Grow Your Own Microgreens in Trays: Easy and Satisfying

HomeGrowingGrow Your Own Microgreens in Trays: Easy and Satisfying

To grow your own microgreens in trays, fill the trays with a suitable growing medium, such as soil or coconut coir. Sprinkle the microgreen seeds evenly on top, and provide them with proper lighting and moisture.

Choose Your Microgreens

Pick the perfect microgreens for you – there’s a variety to choose from! When deciding which microgreens to grow, you’ll want to consider nutrient content and flavor profiles.

Popular options include broccoli, kale, arugula, and spinach. All of these have a high nutritional value, but each one has its own distinct flavor. Broccoli is known for its sweet taste while kale can be slightly bitter; meanwhile, arugula is peppery and spinach is mild.

If you’re looking for something with an even bolder flavor profile, try mustard greens or radish greens. Mustard greens are spicy and zesty with a little bit of heat while radish greens provide a mild peppery taste that’s similar to horseradish. Other unique flavors come from cilantro, amaranth, and basil microgreens. Cilantro has a strong herbal taste that adds depth to dishes; amaranth offers earthy sweetness and basil gives off an intense aromatic fragrance that will make your salads stand out.

No matter which type of microgreen you decide on, it is important to research the best growing conditions for each variety before planting your seeds. The amount of water needed will vary depending on the specific type of plant but all require plenty of light (natural or artificial) in order to thrive. Additionally, different types may need different soil mediums such as perlite or vermiculite to help them grow well in their environment.

You can also mix and match types if desired – try combining several varieties into one pot for an interesting combination of flavors! With so many options available, it’s easy to find the perfect microgreens for your needs no matter what kind of culinary experience you’re aiming for!

Gather Your Supplies

Gathering your supplies is the first step in growing your own microgreens. You’ll need a variety of seeds, an appropriate growing medium, and a container to hold the soil and plants.

You’ll also need light from the sun or an artificial source, and plenty of water. Make sure you have all your supplies before you get started to ensure that you have everything you need for healthy and successful microgreen growth.

Seeds

Choosing high-quality seeds is essential to achieving a successful microgreen crop. When selecting the type of seed you’d like to use, it’s important to consider its soil requirements and any other special needs that the seed may have.

It’s also important to pay attention to the expiration date or germination rate of each bag of seeds, as old or poor quality seeds are less likely to produce an abundant yield. Additionally, some varieties need more light and water than others so it’s important for you to know what your microgreens need before investing in a particular type of seed.

Here are some items you should consider when selecting your microgreen seeds:

  • Type of Seed – Consider the variety and colors that will best suit your culinary needs.
  • Germination Rate – Make sure that the bag has a high germination rate and check its expiration date.
  • Soil Requirements – Pay attention to specific soil requirements such as pH levels, drainage, etc., for optimal growing conditions.
  • Light & Water Requirements – Check if there are any extra lighting or watering needs for certain varieties of microgreens so you can provide them with the best possible environment for growth.

Growing Medium

Once you have the right seeds, it’s important to select a growing medium that will provide the necessary nutrients and support for your microgreens.

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Soil-less growing media offer many benefits and are generally considered best for use with microgreens. They can be more expensive than soil but they contain no weed seeds or disease, making it easier to keep your plants healthy.

When choosing a soil-less medium, look for one that contains vermiculite or perlite which help retain moisture and fertilizers. Additionally, these materials also create air spaces between particles helping ensure adequate oxygenation of roots.

Proper seed spacing is essential when using a soil-less medium as overcrowding can lead to fungal diseases and nutrient deficiencies in plants.

With the right soil nutrition and spacing, you’ll give your microgreens the best chance of thriving in their new environment.

Container

Finding the perfect container for your microgreen setup is key to a successful harvest. Utilize containers with drainage holes to ensure excess water can escape, preventing root rot and helping your plants flourish.

When selecting a container type for growing microgreens, there are several options. Plastic trays, shallow wooden boxes, plastic pots, or seed flats are all suitable choices for growing microgreens. It’s important to select the right soil when using any of these containers as well. Choose lightweight soil that will allow enough air and water in while maintaining some structure.

