Growing Microgreens on a Paper Towels vs. Cheesecloth: A Comparison

HomeGrowingGrowing Microgreens on a Paper Towels vs. Cheesecloth: A Comparison

When comparing paper towels to cheesecloth for growing microgreens, one advantage of paper towels is their superior moisture retention. This helps to keep the microgreens adequately hydrated throughout the growing process. However, cheesecloth still offers the benefit of efficient drainage, allowing excess water to escape and preventing root rot.

Materials Used for Growing Microgreens

Growing microgreens can be done with a variety of materials. Two of the most popular are paper towels and cheesecloth.

Paper towels provide better moisture retention than cheesecloth, making them ideal for growing microgreens at home.

Cheesecloth, on the other hand, allows for more airflow, making it better suited for commercial production of microgreens.

Paper Towels

Paper towels provide a much more efficient way to retain moisture for microgreens than cheesecloth, allowing you to ‘harvest’ the greens much quicker.

Here are four reasons why paper towels are better suited for growing microgreens:

  1. Paper towels absorb and hold water more effectively than cheesecloth, providing the ideal environment for consistent growth of all types of microgreens.
  2. Paper towels are easier to use and can be tailored to fit any container size or shape that’s selected for growing microgreens.
  3. Fertilizing techniques are simpler with paper towels since they remain flat without bunching up like cheesecloth does when wetted down with fertilizer solutions.
  4. Clean-up is also easier with paper towels since they can be discarded and replaced quickly after each harvest cycle, eliminating tedious cleaning between cycles that would otherwise be needed if using cheesecloth.

Overall, paper towels offer a superior alternative for retaining moisture in comparison to cheesecloth when it comes to growing microgreens, making them an ideal choice for gardeners looking to start their own indoor crop of nutritious greens quickly and easily!


Cheesecloth isn’t as efficient for retaining moisture as paper towels, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to get your microgreen growing started.

Cheesecloth provides more air circulation than paper towels, allowing your microgreens to breath better during the germination process while also providing increased nutrient balance. It also offers better pest control than paper towels, since it can be used to cover the soil surface and prevent insects from getting too close.

Moreover, cheesecloth allows excess water to more quickly drain away from the soil surface, which helps promote healthy root growth. Although not as effective at moisture retention as paper towels, cheesecloth is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a quick and economical way to start growing microgreens.

RELATED:  Mint Microgreens: Refreshing Flavor and Aromatic Delights

Benefits of Paper Towels

Using paper towels to grow microgreens offers several benefits, from better moisture retention to easier cleanup. One of the biggest advantages of growing microgreens on paper towels is that they hold more moisture than cheesecloth. This allows for even and consistent hydration of the seedlings and prevents them from drying out too quickly, which can cause stunted growth.

Additionally, harvesting techniques are much simpler with paper towels than with cheesecloth as it’s easy to remove each individual plant without having to untangle roots or tear through a fabric mesh.

Light requirements for microgreens are also improved when grown on paper towels since less light is blocked by the material. Cheesecloth can create shadows if placed too close to the seedlings while a thin layer of paper towel won’t interfere with the amount of light reaching your plants.

As well, once you’re done with your crop, it’s much easier to discard used paper towels compared to washing and reusing cheesecloth over and over again – which can also lead to mildew build-up if not properly cleaned after every use.

Paper towels also provide a great medium for germination as they help keep soil in place, so you don’t have dirt everywhere during setup or throughout your harvest process. Unlike cheesecloth where seeds may slip through between spaces in mesh fibers, there aren’t any gaps in terms of coverage when using a single sheet of paper towel making it one of the most efficient ways to start your microgreen project without losing any precious seeds!

Overall, when deciding what material should be used for growing microgreens, it’s important to consider all aspects such as moisture retention, harvesting techniques, light requirements, and ease of cleanup – all benefits that come along with using paper towels instead of cheesecloth!

