To use a microgreens growing tray, start by filling the tray with a suitable growing medium, such as soil or a hydroponic system. Sow the seeds evenly over the surface of the tray and mist them with water to promote germination. Cover the tray with a clear lid or plastic wrap to create a greenhouse-like environment. Monitor the moisture levels and provide proper light and temperature conditions for optimal growth.
What You'll Learn
Gather your supplies so you can get started on growing microgreens. You’ll need a growing tray, some sort of growing medium, seeds, and water. The size of the tray will depend on how much space you have available and how many microgreens you want to grow.
When selecting the right type of seeds for your project, make sure they’re appropriate for microgreens cultivation. There are several types of seeds that work well for this purpose, including wheatgrass, kale, arugula, radish, mustard greens, and more.
For soil preparation, it’s important to use a light-weight potting mix or other high-quality soil specifically designed for growing microgreens. Make sure the soil is free from any weeds or pests before adding it to the tray. Be sure to evenly distribute the soil in the tray without packing it too tight.
Once everything is set up correctly with your chosen growing medium and seeds in place, mist them with water until they’re thoroughly moistened but not saturated with water. To maintain optimal germination conditions, cover the top of the tray with plastic wrap or some other form of covering until germination occurs. This helps keep moisture levels regulated while allowing light through so that plants can receive enough energy needed for growth.
Lastly, check daily to ensure that all areas remain moist during this process, as overly dry conditions can inhibit germination rates while too much moisture can cause mold problems.
Fill the Tray with Growing Medium
Grab a handful of nutrient-rich soil and slowly spread it out into the tray. Make sure to evenly distribute the soil across the entire surface area of your microgreens growing tray. Depending on your composting methods, you may also add in some coconut coir or other organic additives for extra aeration and drainage.
As you fill up the tray, be sure to leave about 1/4 inch from the top so that there’s enough room for watering techniques later on. If desired, use a spray bottle to mist water onto the medium as you go. This’ll give your microgreens an extra boost by helping them take root quickly once they’re sowed later on.
Once filled, lightly dampen down the surface with either a spritz of water or gentle press with your hands. This helps ensure that all areas are uniformly moist before sowing seeds.
Sprinkle the seeds across your tray of dampened soil, ensuring even coverage as you go. Microgreens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a valuable addition to any diet and a great source of plant-based nutrition. Depending on the type of seed used, they can provide various biological benefits such as increased immunity or improved digestion.
Sowing seeds is also the perfect opportunity to tailor your microgreen harvest to suit whatever flavors you desire. Some popular choices include broccoli, radish, basil, and kale for their unique tastes and textures. When sowing seeds for microgreens, it’s important to use fresh seeds that have been stored in an airtight container away from sunlight or extreme temperatures.
It is also essential to space out your seeds according to their size; larger seeds should be further apart than smaller ones so that each individual plant has room to grow without being overcrowded by its neighbors. As you sow the seeds evenly across your tray, take care not to press them too firmly into the soil as this could prevent germination altogether.
Once all of your seeds have been scattered across your growing medium, lightly mist with water using a spray bottle until the soil is thoroughly moist but not soaking wet. This will help give your newly planted microgreens a good chance at successful germination while simultaneously providing just enough moisture during early growth stages when plants need access to an adequate water supply yet don’t require frequent watering cycles like more mature plants do.
Lastly but most importantly, cover with plastic wrap or similar material until germination occurs! The warmth and moisture provided by covering will help speed up seed germination significantly and get those tiny greens ready for harvesting sooner than expected!
Mist with Water
Once you’ve sprinkled your seeds across the soil, lightly mist with water from a spray bottle to moisten the surface and give your microgreens a boost for successful germination. It’s important to use lukewarm water that isn’t too hot or cold. The temperature should be between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid over-watering your microgreens as this can cause them to become soggy and lead to rot and mold growth. Instead, just give them a light mist every few days until you start noticing signs of germination.
Light exposure is also important for proper microgreen growth. When first planted, keep the tray covered with plastic wrap or something similar so that it retains moisture while still allowing enough light through for photosynthesis. Once the seeds sprout, remove the coverings and move your tray into an area that receives indirect sunlight or fluorescent light for 8-10 hours each day.
If necessary, supplement natural sunlight by positioning LED grow lights above your tray at least 12 inches away. This will ensure that your microgreens get all the light they need without becoming scorched or dried out. Rotate the tray every couple of days so that all sides receive equal amounts of exposure from both natural and artificial sources.
Monitor moisture levels closely during this time period until germination occurs. If needed, add more water periodically using a spray bottle, but do not overwater as this can lead to rot and other problems later down the line! Adjust both lighting conditions and watering frequency accordingly depending on how quickly or slowly your greens are growing so that they reach maturity within 3-4 weeks without any issues along the way!
Cover until Germination
Cover your soil with plastic wrap or something similar until you start to notice signs of germination, then let the light and warmth in! Plastic wrap is a great choice to create a darkening effect so that your microgreens are able to properly germinate.
Make sure that whatever container you choose for covering the tray is secure enough that it won’t be easily knocked off or blown away by the wind. It’s important to ensure that your microgreens have an optimal environment for germination. The darkness will encourage them to grow while also providing protection from the elements and any pests or animals that may be present in your area.
Once you’ve covered the tray with plastic wrap, check back every day or two for signs of germination. Usually within a few days after sowing, you should begin to see small green shoots emerging from the soil.
Once this happens, remove the cover so they can get plenty of light and warmth. Without adequate light, not only will growth slow down but they won’t develop their characteristic flavor either! If possible, place your growing tray near a window or other source of natural sunlight during this period.
When it comes time to harvest your microgreens, it’s important not to wait too long as they can become too mature if left uncovered too long. You want them before their first set of true leaves appear so make sure you keep an eye on them each day and harvest when ready!
Keep in mind that some varieties have different germination times than others so do research beforehand if necessary.
With proper care and attention during this stage of growth, you’ll be well on your way towards having delicious homegrown microgreens! Just remember: keep them covered until sprouting occurs and then provide enough light and warmth for optimal development – don’t forget these key steps for successful microgreen growing!
Harvest and Enjoy!
When you’re ready to harvest your microgreens, it’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work and enjoy their delicious goodness! Harvesting microgreens is not difficult—all you need is a pair of scissors or sharp knife. Here are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting:
- Cut 1-2 cm above soil level with a sharp scissors or knife.
- Wash and rinse harvested greens before consuming.
- Enjoy your freshly harvested microgreens within 2-3 days for optimal flavor and nutrition!
- Water regularly, making sure not to overwater as this can lead to fungal growth.
- Make sure there is good air circulation around the plants.
- Monitor the temperature of the growing medium closely; microgreens prefer temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C).
Harvesting microgreens indoors has never been easier with a tray system like this one, offering an easy way for even novice gardeners to grow delicious, nutritious greens all year round. Plus, since they take up so little space indoors, you can fit multiple trays together on the same shelf or countertop!
With just a bit of care and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh homegrown microgreens any time you want—no matter what season it is outside. And once they’ve been harvested, use them in salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more for an extra special touch in every meal!