For best results, combine potting mix with vermiculite or perlite to ensure adequate moisture retention without becoming too soggy. Avoid heavy soil mixtures as they may become compacted and prevent proper drainage.

Light

Ensuring your microgreens receive ample light is essential to their success. Try investing in LED grow lights to ensure they get the light they need. There are several lighting options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

To maximize growth, you should provide your microgreens with at least 12 hours of light per day:

  • Sunlight: Sunlight is the most natural source of light for your microgreens, but it can be difficult to control. If you plan on growing outdoors, make sure there’s plenty of filtered sunlight that won’t be too hot or too cold for your plants.
  • LED Lights: LED lights are a great option because they provide full spectrum lighting and low energy costs. The downside is that they can be expensive to initially purchase, but their long lifespan makes them a cost-effective solution in the long run.
  • Fluorescent Lights: Fluorescent bulbs can give off good quality light while using less energy than other bulbs, making them an affordable choice for indoor growth. However, fluorescent bulbs may not provide enough intensity or full spectrum lighting for optimal growth.
  • Incandescent Bulbs: Incandescent bulbs usually give off more heat than other types of bulbs and may require extra cooling equipment if used in enclosed spaces or during summer months when temperatures are higher indoors as well as out. They also don’t offer the same level of spectrum coverage as LEDs or fluorescent bulbs do, so consider these factors before investing in incandescent lights for growing microgreens indoors.

Water

Watering your microgreens is just as important as providing them with the right light, so don’t forget to keep ’em hydrated! While microgreens do not need a lot of water, it’s still essential to provide them with enough water for healthy growth.

To ensure healthy growth, you should always use quality water that meets the recommended moisture levels. Tap water may contain too many pollutants or minerals that can prevent proper absorption of nutrients and even damage their delicate roots. When watering your microgreens, fill up a container and let it sit overnight before using it for irrigation. This will help remove any chlorine or other impurities that might be present in tap water.

Additionally, check the soil regularly to make sure it is moist but not soggy and adjust your watering schedule accordingly – too much or too little moisture can both affect their growth rate.

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Prepare the Growing Medium

Preparing the right growing medium is key to ensuring your microgreens thrive – it’s like providing them with a cozy home. When selecting soil or other growing media, make sure it meets the drainage requirements of microgreens. If you’re using potting soil, look for one that’s lightweight and drains well. You can also use seed starting mix or a combination of potting soil and compost for more nutrition.

Before planting, ensure that the growing medium has been sterilized by mixing in some water-soluble fertilizer into the mix and allowing it to sit overnight before draining off any excess moisture. It’s important to remember that most types of microgreens prefer slightly acidic soils, so if you’re using an organic soil mixture, make sure to add some lime to balance out the pH levels. Additionally, consider adding some pumice or perlite for better aeration and drainage – this will help keep roots healthy and allow them access to oxygen while preventing them from becoming too waterlogged.

Finally, always make sure your growing medium is moist enough prior to planting; wetter soils will promote faster germination than dryer soils. When it comes time to plant your microgreens seeds, sow them evenly across the surface of your prepared growing medium at a depth recommended on their seed packet – usually just barely covered with soil as they don’t need much space beneath the surface for growth.

After sowing your seeds, cover them lightly with more soil then mist them gently with water until they’re completely saturated but not drowning in standing water. This will create favorable conditions for quick germination and subsequent growth of healthy plants! Once planted, be sure to monitor the moisture levels regularly during early stages of development as this can have a major impact on how quickly your microgreens develop and reach maturity – overwatering will stunt their growth while underwatering will prevent proper germination from occurring at all!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create an ideal environment where your micro greens can grow up strong and healthy!

