Do you know how to grow microgreens indoors? It requires very few things and most of the things required can be found around your house, so this makes a minimal investment for microgreens!
How to grow microgreens–
Here is the list of materials required to grow microgreens seamlessly:-
- The initial part of growing microgreens is having the best quality seeds.
- Storage, handling, age, and seed source will affect the yield of your microgreens because of variations in viability.
- This will affect mainly if you are a commercial grower because of seed viability because the reduction in 95% to 85% can make a huge difference!
Some tips for maintaining seed quality is-
- You should keep them in cool and dry places and where temperature and humidity fluctuations are very low.
- DIRECT sun reduces the seed quality.
- Go through the seed packets offers valuable information such as germination rate, age, and seed variety.
- Seed can last up to 2-5years depending on the variety if you maintain the tips mentioned above!
You can buy seeds according to your convenience first try few seeds grown them test them then decide on buying in bulk. (for commercial ). Remember to buy from a well-trusted company!
The most peculiar thing in growing microgreens is that you need to have seeds having a high germination rate but also germinate at the same time!
The time gap between first pop and second pop can lead to different harvesting time so having good quality seeds from a well-reputed company is good for you!
2)Medium to grow microgreens–
- Microgreens can be grown via the soil-less and soil method!
- Nutrients Rich medium, with the proper mineral, is necessary for vibrant, nutrient-rich plants.
Major of their nutrition is taken from the soil/medium and water.
If you are using soil best quality and performance if it has these additional ingredients such as organic earthworm castings, compost, kelp, crab meal, and shrimp meal can give yous microgreens more nutritional values.
Soil-less(Hydroponic)Method to grow microgreens–
- You need to add fertilizer to water to create a nutrient-rich solution for your microgreen’s roots to absorb.
Some common growing mediums include coco coir, clay pebbles vermiculite, and rock wool works best.
- Prepare your Nutrient Water with appropriate pH i.e(5.5-6.5).
- Soak your grow mat into the nutrient water, then allow most excess water to drain off before transferring into your grow tray.
- Sprinkle your seeds evenly across your entire grow mat.
- After sprinkle mists them with your spray bottle using clean and pure water or a nutrient solution.
- Cover your seeds with a lightproof cover to act as a humidity dome and black-out top.
- Store seeds in an area that stays between 18- and 23°.
- Mist every 12hrs.
- Uncover your growing tray after 4 to 5 days.
- Place the microgreens into a light source.
- Check on them daily. You can be ready to harvest between day 6th and 10th day of growth.
Nutrients to grow microgreens-
- Microgreens can germinate without any additional nutrient application.
- However, providing mineral nutrients to microgreens will increase the yields and quality of your greens.
- Providing 75 to 150 ppm for water-soluble fertilizer is enough for growing microgreens but it’s your choice you can add micronutrients.
- Using high-quality soil or other media will give strong, even growth with a higher yield!
3)Trays to grow microgreens-
- Black plastic trays(20 x 10-inch) work well for microgreens.
- Shallow and wide trays of lightweight movable trays will work best for you rather than a large tall pot!
- And clay pots don’t work well because you are choosing wide and shallow so clay pot has a high tendency to dry out quickly and wick moisture from the soil.
- You can make your own trays with your creative ideas but make sure it has good drainage just create slits or holes to allow excess water to flow through!
- If there is a lack of drainage, you will find poor growth lesser yields stunted growth, rootrot, and mould in your microgreens.
4)Cloth or paper towels–
- Cloth or paper towels is an easy and effective alternative to covering your seeds with soil. Generally, we cover a sown tray with a dusting of soil, enough to cover the seeds but covering with a thin, lightweight cotton cloth /unbleached natural paper towels makes the process so effective.
- Its purpose is to provide a covering layer to keep your seeds warm and moist and for the proper establishment of roots just after they germinate.
- Just wash them frequently, as wet towels can build up mould and bacteria and affect your green babies!.
- For commercial growers, this makes a big difference!
