How to Grow Microgreens, from Planting to Harvest | Almanac.com

How to Grow Microgreens, from Planting to Harvest


Go from seed to harvest in just a few weeks.

Learn how to grow your own microgreens inside! Microgreens are a lot of fun—and they pack flavor, good looks, and exceptionally high nutrients into any dish. They only take a few weeks from seed to harvest! Forget those high-end restaurants; the good news is that microgreens are really easy for anyone (even kids) to grow indoors.

Though these tiny, flavorful greens are expensive to purchase, microgreens can be grown at home on a sunny windowsill to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. What a great way to get your 3 to 5 vegetables a day!

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are ordinary vegetables—usually herbs, salads, and cabbage family plants such as radishes and turnips—but we harvest them 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.

You simply grow microgreens in small flats or seed trays because you’ll be harvesting them when they’re only 2 inches tall! 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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About The Author

Megan Langlais

2023 Gardening Club

RB_Gardener (not verified)

2 months 2 weeks ago

Should new soil be used for the next round of microgreen growing or can the same soil be used? Thank you

If your first batch of microgreens thrived and there were no signs of disease or pests, you can certainly reuse the potting mix. But there’s a chance that the 2nd batch will not do as well if seeds are simply planted without amending the potting mix. The first round of microgreens could very well have striped the growing medium of nutrients. If you want to reuse the potting mix, you could remove it from the container and mix it with fresh growing medium, along with some organic fertilizer.

Here is a link to another article on the Web site that will help. https://www.almanac.com/ways-use-less-potting-mix-fill-pots-and-raised-beds


georgis (not verified)

1 year 2 months ago

Do you really need grow lights? Or can you just set them up in a sunny south window?

You can use a sunny south-facing window if you’ve got one. Grow lights just offer a bit more flexibility and consistency, and you can provide more daylight hours for faster growth.

Cyerra Guzman (not verified)

2 years 2 months ago

Awesome video!
This will be my first year growing microgreens, and I was curious about the after care process.
So once I have snipped all my shoots off, will the microgreens planted give me another batch, or do I have to remove all of the seeds/soil and start the proces again?

Kenneth L Erlenbusch (not verified)

2 years 2 months ago

I have been growing microgreens for about a year. I have pretty good lick with the Brassicas but not so much with the peas, and beets. Lettuce is pretty iffy too.

I had to take my system down between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make room for Christmas decorations. I will be setting it up in the next week or two,
Thank you for the excellent video.