Plant the Seeds

Now that you have your growing medium ready, it’s time to move onto planting the seeds. Selecting the right seed for your microgreens is important as each variety of seed will require different care and conditions. Here are some tips to help you choose the right type of seed:

  • Look for an organic or non-GMO variety of seeds
  • Know the types of microgreens you want to grow
  • Consider how much space you have available for growing
  • Do research on recommended soil preparation techniques specific to the type of seeds chosen

When it comes to soil preparation, make sure that your soil is damp but not too wet. You can also consider adding a bit of fertilizer or compost if desired.

Once your soil is prepped, use a spoon or scoop to place a shallow layer (about 1/8”) over the prepared tray and spread evenly. After spreading, lightly mist with water until moistened. Then take your chosen seeds and sprinkle them in rows across the surface, making sure they all get equal exposure to light. Make sure not to overcrowd as this will affect their growth potentials! Finally, cover with another thin layer (1/16”) of soil before misting again with water until moistened.

It’s important to keep your planted microgreen trays away from direct sunlight while they germinate which typically takes around 7-14 days depending on what type of seed was used and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity levels.

During this period, check daily for moisture levels by lightly touching topsoil; if dry then mist lightly with water until dampened but not saturated. Once sprouts appear keep checking daily for signs of wilting which could indicate a need for more watering or other issues such as pests or diseases affecting growth potentials.

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With proper monitoring and care, you should be able to enjoy fresh homegrown microgreens in just a few weeks!

Provide Proper Growing Conditions

Nurture your microgreen journey with the right light, moisture, and growing medium for a successful harvest. You should select a soil that’s nutrient-rich and has excellent drainage capabilities. Loam or sandy loam are both good choices. For optimal growth, you should also add compost to the soil for added nutrition.

To protect against pests, consider adding some natural pest control agents such as neem oil or diatomaceous earth to the mix. Lighting plays an important role in microgreen growth. Depending on the type of plant you’re growing, you’ll need to provide it with either direct sunlight or artificial lighting like LED grow lights.

If using artificial lighting, make sure to set up a timer so that your plants receive 12-14 hours of light per day for best results. Watering is essential for healthy microgreens; however, too much water can be just as detrimental as too little water! To ensure proper hydration levels, check the topsoil for moisture before watering your plants – if the top layer of soil is still damp, then there’s no need to water yet.

When it comes time to water your microgreens, aim for consistent and moderate amounts rather than overwatering them in one go (this will prevent root rot). Finally, pay attention to temperature levels when growing microgreens indoors – most types prefer temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C–24°C), but this may vary depending on what type of greens you’re growing.

Keep an eye out for any signs of distress in your plants due to temperature fluctuations so that you can adjust accordingly! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create perfect conditions for harvesting a bountiful crop of delicious microgreens!

Harvest and Enjoy Your Microgreens!

Harvesting your microgreens is the best part of growing them – with an average harvest time of only 2 weeks, it won’t be long before you’re enjoying their delicious taste and nutrition! To harvest your microgreens, use scissors or sharp kitchen shears to cut the greens just above soil level. You can also pull up entire plants if desired.

Once harvested, rinse off any dirt or debris from the leaves. Storing microgreens is easy – simply store them in a container lined with damp paper towels and keep in the refrigerator. Microgreens will stay fresh for several days when stored properly.

Eating microgreens is a great way to get a powerful dose of nutrients that are packed into these small plants! They also add flavor to all sorts of dishes ranging from salads and sandwiches to soups and stir-fries. Microgreens make a great addition to smoothies as well! The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating these little powerhouses into your diet.

You can also freeze your freshly harvested microgreens for future use. Simply spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer until completely frozen solid then transfer them into an airtight container or bag for longer storage time – this should give you access to weeks worth of nutritious greens at any point during the year!

Microgreens are not only incredibly healthy but they’re also very tasty – adding crunchy texture and subtle sweetness that pairs nicely with many recipes. Whether you decide to munch on them straight from the garden or incorporate them into meals, enjoy every bite knowing that you’ve grown something truly special!

Kathy Turner
Kathy Turnerhttps://mastermicrogreens.com/
Kathy Turner is the founder of MasterMicrogreens.com, 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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