If you have a question about whether should cover your seeds and add weight or not there is an amazing experiment Just check it out! Covering seed VS Not Covered.
It’s best to cover microgreen seeds to exclude light and add weight to the top of the seeds after germination (3-5 days) remove weight and towel(known as blackout period) so by doing this they’re pressed down into the soil and roots established and gives you healthy microgreens!
Want to know more about this click the above link is given.
5)The pH Meter–
- To measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution you need a pH Meter.
- The pH of your water or nutrients will determine how well your microgreens are able to access the nutrients from the medium, if the pH is not appropriate then growth will be poor, root rot and damping-off will need to be encountered.
- Some plants can tolerate a broad range of pH but some can’t grow well so better check the pH of the water you’re giving!
- You will find amazing results after giving the right pH.
There are various options available for pH Metre (Colour matching strips to digital) you can invest according to your ease!
- You can increase and decrease the pH of water through organic and inorganic methods!
- For lowering pH i.e increased acidity you can simply add drops of lemon juice.
- For increasing pH i.e increase in alkalinity just add some Baking soda.
- Otherwise, you can buy pH up and pH down from online stores for more effectiveness.
So monitoring pH can take your greens to the next level!
6)Watering Cans and sprayer–
- This equipment adds beauty for growers!
- Sprayers with pressure adjustable are best for microgreens!
- A shower with Medium pressure works best.
- You’ll need a watering can that has an attachment that allows the water to sprinkle instead of just pouring out.
Important tips for watering to grow microgreens-
- Don’t just pour it over the plant sprinkle gently otherwise plant will fall and mat.
- And if your system lacks air circulation then the plants will fall( because of water weight)and start rotting because of lack of evaporation of water, so make sure proper air circulation is there!
- After watering makes sure there is no fall of the plant if there is then just fluff them with your hands!
7)Scissors for Harvesting–
- Scissors should be brought specially for microgreens so that they remain sharp and make a sharp cut.
- The cut you make in the stem during harvest should so be clean and sharp because it is an important component to the longevity of your greens.
- The sharp cut will make less damage to the cell and greens will be fresh without any sudden shock of damage to the cell.
8)Lids for Covering to grow microgreens-
- Creating a mini-greenhouse effect by covering the trays with any lids like green sunshade or any shade net will make your greens grow faster and of good quality.
- Just have one covering material that creates a mini greenhouse effect.
- In areas having higher temperature fluctuations(dry climate), mini-greenhouse effects work so nice by reducing any temperature and moisture shock to the plants.
- If you are using any plastic lids, make sure they are stored in the shade to prevent melting and disfiguration.
- You can use a glass pane but make sure theirs is no direct contact with the sun.
These small things will make your greens grow the best with higher yield and higher quality produce that can be harnessed!
- If you are planning to sell you can use food-grade resealable bags or plastic clamshells. You can buy in bulk from suppliers near your area.
- For storing at your home use any normal bag or sealable container will be enough and keep microgreens in your fridge.
- Keeping it in a cool place will prevent the growth of mould inside them molds grow so fast so beware.
- Once you’ve harvested your microgreens you need to remove excess moisture microgreens if not it will encourage mould growth, it will also make your microgreens wet and unpleasant, ruining their aroma and crispiness.
- It would be great if you wash them and dry them with normal water and you can add a damp paper towel to your storage bag and leave it slightly open, allowing the air in; the damp paper towel will stop the plants from drying out. But they must still be stored in your fridge.
- There is not much need for air circulation but air circulation can reduce the growth of moulds meanwhile it can dry out the greens so better do the above.
10) Extra Materials to grow microgreens-
- Fan- It will be needed if you want to dry out unnecessary water on your greens while storing them you can choose either one that rests on the ground or has a pivoting head.
- Soil Press-After filling your trays with the soil you will need a tool to create a flat seedbed. You can make it at your home with Wooden or cardboard piece is a good option but don’t forget to replace when they become damaged.
Heat Mat- There is a detailed and awesome article for this If you are planning to grow in extreme hot or cold conditions then click here.