Should I Use Grow Pads or Soil for Growing Microgreens?

HomeGrowingShould I Use Grow Pads or Soil for Growing Microgreens?

Whether to use grow pads or soil for growing microgreens depends on personal preferences, available resources, and desired growing methods. Grow pads offer convenience and cleanliness, while soil provides natural nutrients and a more traditional growing experience. Consider experimenting with both to find the method that works best for you.

Grow Pads For Microgreens

Grow pads offer a convenient way to grow microgreens quickly and easily. Simply unroll the pad, sprinkle your seeds on top, water, and watch them sprout!

Grow pads are a great soil alternative for growing microgreens because they give gardeners more control over the growing process. Unlike traditional soil-based methods, grow pads allow you to adjust the pH levels of your plants with ease. Additionally, these pads provide an even distribution of moisture throughout their entire surface area. This eliminates the need for manual watering and ensures that all of your plants get just enough water without being overwatered or underwatered.

Grow pad benefits also include reduced risk of diseases and pests because there is no soil contact involved in the process. Since most pathogens cannot survive in a sterile environment, this makes it much easier to keep your microgreens free from contamination that can occur when using regular dirt-based systems. Furthermore, since these pads come pre-loaded with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, you won’t have to worry about purchasing additional fertilizer for your plants—they already have everything they need!

In terms of cost effectiveness, grow pads are far more affordable than traditional soils since they require less maintenance over time—just roll up the used pad and replace it with a new one every few weeks! Additionally, these pads take up minimal space since they can be stored flat when not in use. This means that you can even fit several trays into small spaces like countertops or windowsills without having to worry about overcrowding.

Finally, these products are available in various sizes and thicknesses so you can choose one depending on how many microgreens you plan on growing at once.

Overview of Soil

Soil is a popular medium for growing microgreens, and it has its pros and cons. It’s inexpensive to buy, easy to use, and provides plenty of nutrients for the plants.

On the other hand, soil can be messy, time-consuming to prepare, and more difficult to manage than grow pads. Ultimately, it’s up to you as the gardener to decide which medium works best for you.


Pros of grow pads include the ability to easily access, assemble, and adjust their moisture and drainage levels. Grow pads are often made with organic fertilizers that can make them easier to use than soil for many gardeners.

Additionally, since grow pads come in various sizes, they are much more convenient than traditional garden pots that require a separate container for each type of microgreen you want to grow. They also provide a better environment for growing microgreens because they are designed specifically for this purpose—they’re not prone to compacting or becoming waterlogged like soil can be.

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Furthermore, since there’s no need to worry about tilling or weeding the soil when using grow pads, gardening time is reduced significantly over traditional methods as well. In addition to these advantages, growers can use any type of fertilizer or compost they choose without worrying about contamination from the soil itself.

This makes it possible to have complete control over what nutrients your plants get and how quickly they get them.


If you’re looking to start a garden, it can be hard to decide between using grow pads or soil – but each comes with its own set of cons.

Grow pads require minimal maintenance, however they’re more expensive than soil and may not be as effective for certain types of plants. Additionally, if you have space constraints in your garden, they can take up more room than soil because they often come in large blocks that need to be cut into smaller pieces.

On the other hand, while soil is less expensive and requires fewer space requirements, it requires more upkeep in terms of watering and fertilizing the plants. Furthermore, there’s always the risk of introducing weeds and unwanted pests when using soil which could damage your crops.

Ultimately, choosing between grow pads or soil depends on personal preference, budget and desired growing method.

Factors to Consider when Choosing

When deciding between grow pads and soil for growing microgreens, there are several factors to consider.

Your personal preferences will be a major factor in determining which option is best for you. Additionally, your budget and desired growing method should also be taken into account.

It’s important to weigh all these elements before making a decision so that you can get the most out of your microgreen gardening experience.

Personal Preferences

Personal preferences can be a major factor in deciding whether to use grow pads or soil for growing microgreens, as they both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Plant selection is important when considering personal preference; some plants do better in soil while others may prefer the support of a grow pad.

Additionally, container choice should also be taken into consideration when selecting between grow pads or soil. If you plan on using shallow containers, then a thin layer of soil with a grow pad on top could be beneficial. On the other hand, if you plan to use deeper containers, then opting for just soil would likely provide enough space for healthy plant growth.

Ultimately, your decision should take both practicality and personal preference into account when choosing between grow pads or soil for your microgreens.


