Growing microgreens is another great way to produce year-round food with a minimum of space and time. Microgreens are essentially just sprouts that are propagated in a nursery flat on a bit of soil and allowed to grow larger than traditional sprouts and put on tiny leaves (as the name suggests, microgreens are just very tiny salad greens). You can grow flats of arugula, mesclun mix, mustards, and just about any other crop with edible greens. Wheat grass is typically grown as a microgreen for making a healthful juice.
What You’ll Need
Flats. Microgreens can be grown in virtually any tray or shallow container, but we prefer to use standard nursery flats with small perforations or in the bottoms. These containers retain some water, which helps keep the soil moist; however, it’s important to avoid saturating and drowning the greens.
Soil mix. You can use potting soil, germination mix, or even straight garden soil as a medium for the greens. Plan to compost or dump the soil into the garden after use, as it will be full of miniature roots which will need time and space to decompose.
Light. Microgreens can be grown with natural light or under any grow light. Supplemental light helps the plants grow more quickly and evenly, but amazing microgreens can be grown on a windowsill.
How to Grow Microgreens
- Fill your flat with 1-2” of potting soil. Gently tamp down soil so your surface is relatively flat.
Sprinkle seeds over soil.small seeds- 1-1.5 tsp / flat
large seeds- 1-2 tbs / flat
- Cover seeds with a dusting of peat or sifted potting soil. Carefully and evenly water the seeds using a gentle stream from a hose or watering can.
- Place the tray on a sunny, south-facing windowsill or under grow lights.
Keep soil moist
Seeds should germinate in 3-7 days and be ready to harvest between a week and 3 weeks, depending on the seed.
Harvest when greens have put on the first set of “true leaves” (see photo below)
Crops for Microgreen Production
Many crops can be grown as microgreens, but some are better suited to growing this way than others are. For example, any brassica can be easily sprouted. However, broccoli and cauliflower seed are much more expensive and slower growing than mustard greens are, so it makes more sense to use mustard for microgreens.
Crops we suggest growing as micro-greens:
Our friends at Seattle Seed Co carry a great selection of microgreen seed (including most the the varieties we've listed above) and if you want to keep it super simple, they even have starter kits that include everything you need to grow microgreens at home! Use the code EBPODCAST at checkout for 15% off your order, anytime!