Drawbacks of Cheesecloth

Despite its many advantages, cheesecloth has some notable drawbacks when it comes to growing microgreens. For instance, its porous nature can create shadows that block light and stunt growth, as if a thick curtain had been pulled over the seedlings. Here are other factors to consider:

  • Cheesecloth is not reusable due to its absorbent qualities. This means that a new piece of cloth must be used for every planting.
  • If the holes in the cheesecloth are too large, soil particles and even small insects may pass through them during planting or harvesting techniques, thus contaminating the microgreen crop.
  • The thin material of cheesecloth can tear easily when handling during planting or harvesting methods, which results in wasted time and materials.
  • Cheesecloth does not have as good of moisture retention as paper towels; therefore, more frequent watering will be required.
RELATED:  Seeding Density for Microgreens: Finding the Right Balance

It is important to consider all aspects when deciding which method to use for growing microgreens – paper towels or cheesecloth. Paper towels provide better moisture retention and fewer obstacles throughout the entire process from planting to harvesting methods than cheesecloth does.

Tips for Growing Microgreens

Growing microgreens is a great way to add fresh, nutritious greens to your diet. It’s important that you choose the right soil, provide adequate light and water, and have a good harvesting technique for successful growth.

To get started, pick a potting soil mix specifically designed for growing microgreens and be sure it contains enough nutrients. You’ll need to ensure your plants receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day or use artificial lighting if needed.

Water lightly every day so the soil stays moist but not soggy – use a spray bottle for best results. Lastly, when harvesting your microgreens, use scissors or kitchen shears about 1/2 inch from the base of the plant to avoid damaging the roots.

Soil Selection

Choosing the right soil for your microgreens can make all the difference in their success – so take your time and get it right! When selecting a planting medium for growing microgreens, there are two main options: paper towels or cheesecloth.

Paper towels provide better moisture retention than cheesecloth due to their ability to hold more water. This helps ensure that your microgreens receive enough water during the growing process.

Proper soil selection is essential as it needs to meet the nutrient needs of your microgreens. A good planting medium should be well-draining and have a balanced mix of nutrients that will support healthy growth.

Be sure to research what kind of soil will work best with the type of microgreen you’re trying to grow before making a purchase.

Light Requirements

Light is essential for the success of your microgreens, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting enough of it. When growing microgreens on paper towels or cheesecloth, you’ll need to provide a minimum of 8-10 hours of light per day in order for them to thrive. This can be provided by natural sunlight or artificial lighting such as LED grow lights.

RELATED:  Red Russian Kale Microgreens: Small Greens, Big Flavor

It’s also important to keep in mind that different types of microgreens require different levels of light and nutrient requirements, so be sure to research your particular variety before setting up your grow space. Temperature control is also important when growing microgreens—generally speaking, temperatures should remain between 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the variety being grown.

If you find yourself struggling with temperature management, consider using an adjustable thermostat or fan system to regulate airflow and achieve optimal conditions for your microgreen garden.

Watering Frequency

Watering your microgreens regularly is essential for their success, so be sure to check the soil’s moisture levels often and adjust accordingly.

Depending on what type of growing medium you use, the frequency in which you need to water will vary. Paper towels tend to retain more moisture than cheesecloth, meaning they require less frequent watering. This makes them ideal for growers who don’t have a lot of time or patience to wait around for the soil to dry out between waterings.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on the soil moisture levels as over-watering can lead to rot and disease in your microgreens. When using paper towels, harvest frequency should also be taken into consideration as the longer you leave them before harvesting, the more frequently you’ll need to water them in order for them not to dry out completely.

Harvesting Techniques

Harvesting your microgreens at the right time is key to ensuring they’re full of flavor, nutrients, and texture. So don’t hesitate to snip them away when the time’s right!

It can be tricky to determine the right time for harvesting your microgreens, but with a little monitoring of their growth, you shouldn’t have any problem. Make sure you keep an eye out for pests or disease that could affect your plants as well.

Generally speaking, if the seedlings have grown between one and three inches tall — depending on what type of microgreen it is — then it’s ready to harvest.

When harvesting microgreens grown on paper towels or cheesecloth, use scissors to cut them just above soil level so that all of the roots get taken out together with its leaves. After cutting, store in plastic bags or other airtight containers before consuming.

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.

Popular posts

My favorites

I'm social