to worry about forgetting about turning off lights at night which would otherwise cause unnecessary stress on the plants’ root systems.

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This makes it easy and convenient for anyone interested in this type of gardening project who may not have enough time or knowledge needed for proper setup and upkeep of grow lamps.

Challenges of Growing Microgreens in the Dark

Growing microgreens in the dark may seem easy, but it actually presents unique challenges for gardeners. One of the biggest considerations is the soil: without exposure to light, soil can become compact and dry, making it harder for roots to penetrate.

Additionally, when growing in the dark, gardeners must pay more attention to watering requirements. Without any sunlight or heat to evaporate excess moisture from the soil surface, over-watering becomes an issue; if there’s too much water present in the soil then root growth will be stifled and microgreens won’t develop properly.

Here are some of the steps a gardener should take when attempting to grow microgreens in darkness:

  • Amend your soil with additives such as vermiculite or perlite to ensure proper drainage and aeration.
  • Monitor your plants’ watering needs carefully; avoid overwatering at all costs since it can lead to mold and disease growth.
  • If possible, provide some form of artificial light source (such as LED lights) since this will help promote healthy root development even in low light conditions.
  • Make sure that you keep the light source far enough away from your plants so as not to scorch them with too much heat while providing necessary illumination during germination stages.

Finally, while growing microgreens without any natural light is definitely possible, it takes extra time and effort on behalf of the gardener – so make sure you’re up for the challenge before committing! With careful planning and monitoring however, you can successfully grow nutritious greens even under dim lighting conditions.

Troubleshooting Tips

Navigating the dark side of microgreens can be tricky, but with a bit of know-how, you’ll be able to get back on track in no time.

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Growing microgreens without light is possible, but there are some considerations you need to take into account. Firstly, you need to make sure your soil is rich in organic matter and adequate nutrients for the microgreens to grow healthily in the absence of light. You can achieve this by using composted manure or adding extra nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to your soil mix.

Secondly, it’s important to keep your soil moist at all times so that the seeds don’t dry up before they have a chance to sprout. This means that you should water your plants often and make sure that any excess water drains away quickly.

Lastly, it’s important to provide good air circulation for your plants so they don’t get too hot or humid. To do this, you can open windows or set up fans in order to provide proper ventilation for your darkroom setup.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to successfully grow microgreens without light and get great results! It might take some trial and error until you find what works best for your particular environment, but once you master it, growing in darkness will become second nature!

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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