Considering your budget is an important factor when deciding which growing method to use for microgreens, so you’ll want to weigh the costs of both grow pads and soil.

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Grow pads are usually more expensive up front, but they have fewer water costs over time, as the pad will absorb and retain moisture better than soil does. Allowing for less frequent watering also means space requirements can be smaller since larger amounts of water aren’t required.

Soil on the other hand is cheaper initially, but it requires more frequent watering and takes up much more space in order to accommodate the increased water needs.

Both types of growing methods have their respective pros and cons when considering budget:

Grow Pads:

  • Pros: More expensive upfront but lower long-term water costs & smaller space requirements
  • Cons: More costly initially


  • Pros: Cheaper up front & large supplies are easily available
  • Cons: High water costs & larger space requirements

Desired Growing Method

Decide diligently which growing method you’d like best for your microgreens, balancing between grow pads and soil to fulfill your farming fancy.

Growing microgreens in soil is a traditional approach that requires careful seed selection and more frequent watering than using grow pads. With soil, light exposure must also be taken into consideration as it can affect the growth rate of the greens. Additionally, more nutrients may need to be added to the soil for optimal growth.

On the other hand, grow pads provide an easier and faster approach since they are pre-loaded with nutrients needed for growth. Grow pad users don’t have to worry as much about watering or light exposure but must remember that some types of microgreen seeds do not work well with this type of system.

Ultimately, when choosing between grow pads or soil for growing microgreens, consider your personal preference, budget constraints, and desired growing method before making a decision.

Grow Pad vs. Soil: Advantages and Disadvantages

You’ve got to weigh the pros and cons of both grow pads and soil when it comes to growing microgreens – it’s a tough decision!

Grow pads are one of the most popular types of grow media, made up of compressed peat or coir. They are widely used by commercial growers because they provide superior aeration, drainage, and water retention compared to regular soil. Additionally, they usually come pre-loaded with fertilizer for an added nutrient source. The biggest disadvantage of using a grow pad is that it can be expensive – especially for small-scale growers who don’t need large quantities.

On the other hand, soil is a great option if you’re looking for something more affordable and accessible. Soil provides multiple natural sources of nutrients as well as good air circulation so that your plants can easily access oxygen. Furthermore, it is easy to find quality soil from local suppliers or even make your own mix at home with composted materials like manure or leaf litter. However, there are some downsides too: Poorly prepared soil may not have enough structure or adequate nutrients for efficient plant growth – meaning you’ll need to supplement them with additional fertilizers.

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Both grow pads and soils have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to growing microgreens – so which one should you choose? Ultimately, this will depend on your budget, desired growing method, as well as personal preference. If cost is not an issue then a grow pad may be the right choice since it offers superior aeration and water retention while also providing its own nutrient source in the form of fertilizer additives. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more affordable then soil might be better suited since it has all the necessary elements already present in nature such as organic matter and minerals.

No matter what type of medium you decide on for growing microgreens, make sure that it meets all your needs before purchasing any supplies! Consider factors such as drainage rate (for hydroponic systems) or nutrient availability (for traditional systems) when making your decision so that you can ensure optimal plant health throughout each stage in their life cycle.

Tips for Successful Microgreen Growing

If you want to successfully grow microgreens, you’ll need to consider your budget and desired growing method in order to decide which medium is best for you. Whether this is a grow pad or soil, there are certain steps that should be taken in order to ensure a high germination rate and healthy growth of your microgreens.

When it comes to seed selection, make sure you choose a variety of seeds that suit the climate conditions where they’ll be grown. It’s also important to select seeds with a higher germination rate for better results. Soaking the seeds overnight can help them sprout faster and promote strong root development.

Additionally, light plays an important role in successful microgreen growth – make sure your plants get enough light by adjusting their position as needed throughout the day.

Proper watering is key when growing microgreens; too much water can cause mold issues while too little water can prevent proper growth. To avoid over-watering, use a spray bottle with distilled water and mist the soil or pads lightly every few days, allowing them time to dry out before re-spraying.

For optimal nutrient absorption, fertilize every two weeks using an organic fertilizer that’s been diluted with a 1 part fertilizer per 4 parts water solution.

Finally, temperature control is essential when cultivating microgreens – maintain temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18℃ – 24℃). This range helps keep pests away while promoting good health for your greens!

With these tips in mind, you can confidently choose either grow pads or soil, depending on personal preference and budget, without sacrificing quality yields of fresh microgreens.

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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