How to Grow Microgreens from Planting to Harvest

Go from seed to harvest in just a few weeks.

February 25, 2020

Learn how to grow your own microgreens inside with these easy-to-follow instructions. Though these tiny, flavorful greens are expensive to purchase, they can be grown at home on a sunny windowsill to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. Go from seed to harvest in just a few weeks.

Microgreens are ordinary vegetables—usually herbs, salads, and cabbage family plants such as radishes and turnips—which are harvested soon after the first adult leaves have developed, just five to 25 days after sowing.  These tiny, delicate greens add color, texture, flavor, and nutrition to a variety of foods from soups to salads to sandwiches.

Microgreens are very easy to grow indoors under grow lights. Older grow lights using fluorescent lamps work well, but if you’re purchasing a new set it’s worth considering LED grow lights, which are more energy efficient. You’ll also need some seed flats, your seeds and a finely-sieved growing medium, for instance an all-purpose potting mix, blended with about a third by volume of coconut fiber (coir).

Sowing and Growing Microgreens

Fill the trays with your growing medium to within half an inch of the rim. Tamp it all down with something flat-bottomed such as a block of wood. Broadcast sow your seeds, crisscrossing back and forth across the surface of the potting mix. Try to avoid any clumps. Then tamp the seeds gently down so they are in good contact with the potting mix. Water your seeds using a spray bottle or mister.

Move the trays to somewhere warm to germinate. Apply gentle pressure to the seeds by stacking the trays two or three deep, then place an empty tray on top and weigh it down. This encourages thicker stems and stronger growth.

Transfer the seed flats to under your grow lights as soon as they germinate. Leave grow lights on for between 12 and 16 hours a day. Put the lights on a timer, or alternatively just switch them on when you get up and off when you go to bed.

Check the moisture of the potting mix daily. If necessary, mist with fresh water, but don’t over water as this can lead to mold growths.

Harvesting Microgreens

Harvest your microgreens when they’re about one to three inches tall and have produced their first adult leaves. Use scissors to snip them off close to the bottom of the stem.

Microgreens are best enjoyed as soon as possible but they can be kept in plastic bags in the salad compartment of your refrigerator for up to five days. Serve them in a salad or main meal or as a garnish.

To serve, wash the microgreens with water and dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Harvest and serve them immediately for the freshest flavor. Enjoy!

Related Content

See our video on how to grow mung bean sprouts in five days!

Growing sprouts versus microgreens experiment

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