Microgreens Grow Medium: Which Substrate Works Best?

HomeGrowingMicrogreens Grow Medium: Which Substrate Works Best?

Quick Answer:

The growing medium used for microgreens can vary and can include soil, coconut coir, vermiculite, or hydroponic mats. It is important to use a growing medium that is sterile and free from contaminants to ensure healthy and successful growth.

Growing microgreens at home can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your meals or trying to get involved in urban gardening, the process of growing these nutritious little greens can be easy and enjoyable. But before you jump into it, there are some important considerations: namely, which grow medium works best for this type of crop? In this article, we’ll explore the various substrates used for growing microgreens and discuss which one is ideal for your particular needs. So let’s dig in!

Microgreens provide an abundance of flavor and nutrition packed into small plants that don’t take long to germinate and grow. For a successful harvest, however, they need just the right environment – and the perfect substrate helps create that environment. Different types of soils have different properties; so what should you look out for when choosing a soil mix specifically designed for growing microgreens? Let’s find out.

Whether you’re new to urban gardening or already well-versed in the art of cultivating microgreen crops at home, selecting the right grow medium is essential if you want to maximize yield and ensure optimal health benefits from your produce. In this article, we will discuss the different kinds of substrates available on the market today and explain why each might work better than another depending on your individual circumstances. Ready to learn more about how to pick the perfect soil mix? Read on!

Types Of Substrates For Growing Microgreens

It’s a common misconception that microgreens need soil to grow. But in reality, there are several substrates you can use for growing these tiny greens! From hydroponic mediums to coconut husks and vermiculite, the options are vast.

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When it comes to choosing a substrate, one of the most popular choices is coco coir. Coco coir is made from coconut husks and provides superior aeration and drainage while also retaining moisture without becoming soggy or compacted. It’s light-weight too making it easy to transport – perfect for urban farming operations. Plus, coco coir doesn’t contain any fertilizers so you won’t have to worry about adding nutrients after planting your seeds.

Vermiculite is another great option when it comes to growing microgreens. Vermiculite retains more water than other substrates but still offers good aeration due its lightweight composition as well as being free from added chemicals or fertilizers. However, this type of substrate does tend to be heavier than other types which could make transportation difficult if you’re planning on selling at local markets or shipping off further away locations.

No matter what substrate you choose for growing your microgreens, proper soil requirements will go a long way towards optimal growth and yield success!

Soil Requirements For Optimal Growth

When it comes to growing microgreens successfully, the soil requirements are just as important as the substrate. It’s essential to have a soil with the right water content, drainage capacity and conditioner for optimal growth of your microgreens.

The ideal amount of moisture in the soil should be around 50-60%. This is because too much or too little water can prevent them from germinating properly. Additionally, if you use an overly moist medium, there’s a chance that your plants may rot before they even begin to grow. To ensure proper drainage, make sure to add some perlite or another drainage material into the mix.

Finally, adding some organic matter like compost or vermiculite can help improve the soil structure and provide important nutrients for encouraging healthy root development. A good quality potting mix works well when mixed with some additional materials like these. Furthermore, using a liquid fertilizer every two weeks will help maintain balanced nutrition levels throughout the growing season.

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Now that we’ve discussed what makes up ideal soil conditions for growing microgreens, let’s move on to comparing different substrates and how they contribute to successful harvests.

Comparison Of Different Substrates

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. Well, this is also true of microgreens. The type of substrate they grow in can have a huge impact on their quality and yield. With so many options available, it’s important to know which one will work best for your needs. Let’s take a closer look at the different substrates and compare them side by side.

Hydroponic substrates are made from either clay or rock particles that absorb water and hold nutrient solutions – perfect for those looking for an easy way to provide nutrients without having to mix anything themselves. Coir is a great option too as it has good air circulation and moisture retention properties, making it ideal for seed germination. Vermiculite is another popular choice due to its ability to retain moisture while allowing oxygen flow around the roots. Lastly, Rockwool provides insulation against extreme temperatures, keeping the temperature consistent during growth periods.

When deciding between these substrates there is no right answer; it all depends on your specific growing conditions and goals. However, each substrate offers something unique that should be taken into consideration when selecting one over another. Ultimately, whichever substrate you choose should fit with your individual needs while providing optimal growing conditions for your microgreens!

Tips For Successful Cultivation

Now that we’ve compared different substrates, let’s look at some tips for successful microgreens cultivation. Microgreens can be grown in a wide variety of containers, from shallow trays to deep pots depending on the size and type of greens being cultivated. Regardless of what container is used, it should provide adequate drainage and aeration with an appropriate depth and surface area for optimal root growth.

Light requirements vary based on the species but most microgreens will do best when they get 8-12 hours of direct sunlight per day or artificial light sources such as LED lamps placed 18” above the plants. Water management is also key to success; water your microgreens whenever the top inch layer of soil starts to dry out or use self-watering systems like wicks, capillary matting, or hydroponics if available.

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Substrate Type Container Size Light Requirements Water Management
Soil Deep pot 8-12 hrs/day Whenever dry
Coconut Coir Shallow tray Artificial light Wicks/capillary
Hydroponic Small pot 18″ above plants Self-watering

It’s important to keep in mind that each plant has its own individual needs so experiment with substrate types and various combinations until you find something that works well for your particular crop! Remember too that environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and air flow play a big role in your success – make sure all these factors are taken into account before beginning any microgreen cultivation project.


The cultivation of microgreens is a rewarding experience. With the right knowledge and materials, you can create an indoor garden full of nutrition-packed plants in no time! When it comes to selecting the best substrate for your microgreen grow medium, there are many options available that will provide proper drainage and nutrient delivery for optimal growth.

By understanding soil requirements and comparing different substrates, you can determine which one works best for your particular needs. With some experimentation and careful attention to detail, you’ll soon have lush greens growing all year round! As you embark on this exciting adventure into the world of microgreens gardening, remember that success starts with choosing the right substrate.

So take a deep breath and dive into the wonderful world of microgreens – from choosing a suitable substrate to harvesting nutritious greens! With patience and dedication, you’ll be reaping the benefits of homegrown produce in no time at all.

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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