How To Grow Microgreens Indoors
If you’ve been out of your home lately, you probably couldn’t help but notice the growing popularity of microgreens.
They’re in your grocery store, on the menu of your favorite restaurant, and even in your salad. You go to get some at the market around the corner, only to suffer from sticker shock.
These babies aren’t cheap!
Microgreens are an excellent option for sustainable, fresh, and nutrient-loaded foods.
It doesn’t hurt that growing microgreens in your home helps your wallet as well. The beauty behind microgreens is they are so easy to grow, even a novice gardener will be successful.
Additionally, they don’t require a lot of managing if you’re a busy person, and perhaps most importantly, can be grown indoors.
Growing microgreens doesn’t require a lot of space. I’m looking at you, trendy urban loft dwellers with no yard.
You might find folks in an urban area growing them on their balconies, terraces, or windowsills.
Growing microgreens on your own also results in a huge cost savings.
Imagine buying packets of fresh herbs at the grocery store every time you need them. They’re pricey and they don’t last very long.
If you grow them at home, you always have what you need and they continue to germinate for as long as you need them.
So, are you convinced? Read on to learn how to grow microgreens indoors.
What are Microgreens?
So what, exactly, are microgreens?
Microgreens are commonly referred to as “vegetable confetti,” and can often be mistaken for sprouts.
The difference is that microgreens are edible greens that haven’t quite reached maturity. You harvest them a few weeks after germination – about the time the plants are two inches tall.
Simply put, microgreens are herbs, lettuces, and leafy edible flowers.
You have plenty of options when deciding where to start growing microgreens.
If you’re the type of person that likes to jump right into the deep end, there are microgreen mixes available to get you going. Typically a growing kit is ideal for beginners since they are explicitly designed for grower success.
You can also choose your own from a variety of microgreens, or mix and match as you see fit.
Some of the most popular types of microgreens grown today (and the best microgreens to grow), include mustard, arugula, kale, spinach, endives, watercress, cabbage, lettuce, and basil.
However, there are many different types of microgreens, so you’re not limited to this list of microgreens at all.
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The Best Microgreens Growing Kit
There are quite a few growing kits on the market, ranging from aquaponics to stackable. They are great space savers, some are programmable, and they’re easy to use.
AeroGrow makes a line of easy-to-use growing kits and most of them come with starter seed packs.
With a grow light, a touch screen control panel, and an app for your smartphone, you can always care for your plants even while you’re away.
The Urban Greens Microgreens Windowsill Grow Kit is a great starter kit for those just looking to dip their toes in the water.
This kit comes with a grow box (with lid and drip tray), three types of seeds, and potting mix.
What You’ll Need to Grow Microgreens Indoors
Growing microgreens indoors is simple, and doesn’t require many supplies to get started. As a matter of fact, you only need the following:
What You Need
- A sunny spot
- A shallow container
- Plastic wrap or lid
- Potting mix
- Potting mix
- Spray mister
- Flat cardboard piece
That’s it! Get those seven things together, and let’s get started.
5 Steps to Growing Microgreens
Due to the ease of growing microgreens, you can raise them in various settings. You can grow them outside, in containers, as part of your garden, or inside on your kitchen counter.
For this article, we’ll focus on growing them indoors.
Ideally, you will want to have a sunny, south-facing window for your microgreens, along with a small, clean container in which to grow them.
If you have a disposable container or take-out dish, these work very well.
Before getting too far into the process, be sure your container of choice has a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
Now that you have all your supplies and are ready to plant, the first thing you’ll want to do is check your seed packet for any special instructions.
After following any provided instructions, you’ll want to do the following to get your microgreens growing indoors:
Step #1. Fill your container
Fill your container with two inches of potting soil. Smooth it out with a flat piece of cardboard, but make sure you don’t pack the dirt down. You don’t want it to be too compressed.
Step #2. Sprinkle your seeds
Sprinkle your seeds evenly across the top of your soil. Gently press the seeds down into the soil using either your piece of cardboard or your hand.
Step #3. Cover your seeds
Use a thin layer of soil to cover up your seeds. Using your spray mister, make the surface damp, but not too wet.
Then use some plastic wrap or a lid to cover up the container until your seeds begin to sprout.
Step #4. Use your mister
As you wait for your seeds to sprout, use your mister a few times a day to keep the soil damp. You should begin to see results within a week.
Use collected rainwater to fill your mister (and maximize your sustainable lifestyle!). Check out our post on the Best Rain Barrels for Smaller Homes.
Step #5. Remove the cover
Once your sprouts are visible, go ahead and remove your cover or plastic wrap, but continue misting a few times a day.
Remember though, that you want the soil to be damp, not wet.
Growing microgreens indoors requires sunlight – usually around four hours a day.
If you don’t have a spot available in your home that will provide enough light, you can use a grow light set to low heat.
Step #6. Harvest Your Microgreens
You know it’s time to harvest your microgreens when you begin to see the first true leaves, which usually sprout between ten and fourteen days post-planting.
Don’t confuse the true leaves with the seed leaves. The seed leaves are the first leaves you’ll see, but don’t look like the plant leaves do.
The harvesting part is simple: just cut the microgreens above the level of the soil.
Perhaps the only drawback to growing your microgreens indoors is that for some varieties, you can only get one harvest. Since you’re cutting off everything but the stem, the plants have no way to germinate.
If you’re more interested in how to grow microgreens without soil, you can do that, too! Check out how to build your own aquaponics system here.
The good news is, to start your next crop, just scatter down some new seeds, cover them with fresh soil, and follow the steps laid out above.
You don’t even have to remove the roots since they are a good source of organic matter for your new plants.
So far, it’s been fun learning how to grow your own microgreens indoors. You may also be interested in checking out our other articles on similar green-thumb topics such as How To Store Onions And Keep Them Fresh, or How To Compost In An Apartment.
Enjoy the Harvest
Now you know how easy it is to grow microgreens indoors. With just a few supplies and a little know-how, you’ll have your crop of microgreens in just a few short weeks.
They don’t require much space, are easy to maintain, and when you’re ready to harvest, you can throw them on your sandwiches or salads.
The great thing about growing microgreens indoors is that you are limited only by your imagination. If you have space available in your home, on your balcony, or windowsill, you can grow microgreens.
Mix and match different varieties of microgreens to find the ones that grow (and taste!) best for you.
No matter if you’re an expert gardener or a novice planter looking to save some money on greens, growing microgreens indoors is a great place to get started.
Living sustainably doesn’t have to require a lot of land. That’s our philosophy! Eager to plant more? Why not check out this article how to grow moss in small spaces!
So what do think?
Let us know how your microgreen growing attempts pan out in the comments below, and please share if you know someone who would find this tutorial helpful.